The Great Isaiah Scroll. This image is digitally encoded and is © Copyright 2021 Facsimile Editions Ltd. It may only be used or reproduced with written permission. See <a href="https://www.facsimile-editions.com/copyright/">Copyright T&C Facsimile Editions Ltd</a>

The Dead Sea Scrolls

Shrine of the Book, Jerusalem
ISBN 978-0-948223-26-6

PURCHASE (Full set)

£49,500

Available on back-order

PURCHASE (Sheepskin Parchment Edition)

£89,500

Only 1 left in stock

PURCHASE (Isaiah only)

£29,000

In stock

The discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls in 1947 was perhaps the most important find of the 20th century providing incontrovertible proof that the many biblical texts had been faithfully transmitted over the millennia – the Dead Sea Scrolls connect the texts of the ancient past with the present. The Great Isaiah Scroll, 1 QIsa, the Manual of Discipline, 1QS and the Habakkuk Commentary, 1QpHab are the largest and most significant Scrolls.

Facsimile Editions was given unique access to the images made when the scrolls were first discovered enabling them to make exact copies of the scrolls as they were when they were found in Qumran. More on the background to the scrolls is here and the story behind making the facsimile can be found here.

The Great Isaiah Scroll, 1QIsa

The facsimile of the Great Isaiah Scroll.  © Copyright 2021 Facsimile Editions Ltd. <small><a href="https://www.facsimile-editions.com/copyright/">CLICK HERE for Copyright T&C Facsimile Editions Ltd</a></small>

The facsimile of the Great Isaiah Scroll

The Isaiah Scroll is the only complete biblical book to survive among the Dead Sea Scrolls. Found in Cave 1 at Qumran in 1947, it dates from about 120 BCE.

The text of the scroll hardly differs from the version used today and demonstrates the degree to which the text of the Bible was faithfully transmitted over the centuries.

 

The Manual of Discipline, 1QS

The facsimile of the Manual of Discipline, 1QS. Image © Copyright 2021 Facsimile Editions Ltd. <small>To use this image please visit: <a href="https://www.facsimile-editions.com/copyright/">Copyright T&C Facsimile Editions Ltd</a></small>

The facsimile of the Manual of Discipline

The Manual of Discipline (also known as the Rule of the Community) embodies the rules of conduct which are additional to the 613 commandments found in the Pentateuch (Torah).

The rules of conduct regulated interpersonal relationships and matters of personal piety in a Jewish community which had apparently separated itself both geographically and ideologically from the more mainstream sects of Judaism in Jerusalem.

 

The Habakkuk Commentary, 1QpHab

The facsimile of Habakkuk Commentary, 1QpHab. Image © Copyright 2021 Facsimile Editions Ltd. <small>To use this image please visit: <a href="https://www.facsimile-editions.com/copyright/">Copyright T&C Facsimile Editions Ltd</a></small>

The facsimile of the Habbakuk Commentary

The text of the Habakkuk Commentary, also discovered in Qumran Cave One, is known by the Hebrew word pesharim, “commentaries.” These explanations often interpret the biblical text with reference to events in the writer’s own time, the recent past, or the near future.

The set of three facsimiles of the most complete Dead Sea Scrolls. Image © Copyright 2021 Facsimile Editions Ltd. <small>To use this image please visit: <a href="https://www.facsimile-editions.com/copyright/">Copyright T&C Facsimile Editions Ltd</a></small>

The set of three facsimiles of the most complete Dead Sea Scrolls.

Discovered in Cave 1 above Qumran near the Dead Sea in 1947, they are now in the Shrine of the Book, Jerusalem.

A further three fragments from Cave 4, now in the collection of the Jordan Archaeological Museum in Amman, are included with the scrolls (below).

Detail of the edge of a scroll which shows not only the precision to which the edges have been cut, faithfully reproducing the original, but also the sewing.  In 1948 the scrolls’ stitching was still intact and clearly visible in Trever’s original photographs, but in the years since their discovery, much of the stitching has been lost. The image shows the facsimile’s hand sewing which precisely copies the stitches of the original as they were in 1948.

Once sewn, the scroll’s edges were hand-coloured by artists.

