The 2,000-year-old Dead Sea Scrolls will be on display at New York City's Discovery Times Square exhibition center starting Oct. 28.
The exhibition, "Dead Sea Scrolls: Life and Faith in Biblical Times," was created by the Israel Antiquities Authority from collections of the Israel National Treasures. It will feature the largest ever and most comprehensive collection of Holy Land artifacts, including one of the largest collections of the famous Dead Sea Scrolls ever displayed in the United States.
Four of the scrolls will make their world debut. The total 20 scrolls exhibited will include the Biblical books of Genesis, Leviticus, Exodus and Kings.
Written between the third and first centuries BCE, the Dead Sea Scrolls include the oldest known biblical manuscripts in existence. They were hidden in 11 caves in the Judean desert on the shores of the Dead Sea since around 68 BCE, until accidently discovered in 1947, when a Bedouin tribesman fell into the cave where they were stored.
There are more than 15,000 Dead Sea Scrolls, written in Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek between 150 BC and 70 AD. The parchment and papyrus writings are among the most famous in the world.
The texts have been an inspiration for hundreds of books and theories about early Christianity, as well as the life of Jesus.
The exhibition highlights also include artifacts from the Biblical to the Byzantine Period, including many objects that were never exhibited before.
"The collection will provide an intriguing glimpse into life in ancient Israel from the Biblical era to the birth of Judaism and Christianity in the Holy Land - from everyday household items, cosmetics and jewelry to ceramics, textiles, mosaics and stone carvings as well as weapons of war and religious objects,” states the exhibit's press release.
In addition, the exhibit will feature a scale recreation of a section of Jerusalem's Western Wall, complete with an actual two-ton stone from the Wall, said the organizers.
The exhibition is organized by Running Subway Productions and The Franklin Institute, and curated by Dr. Risa Levitt Kohn and Debora Ben Ami, with planning and design by Ralph Appelbaum Associates of New York and consultation by Dr. Lawrence Schiffma of Undergraduate Education at the Yeshiva University.
After New York, the exhibition will travel to Philadelphia.