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Scholars can now "shake hands" with the book | Bible  Science

Scholars can now “shake hands” with the book | Bible Science

The code for the Dead Sea Scrolls that is over 2,000 years old has been hacked with artificial intelligence (AI). Dutch researchers follow the path of writers of the oldest known version of the Bible.

It is not easy to see which writers are hiding behind the mysterious Dead Sea Scrolls. Such a thing is difficult to prove. To overcome this obstacle, scientists at the University of Groningen have turned to computers. The benefits that this paid off are described in a study Wednesday It appeared in Plus One magazine.

Researchers focused on the great scroll of Isaiah, the only complete scroll in the group dating back thousands of years. It contains about 950 texts that were first discovered in the 1940’s and 1950’s by a Bedouin at Qumran, a site in the West Bank. They checked a single Hebrew letter: aleph or “a”, which is repeated over 5,000 times. Using the latest artificial intelligence technology, it was found that the scroll came from the pen of two copiers with almost identical handwriting.

he met Heat maps They analyzed both the general shape of the letter and its subtle properties, such as its curvature. Two separate groups appeared in 54 columns. It could be seen with the naked eye that the “medium” letters were not identical. It confirms an idea that had been circulating for some time, which is that someone took over the work of a monk at a certain point.

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Heat maps were used to analyze individual characters. © Maarouf A. Dali, University of Groningen.

Since the two writers’ handwriting is so similar, researchers believe they received the same teaching of writing – in school or perhaps within a family. Although, of course, it is possible that the second writer simply imitated his predecessor.


The discoveries themselves may not be very flashy, but according to the researchers, the new method is groundbreaking. It enables them to learn more about the societies that spawned the Dead Sea Scrolls from other future scrolls.

“This is exciting, because it opens a new window into the distant past and provides insight into the complex connections between the writers who made the scrolls,” says study co-author Mladen Popovic. “Our next step is to analyze the other manuscripts and see if it is possible to find a book with a different instruction there.”

“We are now able to identify individual writers,” concludes Popovic. We will never know their names. But after seventy years of research, it seems that we can finally shake hands with them through their writing style. “