Facsimile sewing. Image © Copyright 2021 Facsimile Editions Ltd. <small>To use this image please visit: <a href="https://www.facsimile-editions.com/copyright/">Copyright T&C Facsimile Editions Ltd</a></small>
Facsimile sewing. Image © Copyright 2021 Facsimile Editions Ltd. <small>To use this image please visit: <a href="https://www.facsimile-editions.com/copyright/">Copyright T&C Facsimile Editions Ltd</a></small>

Detail of the edge of a scroll which shows not only the precision to which the edges have been cut, faithfully reproducing the original, but also the sewing.  In 1948 the scrolls’ stitching was still intact and clearly visible in Trever’s original photographs, but in the years since their discovery, much of the stitching has been lost. The image shows the facsimile’s hand sewing which precisely copies the stitches of the original as they were in 1948.

Once sewn, the scroll’s edges were hand-coloured by artists.

The Fragments

Jordan Archeological Museum

Testimonia fragment 4Q175. Image © Copyright 2021 Facsimile Editions Ltd. <small>To use this image please visit: <a href="https://www.facsimile-editions.com/copyright/">Copyright T&C Facsimile Editions Ltd</a></small>

Testimonia (4Q175)
3.6 x 22.7cm (5.4″ x 9″)

Pesher Isaiah b fragment 4Q162. Image © Copyright 2021 Facsimile Editions Ltd. <small>To use this image please visit: <a href="https://www.facsimile-editions.com/copyright/">Copyright T&C Facsimile Editions Ltd</a></small>

Pesher Isaiah b (4Q162)
23 x 11.5cm (9″ x 4.5″)

Qohelet fragments 4Q109. Image © Copyright 2021 Facsimile Editions Ltd. <small>To use this image please visit: <a href="https://www.facsimile-editions.com/copyright/">Copyright T&C Facsimile Editions Ltd</a></small>

Qohelet (4Q109)
14.5 x 19cm (5.7″ x 7.5″)

Fragment 4Q162, Pesher Isaiah b, mounted in its specially designed museum-quality display. A display frame is provided for each fragment. Image © Copyright 2021 Facsimile Editions Ltd. <small>To use this image please visit: <a href="https://www.facsimile-editions.com/copyright/">Copyright T&C Facsimile Editions Ltd</a></small>

Fragment 4Q162, Pesher Isaiah b, mounted in a specially designed museum-quality display. A display frame is provided for each fragment 

The quality of the facsimiles of the Scrolls was such that Facsimile Editions was comissioned to produce facsimiles of Jordan’s scroll fragment treasures housed at the Jordan Archaeological Museum in Amman. Made to the same standard as the Scrolls, the level of realism achieved is truly remarkable.

The fragments are contained in a folder within the box and can safely be displayed in the specially-made three-layer museum quality Lucite frames which are cut to the exact outline of each fragment and engraved with a brief description.

The Edition

In total the edition is limited to 49 copies consisting of 42 complete sets on paper, three complete sets on sheepskin parchment and four consisting of the Great Isaiah Scroll alone.

The sets include fragments from Jordan’s National Museum. All have been produced to the identical quality and specification. A certificate of authenticity signed by the Publishers and the Dead Sea Scrolls Foundation accompanies each set.

The images used on this page are © Copyright Facsimile Editions Limited and are all taken from the facsimiles.

Letter from The British Library

The British Library, London

Several major libraries have acquired copies and praised their quality. The British Library commented “… we have not ceased to admire the extraordinary workmanship and skill … reproduced with amazing accuracy … tremendous authenticity”.

Presentation

The Full Set

Scrolls and fragments are contained within a hand-made cloth-covered archival case made by hand by one of the finest binders in England. Each scroll is rolled and interleaved with archival tissue and safely contained in its own compartment. The fragments are stored in an integral folder in the lid. The Scroll and Fragment titles are gold-blocked on skeepskin parchment labels on the lid.

