The Genesis Apocryphon

Genesis Apocryphon (1QapGen), circa third century B.C.E.–first century C.E. Ink on parchment, Israel Museum, Jerusalem, Israel.

The Genesis Apocryphon is from the cache of ancient writings known as the Dead Sea Scrolls, discovered in 1946 by Bedouin shepherds in a cave near Qumran, in what is now the West. Eventually over nine hundred texts were discovered around Qumran between 1946 and 1956, including the oldest extisting copies of books of the Hebrew Bible. The Genesis Apocryphon, one of the many nonbiblical texts found among the scrolls, records a conversation between Lamech, son of Methuselah, and his son, Noah. Paleography (the study of ancient scripts) and carbon-14 dating techniques were used to identify the age of the documents. The scroll is written in Aramaic, the language of Jesus, on parchment—a material made from calf, sheep, or goatskin.

Genesis Apocryphon (1QapGen), circa third century B.C.E.–first century C.E. Ink on parchment, Israel Museum, Jerusalem, Israel.

Semitic tribe known since antiquity for being nomadic pastorialists.

A collection of Jewish texts (biblical, apocryphal, and sectarian) from around the time of Christ that were preserved near the Dead Sea and rediscovered in the 20th century.

A West Semitic language, in which most of the Hebrew Bible is written except for parts of Daniel and Ezra. Hebrew is regarded as the spoken language of ancient Israel but is largely replaced by Aramaic in the Persian period.

An archaeological site on the western shore of the Dead Sea, in modern Israel, where a small group of Jews lived in the last centuries B.C.E. The site was destroyed by the Romans around 70 C.E. The Dead Sea Scrolls were found in caves near the site and are believed by most scholars to have belonged to the people living at Qumran.

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