Museum Junkie: Royal Ontario Museum hosts Dead Sea Scrolls

Visitors to the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto this summer will have a chance to see the famous Dead Sea Scrolls.

“Dead Sea Scrolls: Words that Changed the World” will showcase some scrolls that have never before been seen by the general public as well as numerous artifacts from the period. There will also be a series of lectures by leading religious and secular scholars.

The scrolls, found in caves near the Dead Sea, date from about 150 BC to 70 AD. and include all the books of what is now known as the Old Testament. Many are close to later versions of the same books of the Bible, but there are a few surprises as well. The collection of scrolls includes some previously unknown psalms as well as numerous Apocryphal books that were never incorporated into the standard version of the Bible. Some of the more accepted books, such as Exodus, are quite different from later versions. Controversy has raged over the scrolls since their first discovery, but one thing they do prove is that there were several different variations of the Old Testament until the books became canonized in about 100 AD.

In an interesting article in HalogenLife, Dr. Risa Levitt Kohn, the curator of the exhibit, said that the scrolls concern themselves with philosophical issues that we still wrestle with today.

The show starts June 27 and runs six months.