back to article Google unfurls Dead Sea Scrolls

As if there weren't enough strange rantings on the internet already, Google has just uploaded five of the Dead Sea Scrolls in super high resolution. Of course, the Dead Sea Scrolls are strange rantings that – unlike your average YouTube contribution – are of great historic and religious significance. The scrolls were written 2 …


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  1. Pete 43

    Does it have the "missing" page?

    "To my darling Candy. All characters portrayed within this book are fictitous and any resemblance to persons living or dead is purely coincidental."

    1. EddieD

      Damn, should have it hit refresh before sending....

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Speaking as an Agnostic: God or no God, it doesn't matter.

      These are incredibly important historical documents.

      As important, if not more so, than Magna Carta, Doomsday, Bede, or the Vindolandar tablets in the UK. There are many others: the Sumeriean texts and the Epic of Gilgamesh are arguably the oldest written language. Each in their way tells us a story about life in those times.

      To pass off the Dead Sea Scrolls as a joke is to live life with a closed mind towards the human past and its impact on the modern world.

      +1 to Google for doing this. IMHO, this is what the internet should be about.

  2. EddieD

    Does it have the missing first page of the bible?

    "To my dear friend Trixie"

    All characters appearing in this work are fictitious. Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.

  3. illiad

    Ahhhhh :) does this include the 'cover sheet' ??




    to my darling Isiah, who helped in the writing of this work.

    The contents of this publication is a work of fiction and has no relation to people living or dead.

  4. illiad

    :( :( :(

    beaten to it.... :p

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Want to bet that they will try and copyright the photo's

    And assume all online ownership and rights of the Dead Sea Scrolls?

    Naw they're not that greedy are they?

    You be the judge...

    1. LuMan


      FFS... This is Google, not Apple!!

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward


        Your anti-Apple bias is frankly disgusting, puerile, deeply offensive and lessens the lot of mankind just by you uttering it. You should be ashamed of yourself, for that brief time before you are justifiably tortured to death.

        Apple would not try to assert copyright over the scrolls, they would just patent the process of writing religious texts on various media (including but not limited to: animal hide, papyrus, copper plate, clay, stone) and then pursue infringers through the courts.

        10 Hail St Jobs and 5 Our Steves for you my child.

      2. Atonnis


        If this was Google they'd stick adverts in every few paragraphs along with a form so you can hand in all of your personal information!

        1. Fr Barry

          But then again

          According to the Old Testament, of which these scrolls form an important part, it was an Apple which caused mankind's downfall in the first place.

          No change there then

          1. Tom 13

            No it doesn't say it was an apple.

            It says "the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil" but does not specify the fruit. IIRC, the apple is a Renaissance period painting innovation to make it readily identifiable to the typical peasant. Even fundamentalists such as myself do not believe it was an apple. However, given its commonality, it makes a useful reference in everyday conversation.

  6. jai

    continuing the 'missing page' theme

    There's a piece missing from the Great Isaiah Scroll:

    3:23 And the gauze robes, and the fine linen, and the turbans, and the mantles.

    3:24 And it shall come to pass, that instead of sweet spices there shall be rottenness;

    and instead of a girdle rags; and instead of curled hair baldness;

    and instead of a stomacher a girding of sackcloth;

    branding instead of beauty

    3:25 Thy men shall fall by the sword, and thy mighty in the war.

    3:26 And her gates shall lament and mourn; and utterly bereft she shall sit upon the ground.

    3:27 And if you ask me how I'm feeling

    3:28 Don't tell me you're too blind to see

    3:29 Never gonna give you up

    3:30 Never gonna let you down

    3:31 Never gonna run around and desert you

    1. J 3


      I've been rick-scrolled!

      1. Rob Dobs


        terribly terribly funny - your word was even better than original post!

    2. Zippy the Pinhead
      Thumb Up


      Are you trying to rickroll us? lol

    3. TimeMaster T
      Thumb Up

      Pure Genius!!

      My hat is off to you

    4. Trokair 1

      Well played good sir.

