With a new year and new resolutions of saving money it is hard to spend more than $20 on anything other than daily eating habits.
Therefore, when Israel comes to your front door for the price of a Chick-fil-A combo meal, it’s time to trade in the waffle fries. One of the largest collections of the priceless 2,000-year-old Dead Sea Scrolls is now available to BYU students and staff for $10 off the original ticket price.
“Dead Sea Scrolls: Life and Faith in Ancient Times” is being displayed at The Leonardo in Salt Lake City.
Utah is one of 10 states in the U.S. hosting the scrolls because of the vast work BYU has put into finding, translating and preparing the scrolls for exhibition.
Over 600 objects from the Biblical to the Byzantine Period in Israel are included in the exhibit, many of which have never before been seen. Items such as weapons of war, stone carvings, jewelry and beautiful mosaics accompany the precious fragments of the scrolls. Even a three-ton stone from the Wailing Wall in Jerusalem has been transferred with the exhibit, where visitors can write prayers and send them to the actual wall in Jerusalem.
Donald Parry, BYU professor of Hebrew Bible, was instrumental in bringing the exhibit to Salt Lake City. Parry started his work with the scrolls in 1994 and has had the privilege of working on the actual scrolls in Jerusalem.
“It is magnificent,” Parry said. “I had hoped for the sun and the stars, but they gave us galaxies.”
This exhibit includes information on not only the books of the Old and New Testament, but on what life was like when they were written.
“It gives students the chance to see how the Savior lived and even shows what a home would look like at that time,” Parry said.
According to Parry’s book, “Illuminating the Dead Sea Scrolls,” the scrolls feature the world’s oldest extant Hebrew Bible, which is more than 1,000 years older than the King James Version. Found in the Holy Land, the scrolls and relics with them give an account of life at the time of the Savior and apostles.
“It’s a good exhibit for Ancient Near Eastern studies,” said BYU student Erik White. “There were a lot of pieces spanning different time periods.”
White explained the fragments of the actual scrolls and pieces from the Qumran, the archaeological site of the scrolls’ excavation, were only a small portion of the exhibit but said, “All in all it was worth the experience.”
For BYU students and faculty, this exhibit is available for only $10. “Dead Sea Scrolls: Life and Faith in Ancient Times” will run through April 27, 2014.
“The $10 is worth it,” Parry said. “Jerusalem has come to Utah, and everyone should see it.”
The museum is located at 209 E. 500 South in Salt Lake City and is open Sunday–Wednesday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Thursday–Saturday from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. You may contact The Leonardo for more information regarding the exhibit at (801) 531-9800 or visit its website here.