A 1,200-year-old parchment Jewish prayer book that is billed as the oldest in existence was introduced Sept. 27 by a prominent private collector of Biblical artifacts.
The complete 50-page book with original 13-by-10 centimeter binding features early Babylonian vowels, which are a precursor to modern Hebrew vowels. Those, along with Carbon-14 dating, helped scholars arrive at the 9th-century date, which would make the prayer book several hundred years older than the oldest Torah scrolls, although later than the Dead Sea Scrolls.
“This is the oldest Jewish prayer book known to exist in the world,” said Steven Green, the president of the retail chain Hobby Lobby, announcing the identification at the Religion Newswriters Association conference here.
Green’s eponymous collection, which contains more than 40,000 artifacts, is slated to have a permanent home when the Museum of the Bible opens in Washington, D.C.
Read more at The Forward
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