    5. Svantevid
      Thumb Up

      @ jai

      You... magnificent... bastard! :-)))

  7. Alan Firminger

    Why has this fired up so many atheists

    Believing in no god means that there is nothing religious to campaign for, just the opportunity to cause unnecessary offence to muslims, christians and jews. Now if you could stop them killing each other that would be worthwhile.

    Live and let live.

    1. Scott Broukell

      So...what you're saying is ...

      ... that Muslims, Christians and Jews can't tolerate atheists let alone each other ?

      "Live and let live" ... mmmm ... that happens so much throughout history between believers of differing made-up piffle.

      Not believing in no god frees up your mind to the reality of the human condition.

      Believing in a god buries your head in the communal ancient sand pit.

      I don't wish to deny anybody the right to believe, I just want them to understand that it's not that important what they believe in, either to non-believers or believers in other faiths and as such they should be content not to ram it down the throats of every body else regardless. I would rather live in a completely secular society which tolerates different faiths but gives their followers no greater sway than say people with freckles or green eyes.

      If that's intolerable to you then you are living in the middle ages, sorry.

    2. tonysmith

      In all honesty I've never seen average 'religious people' (people who follow some religion) jump on others so quickly and denounce others beliefs and defend their own in the way atheists do.

      It's quite odd as they tend to claim religious people shove their beliefs down everyone's throats - but on the internet they do it the most themselves.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Maybe the internet is just a better place, then.

        There's a god in my national anthem, there were prayers to a god in my school assemblies, the cub scout promise I had to say every week was to a god, the oath my MP swore was to a god, my doctors swore that they would not 'play god'.

        Taking the mickey out of people who believe an old book is the work of a paranormal intelligence is not shoving atheism down anyone's throat.

        When we have a bank holiday for a celebration of atheism, when the official motto of the world's greatest super-power is "In humanity we trust, because let's face it there obviously are no gods", when anyone of any persuasion can marry whoever they want because the state agrees it is offensive to assume there's any reason to stop them, when there are special rules benefiting schools for the children of atheist parents, when there is a quota of appointed atheists in the House of Lords, and when every church is turned into a pub with a sign outside saying "Ale is real, gods are not." then, maybe, I'd accept an accusation that atheism is being shoved down everyone's throat.

        1. Wize

          @AC 18:44

          "...when every church is turned into a pub..."

          Quite a few in Aberdeen already have been.

          Nice rant. I might borrow it if I get accused of stuffing atheism down throats.

          1. graeme leggett

            different "opium of the masses"

            as Marx (or was it Lenin) said

        2. T.a.f.T.


          > There's a god in my national anthem,

          Assuming UK here, in which case you don't have to sing it very often or every that but yes Head of State is Head of Church so those are still overlapping.

          > there were prayers to a god in my school assemblies,

          Does that mean you went to a CoE school? Many of them are but it does say it on the sign by the door.

          > the cub scout promise I had to say every week was to a god,

          Again, a Christian organisation to bring up young men with Christian values, you are going to end up mentioning god in there somewhere.

          > the oath my MP swore was to a god,

          Well I think we have the Head of State = Head or Church history thing to thank there again too. Does that mean that it has to be the Christian god or does any deity fit? Does this mean there are no non-Christian MPs?

          > my doctors swore that they would not 'play god'.

          I am not sure the hippopotinus oath is mandatory in the UK but again that is a non-specific deity; though I grant you an Atheist taking such an oath is worthless as there is no god so there is no action they can take which will be considered playing god.

          Many cases people who don't want to religion could avoid it, yes it happens outside of temples but most of the time it is not a trick and you can avoid it if you check up on things first.

      2. Old Handle


        Sampling bias. It's true, average religious people don't try to cram their beliefs down your throat (usually). But neither do average atheists. What you're overlooking as that average atheists don't talk about religion at all, so you likely won't be aware that they're atheist in the first place.

        1. Andus McCoatover

          "It's true, average religious people don't try to cram their beliefs down your throat (usually)"

          Might disagree here:

          Mate of mine was a Jehova's witness, but had a girlfriend he'd be bonking every night.

