September 3, 2009 - In its most significant holding to date―and possibly ever―Azusa Pacific University acquires five Dead Sea Scroll fragments and a collection of rare biblical antiquities.
Joining Princeton University and the Oriental Institute at the University of Chicago, APU becomes only the third institution of higher education to own original Dead Sea Scroll fragments. These earliest known texts of the Hebrew Bible, dating back to roughly 150 B.C., were discovered in the caves of Qumran, east of Jerusalem, between 1947-56. Today, many of the estimated 15,000 known fragments are held in private collections. With this acquisition, APU can study, research, and share these fragments with scholars and the public while carefully preserving the history of Scripture.
Simply incredible. Many thanks goes to the university and the administration in being able to secure such a treasure. This is an acquisition that begins to solidify Azusa Pacific as a top rate academic institution and a place that serious about its scholarship.
If you had a chance to see the DSS exhibit when it was in San Diego, you have an idea of what APU has acquired and how rare this is. The scrolls are perhaps the greatest textual discovery in modern scholarship. The impact the scrolls have had on the development of texts, including canonical texts, is priceless. Having these five fragments at the university, where they can be preserved and studied, is an incredible opportunity for students and faculty.
Since these texts will have a central focus in my doctoral work, I'm blown away. Can't wait to see them in person.