I'm a the Leon Levy Laboratory of the Israel Antiquities Authority in Jerusalem, where my quest to learn who wrote the Dead Sea Scrolls and maybe discover Maur brings me face to face with one of the most precious artifact on earth, the original rule book for Western Civilization, the oldest copy of the 10 Commandments in existence.
This is our oldest source for the Complete 10 Commandments.
This is a list competently have.
Yes, and is the text complimentary with later versions?
Are there any changes?
There's a side difference.
While contemporary Bibles state keep the Sabbath, scroll copy adds a word meaning.
Remember asking the faithful to not only honor the day of rest, but to reflect on it as well?
A small but profound difference.
This is awesome.
And there's 10.
There's not a couple extras in here.
Party is often Is that wants?
No, but not all the scrolls are this well preserved.
One of the biggest challenges the team here faces is repairing earlier restoration work done in the 19 fifties at the Rockefeller Museum in Jerusalem, and they began the ultimate jigsaw puzzle.
Thousands and thousands of scroll fragments.
They taped them with Sello tape or hiss of tank.
They put it between two glass plates and take them again.
They created over 1000 200 glass plates.
Little did they know that the exciting new invention of clear household tape was doing more harm than good to the fragile fragments.
Residues off the tape penetrate the parchment and causes its disintegration.
So you inherited a challenge.
Guess a team of restoration specialists chemically cleans each tiny piece of parchment, repairing the damage.
It could take a year to go through one sheet.
Once this painstaking process is complete, the real detective work begins.
Fragments are moved around a computer canvas like puzzle pieces on a coffee table to reconstruct the original manuscript.
Groundbreaking new technologies can cross reference other scrolls to recognize the handwriting of a particular scribe.
They even match the grain in different parchment pieces.
You notice the black edges now it's not burnt.
The john was put on the floor off the cake.
Humidity penetrated and caused the gelatin ization.
And then the disintegration off the edges of the scroll.
We're joined in the lab by researcher or enablement.
Despite 2000 years of wear and tear, he's been able to use technology and good old fashioned detective work to unlock the secrets of damaged fragments.
Tell me a bit about your part in the work on the scrolls here.
One of the things I found when I was going through our storeroom is that we have several boxes with piles of what looked like fragments.
It didn't seem to have anything on them.
And you were intrigued.
I mean, I look at that and it looks like, you know, wood chips.
You know, I knew that there was, uh, scholar in the early nineties who actually took some fragments out of this box that he could see writing on them.
So you thought maybe there's more here than meets the eye.
And I found one word and a few parts of letters around.
Okay, but the word in Hebrew is Amada means a song.
It appears only five times in the Hebrew Bible.
And I could figure out what the letter was beforehand.
And in that that letter before that word appears on Liam Psalms 1 47 1st 1 I knew this was from the beginning of the verse, and I knew that the end of the verse was actually preserved in a different in a different fragments.
That's a much larger one, which is this one here.
So we already had this beautiful looking scroll.
Fragments of my fragments belongs right here.
So that's where that belongs.
And what actually discovered is that the version of this verse here is one word shorter.
And then what is used in the Hebrew Bible today.
And so what was the word that was added to the later Hebrew Bible?
No demon of which, basically into English for both translators.
That's absolutely astounding.
You went through a box of what looked like garbage, and you rewrote the Bible.
What right is But, uh, we live in a world where I think a lot of people sort of feel like the mysteries of our past are all known.
Look at this box.
I mean, in this one box alone, there are thousands of fragments that could be just like this that could actually change religious scholarship forever.
Even fragments, completely blackened by time, can be brought back to life in the labs inner sanctum.
The imaging room where they're using technology pioneered by NASA to digitally reveal hidden text on the most damage documents.
This studio was created especially for the scrolls, and so was this camera.
I feel like I'm about to get an X ray in here.
You're about to get more than an extra here because what we're seeing here is a multispectral imaging system that was created especially for the school's.
So is it possible to see it in action?
Fragment is positioned and exposed to 12 different wavelengths of light and slowly go through seven visible lights.
After that, we start with the light that we cannot see with a rise in the near infrared zone.
Theo images captured at the different wavelengths are then stitched together, and what appears is astounding.
Text, once lost to history, emerges from the dark parts.
That is unbelievable.
All that writing is preserved under there.
It's like a magic trick.
This is the only fragment that we have from Genesis First Century Wisdom.
Unveiled by 21st century technology, the fragment says, Let there be light.