          Now, she had to keep an apartment so his parents (JW's) would assume they were living apart. He purported to be a devout Jehova's Witness.

          So, as she's adopted the faith, I can no longer wish either a "happy birthday" as it's forbidden to celebrate them.

          Of course, one can argue Jehova's Witnesses, like 7th Day Adventists, Mormons, Christian Scientists, Scientologists, etc, (All Made In America (tm) ) won't cram it down your throat..But they do.

    3. Neoc

      @Alan Firminger

      "Believing in no god means that there is nothing religious to campaign for, just the opportunity to cause unnecessary offence to muslims, christians and jews. Now if you could stop them killing each other that would be worthwhile.

      Live and let live."

      Yes, because the average religious organisation is quite happy to leave me alone in my choice not to believe. It's amazing how preaching your religion and denigrating the non-believers (on TV no less, especially on Sundays) is a "freedom of religion" right, but if non-believers do the same it is deemed "offensive".

      Pot, kettle, black.

    4. Tilman Ahr

      You bet

      Live and let die, i believe it is...

      Not believing in some white-bearded fucker-fairy in the sky dictating ones every move is actually quite liberating. You might want to try it some day. Or probably not.

      You do what you like - I'll keep causing neccessary offense to pretty much every religious type i meet. Just by not believing in their particular brand of what the world should look like if it weren't like it is...

      Nuke them from orbit. With the religious types it's the only way to be sure.

      Greetings from Berlin,


      1. The Commenter formally known as Matt

        Agnostic means you don't know if there is a God/Gods or not.

        Atheist (broadly) means you don't believe there is a God/Gods

        You clearly believe there is no God, so it is odd you identify yourself as agnostic. Perhaps you don't know what you believe?

        You post however does not seem to attempt to make any point, other than to be offensive to as many people as possible while making yourself look like an ass.

        If you believe in God(s), don't or simply don't know this doesn't mean you have to go out of your way to troll people who believe different to you.

        Personally I don't believe in any God, but I don't know if I'm right on that one (maybe I should hedge my bets and start a religious youtube channel or something)

        1. RegGuy


          I tend to agree with your comments about offensive comments. And it's good to air the difference between a-gnostic (not knowing if you believe) and a-theist (not believing).

          But I did laugh at the description "white-bearded fucker-fairy", so his post wasn't all wasted, although I can't see it getting into the Book of Common Prayer.

        2. Gorbachov

          "not sure" as opposed to "don't care"


          Being agnostic doesn't mean you are not sure what to believe. It means you don't care what the truth is regarding the deity question. A small difference but an important one.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Google should also unearth the ancient documents

    from which flow the source of all commentard humour

    1. Disco-Legend-Zeke

      Commentard Humor Original Postings...

      ...were lost when the Breighton Beach Bath House was razed.

      No one thought to preserve the bathroom stall walls, where they were scratched.

  9. James Gosling


    Thanks Google, keep up the good work!

  10. Gary Riches

    Shall I make the same joke again as more than 10 minutes has passed?

    1. Elmer Phud

      Nah, if ten minutes have pased they are now all available on an app

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Shall I make the same joke again...


      "more than 10 [or better: ten] minutes HAVE passed"

      Thank you.

      (OK, sorry... I'm off)

      1. Jolyon

        @AC 17:25

        "more than 10 [or better: ten] minutes HAVE passed"

        Yes, if he meant that the number of minutes that had passed was greater than ten, but his original is fine if he wasn't counting individual minutes and simply meant that a period of time greater than ten minutes in duration had elapsed.

  11. This post has been deleted by its author

  12. Dunstan Vavasour
    Thumb Up


    This is an awesome public service, making one of history's most significant finds publicly available together with authentic interpretation. Long may Google perform this sort of service.

  13. illiad

    Alan Firminger

    believe it, there is no god... and if there was, he gave up on us long ago...

    they rewrote and mangled all the stories, changed them so that they could rape the land and resources, thats why....(have you seen the religion documentaries on BBC?? )

    and then you see all the death and suffering , what god would stand by and watch??

    1. RTNavy

      re: Alan Firminger

      And you believe everything the BBC says to be true just because you saw it on the telly?

