Friday, October 04, 2013

1,173 Year Old Jewish Prayer Book Discovered

Foxnews: Rare Jewish prayer book predates oldest known Torah scroll

The prayer book, dating to 840 CE (or AD) is the oldest known complete Jewish prayer book, 400 years older than the oldest known complete Torah scroll.

Scholars are calling a rare Hebrew text dating back to the 9th century the earliest known Jewish prayer book, predating the world's oldest Torah scroll.

The 50-page book is 4.3 inches tall and about 4 inches wide and is written in an archaic form of Hebrew, on pages of aged parchment. The text includes 100 Jewish blessings and discusses topics such as the apocalyptic tale of the End Times and the Passover Seder.

Carbon testing dates the prayer book to the year 840, which is 300 to 400 years before the oldest known Torah scroll from the 12th and 13th centuries.

The prayer book was found in the Green Collection by the Green Scholars Initiative, but the article doesn't have any information on its provenance other than it was found "among other items from the Green collection". Hopefully, there's some record as to where and from whom it was obtained to become a part of the collection.

The news release lays out the chapters of the book, which include morning prayers, the Passover Seder, and some very interesting and unique sections such a poetic version of the Book of Zerubabbel and a unique section entitled "Salvation in Zion". One hopes they will translate this work, as it should be a fascinating look at an ancient prayer book.

The discovery of an intact 1,173 year old prayer book and the historic continuity it represents, as many of the prayers in it are still prayed today, is fascinating indeed.


Old NFO said...

That is great news, and an outstanding find!

Aaron said...

Yep, I can't wait for more details about it to be released. Should be quite interesting.