Yesterday I did a Dead Sea tour. On the way to Ein Gedi, we passed Qumran and I spent some time speaking to my guests about the Dead Sea Scrolls that were discovered there.
Today I found out that Google has added a really great feature to their Digital Dead Sea Scrolls Project. If you’re not familiar with the project, basically, Google has teamed up with the Israel Museum to great a high resolution, digital version of the scrolls, for anyone to examine for free online. Recently they added a new feature, that allows you to roll over any verse and see several different translations of that verse.
I just love this project. Besides being a tour guide, I am also a Sofer Stam (Torah Scribe). I have always been fascinated by the Dead Sea Scrolls. Until Google launched this project, all I had access to were some pictures of parts of the scrolls that I have in different books and translations in other books. Any translation is, by definition, a commentary so this was a less than ideal way to study the scrolls.
Now I have access to high resolution images of the entire scrolls. The new translation allows me to see exactly which Hebrew words were translated and make my own judgement if I agree with the translation offered or not.
Google also recently added the Israel Museum to their Google Art Project. You can now see many of the artifacts from the museum in high resolution.
These new tools from Google are amazing for anyone who is interested in the history of Israel.