      1. vic 4

        Better than

        believing something in a book originally penned thousands of years ago and constantly changed to match peoples whims and agendas.

    2. The Commenter formally known as Matt

      presumably Alan has his own beliefs, why do you feel the need to shove yours down his throat?

  14. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
    Black Helicopters

    Second impact can't be far.

    Oh yeah, it's for 2012, right? Comet Elenin and all that.

  15. Oninoshiko

    why ARE the athists so fired up?

    Even if you aren't religious, the dead-sea scrolls are a important find of HISTORICAL significance. Even if you don't believe what is in them, they still are as big a deal as Egyptian records, Greek records, Roman records, or any other historical document of religious or secular origin.

    If they can do it, I think they should make display the oldest copy of the Koran too. Maybe some Shinto and Bhuddest texts. This isn't just theology it's also about history, and anthropology, both secular studies.

    1. Jolyon

      No one said this shouldn't be done - there were just a few jokes about this sort of text and then someone got all sniffy about atheists shoving their views down everyone's throats and that riled those amongst them who are a bit tired of being told that they are the only people who must not do this, especially when they are just having a bit of fun.

      I would imagine that all the atheists believe it goes without saying that preserving ancient documents of all sorts is just a Good Thing.

  16. RTNavy

    Belief not required!

    Even if any form of Judaism, Christianity isn't in your wheel house belief structure, just the historical significance of any document this old is fascinating! Seeing, first hand (well nearly first hand) some of the oldest religious documents with my own eyes.

    Of course, the "translations" will forever be disputed since many rely on opinions of the scholar, but just viewing and researching some of the texts would be very exciting.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      I have seen real ones first hand (the ones in Amman) they are really fascinating and historically important artefacts.

  17. Neil Paterson
    Black Helicopters


    But unfortunately the conspiracy theories will continue unless they publish *all* of the scrolls. Can't see that happening in the next, oooh, millennium?

  18. Marketing Hack Silver badge

    I'm waiting for....

    the inevitable complaints that Google is infringing on somebody's copyright!!

    I'm also going to check the weather reports for a sudden spike of lightning strikes in Mountain View.

  19. Tom 7 Silver badge

    Great way to plan your life

    Say ye of the righteous, that it shall be well with him; for they shall eat the fruit of their doings.

    Isaiah 3:10

    Icky Pooh!

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Dammit, Google

    They don't even respect MY copyright!

    AC. I am here incognito.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      I ain't seen you: right?

  21. Terry Cloth

    No time machines

    ``The scrolls were written 2,400 years ago [...], and recount important passages from the Old Testament''

    Be rather amazing if they came from any other testament.

    1. Ken Hagan Gold badge

      Speaking of time machines, the Dead Sea Scrolls I'm familiar with were squirreled away before the Romans trashed the place around 70 A.D. Were they just 400 years old then, or is 2400 an upper estimate?

  22. Cunningly Linguistic

    Part 12 Coming Next Month...

    ...with Free Burning Bush!

  23. Shannon Jacobs
    Paris Hilton

    HUMAN document, not god's

    This should help prove the Bible is NOT any sort of divine word of any sort of god, but just the mumblings of a bunch of self-justifying priests trying to convince some fools that they owe the priests a good living. However, I'd bet that no religious nuts take it that way.

    One of the best books I've read on the theme was called "The Book of J". I rather doubt it is widely available in America, but I still recommend it if you can find it. Central theme is that most of the Old Testament was probably compiled by a single author before the more famous redactor. He provides some evidence that it might have been a woman in King Solomon's court, mostly drawing on Babylonian and other earlier non-Semitic sources.

    The icon for the close examination of the high-rez scans...

    1. Andus McCoatover

      It is available..

      Amazon lists several sources of second-hand supplies, at even $3.

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    Wider Audience, More Rationality?

    A modest start that might have pleased John Allegro.

    I read "The Sacred Mushroom and the Cross" shortly after it was published and my rational mind never looked back. But then I realized the extent of the collective delusion.

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "Not believing in no god frees up your mind to the reality of the human condition."

    (I assume from the context that the double-negative was an accident.)

    So what is the human condition?

    You have no purpose because purpose implies intelligence and creation. You may have a function but no purpose. If you think up your own purpose for living, that is no more a valid belief than that of someone who thinks the opposite of you.

    You have no significance and very little impact. You are the product of random interactions, just like a rock in your garden. A hundred years from now it's unlikely that anyone will know your name, though someone will probably still know about the rock in your garden. Your thoughts on physics and feelings of love for a partner or child, aspirations and fears are no more significant that the colours and speckles in that rock and are a lot less durable.

    You might think that the selfish gene might drive you to acquire resources to help you adapt and to reproduce, but that isn't the case - it merely explains why those that do those things are here. We can pretend that there is a reason to live and reproduce and that pretending is genetically built in, because those who don't have it would not be inclined to bother surviving.

    In the past, we gained a sense of purpose from Christianity. There was an idea that everything was created for a purpose, has been corrupted, but would be restored and that ultimately both justice and mercy would prevail, overruling the failings we see in ourselves and each other.

    Fortunately we now know better. We know that silicate- and carbon-based entities are just different globs of matter/energy. Now we see our true position in the universe. Armed with this knowledge, nineteenth, twentieth and twenty-first century Man has put an end to the war and conflict which destroyed so many millions of lives in the middle ages. With our technology, we have enough for all to eat and we hold all things in common, giving to those in need.

    "God is Dead," cried Nietzsche and because we understand the human condition just as well as he did, we care for our fellow Man as Nietzsche intended. Or logic is impeccable, right up to the point where we ask why we should act logically...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      "Man has put an end to the war and conflict which destroyed so many millions of lives in the middle ages"

      I think several hundred thousand dead Iraqi's shows what a BS statement that is!

      "With our technology, we have enough for all to eat and we hold all things in common, giving to those in need."

      The hundreds who die of starvation every day in Africa would suggest that you really are out of touch with reality!

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        That may have been what the poster meant

        And it's called irony.

        An increased knowledge of our place in nature has not improved the situation as you might have imagined it would.

        Knowing that we are without a creator, and that our only purpose is to live and in time die, has not changed our behaviour.

        That, without any supernatural entity to answer to or to hold us in check, it is by our own hands that we can improve the world and make every member of mankind equal in status and health and "wealth".

        That while belief was not the answer, a lack of belief has not yet been one either.

    2. The Commenter formally known as Matt

      Unless I have significantly misunderstood your argument you seem to suggest 'purpose' can only be granted by some god. If so then you have a different definition of purpose than me!

      >You have no purpose because purpose implies intelligence and creation.

      I have (some) intelligence and ability to create, so therefore I have purpose? Sometimes I waste hours playing games or watching TV - I am mentally switched off and certainly not creating anything (of use - certain gasses perhaps) - and it is fair to say in those times I have no purpose, other times I have clear goals I am striving towards, a specified target to create. In these times I defiantly have purpose! Self defined purpose (or boss defined maybe) as opposed to some god, but since we are assuming god doesn't exist that this is irreverent.

      And does purpose require intelligence? A hungry animal hunting for food has a certain purpose. Bacteria composting some organic material has purpose (or possibly two!)

      >We can pretend that there is a reason to live and reproduce and that pretending is genetically built in, because those who don't have it would not be inclined to bother surviving

      We have a sense of self-preservation, or a survival instinct. Is this a reason to survive? Or are we pretending? We (mostly) have an instinct to reproduce, even before we have heard about 'the selfish gene', are we still pretending?

      I can see so many holes in your post I can only assume I don't understand it. I haven't read Nietzsche, so maybe your whole post was a bit Stephen Fry for me.

  26. Winkypop Silver badge

    Iron-age tribal stories versus 21st century science

    Now which to choose, which to choose......?

  27. John Angelico

    Argh! Translation language fail!

    Why, oh why, do the translators seem to insist on using Elizabethan English grammatical forms and even some words, despite the fact that these documents predate Willy Wobblestick and the Virgin Queen by millenia?

    1. Ken Hagan Gold badge

      Er, because they recognise the huge significance of the King James Bible for understanding just about all of English-language culture in the past 400 years?

  28. Inachu


    Even by christian religious cannon laws do not regard missing passages by god.

    I wonder how they used their IQ to disrespect holy passages no amount of iq or mans wizdom can erase gods word but they did it anyway.

    The pure fail and fall of man indeed.

    1. Rob Dobs

      Also many books of new testament that were "Decided" to be in or out of Bible

      Bart Ehrman (sp?)

      Wrote two fantastic books "Jesus Interrupted" and "Misquoting Jesus" that really delve into the thought process and history of how the books that make up the Bible were picked, and some of the content and why the books that didn't make the cut.

      It also has a great example of how the 4 Gospels contradict each other (not in petty ways, but in serious religious philosophy). Should be required reading in school, but then we would like 99 out of 100 kids becoming atheists so that's not likely to get approved by the religious right that has so much power in the world.

      The interesting part to me is that almost all seminary schools in the U.S. teach their ministers about this history of the bible and its contradictions, and then leave it Faith to keep believing that these are actually divine works. Its also funny how modern Christianity seems to have just morphed the parts they like from these many books (and later non Bible parts like Dante's inferno and the concept of a fiery Hell , and just cast aside the rest as if WASNT the word of God.

      He has a great part where he asks his students in a college bible study class how many have actually read the bible from cover to cover (almost none had) - if people really did believe it really was the word of God then wouldn't more people want to know what he actually had to say?

      Another interesting problem with Christianity (and Judaism): Jesus states very clearly that the old Jewish laws are still to be followed. Exodus is full of rules like not being able to wear clothes made of mixed materials (e.g. no cotton and wool) and commands to stone to death both Gays and Sorcerers. I really don't see how civilized society can put up with religious doctrines that condone murder of specific groups (especially magicians!)

      sigh.... it does seem that they more informed people get, the more silly their fairy tales seem though.

  29. Sleepy 1

    On a technical note

    Scanned to 12 mega pixels eh? Knowing the DPI would be more relevant IMHO.

  30. Andus McCoatover

    Someone wrote "It's not the atheists..."

    It's not. It's just the unbelievability of the Bible.

    Adam and Eve. Supposedly the origin of humans, but when they were kicked out of the Garden of Eden, no-one heard of them again. Thought that woul'd have been worth a mention, but - hang on - who was there to witness it???


    "Hey, Elijah ascended into heaven this morning"

    "Oh, dammit, I got his kosher bacon and eggs ready. Party-pooper!"

  31. illiad

    You STILL dont understand the selfish gene...

    Its *nothing* to do with 'gathering resources' etc.....

    It is the physical and mental abilities you get from your father and mother etc, and how you use them - eg resistance to germs, heat, climate.. ability to make something to improve over others..

    BUT!! you have to be able to have children that will carry this on..

    If you can prove Einstein wrong, become a great politician, revolutionary engineer, you WILL be remembered for 100 years or more... :)

    Ford, Brunel, Newton, Galileo, Planck, Maxwell, Lorentz .. how old would they be now??

    1. Rob Dobs


      I guess Homosexuals and Eunichs aren't selfish then?

      Being remembered is not so great as it seems anyways... first off you aren't around to appreciate it, and if history is any lesson, guys like Hoover, Edison etc, didn't even invent the shit they got remembered for, so chances are good the rest of them don't deserve near the credit we give them.

      Nothing like making an anonymous donation to needy children, or just smiling and holding the door open for someone. (besides that how the Bible says your supposed to act, by giving and not calling attention to it - see the Bible is good for a few things)

  32. illiad

    Rob Dobs

    hey if you cannot breed, you dont even get a chance to selfish! :D (so its 'want no kids' people too...:/ )

    Please research what Dawkins actually means by 'selfish' - It is not an emotional state, but DNA pushing its own..

    Think about finding a parking slot - you want to get it before the other guy, dont you??

    sure you can adopt, get someones egg, etc.. but it wont be *your* gene pool..

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