Presentation case containing three Scrolls and three sets of fragments.  © Copyright 2021 Facsimile Editions Ltd. <small><a href="https://www.facsimile-editions.com/copyright/">CLICK HERE for Copyright T&C Facsimile Editions Ltd</a></small>
Presentation case containing three Scrolls and three sets of fragments.  © Copyright 2021 Facsimile Editions Ltd. <small><a href="https://www.facsimile-editions.com/copyright/">CLICK HERE for Copyright T&C Facsimile Editions Ltd</a></small>

The Isaiah Scroll

The Great Isaiah Scroll is also available on its own. As in the full set, the scroll is contained within a cloth-covered archival case made by hand by the same binder, one of England’s finest. The scroll is rolled and interleaved with archival tissue and it’s title is gold-blocked on sheepskin parchment on the lid.

The Isaiah Scroll and its presentation case.  © Copyright 2021 Facsimile Editions Ltd. <small><a href="https://www.facsimile-editions.com/copyright/">CLICK HERE for Copyright T&C Facsimile Editions Ltd</a></small>

Professor Yigael Yadin with one of the scrolls and two scroll jars in July 1958.

In rare footge, Professor Yadin describes the discovery of the scrolls and their significance to Judaism and early Christianity. Video courtesy of wysinfo.com

Professor Yigael Yadin with one of the scrolls and two scroll jars in July 1958.

In rare footage, Professor Yadin describes the discovery of the scrolls and their significance to Judaism and early Christianity. Video courtesy of wysinfo.com

The Vatican, Rome

The Vatican, Rome

The facsimile of the scrolls were featured at the heart of the Vatican’s Verbum Domini exhibition seen here (entrance at left of the Vatican).

Entrance to the Vatican's Verbum Domini exhibition featuring the Dead Sea Scrolls

Bibliothèque nationale, Paris

Set among 148 original manuscripts, the Bibliothèque nationale built a 7 metre display case specially for the facsimile of the Great Isaiah Scroll at their exhibition “Les secrets des manuscrits de la Mer morte”.

The facsimile of the Isaiah Scroll on display at the Bibliotheque nationale in Paris, France

Bibliothèque nationale, Paris

Set among 148 original manuscripts, the Bibliothèque nationale built a 7 metre display case specially for the facsimile of the Great Isaiah Scroll at their exhibition “Les secrets des manuscrits de la Mer morte”.

The Museum of the Bible, Washington DC

The facsimiles of the Dead Sea Scrolls and the Copper Scroll on permanent display at the Museum of the Bible in Washington DC

The Dead Sea Scrolls and the Copper Scroll on permanent display at the Museum of the Bible, Washington USA. Image © Copyright 2021 Museum of the Bible, Washington DC, USA <small>To use this image please visit: <a href="https://www.facsimile-editions.com/copyright/">Copyright T&C Facsimile Editions Ltd</a></small>
Weston Fields with Michael and Linda Falter. Photo © Ben Turner

Michael Falter, Weston Fields, Linda Falter, and the facsimile of the Great Isaiah Scroll.

Specification

The escarpment above Qumran showing Cave 4, where the largest cache of scroll fragments was found in 1954.

The escarpment above Qumran showing Cave 4, where the largest cache of scroll fragments was found in 1954.

Codicology

ISBN 0 948223 26X
The set of three Cave 1 scrolls and three Cave 4 fragments.

– 1QIsa – The Great Isaiah Scroll: 695 x 27cm (23 feet x 11 inches)

– 1QS – The Manual of Discipline: 186 x 25cm (73 x 10 inches)

– 1QpHab – The Pesher to Habakkuk: main part 143 x 14cm (56 x 5.5 inches) additional fragment 10 x 14cm (4 x 5.5 inches)

– 4Q109 – Qohelet fragments: 14.5 x 19cm (5.7 x 7.5 inches)

– 4Q162 – Pesher Isaiahb fragment: 23 x 11.5cm (9 x 4.5 inches)

– 4Q175 – Testimonia fragment: 13.6 x 22.7cm (5.4 x 9 inches)

Printing

The scrolls were printed on a specially prepared, neutral pH, vegetable parchment paper and four copies on sheepskin parchment.

Sewing

Using archival thread of the same diameter as that still holding parts of the scrolls together today, every stitch on every joint has been faithfully re-sewn and coloured by hand.

Cutting

The scrolls were cut to the precise outline as it was in 1948. All hairline cracks and holes, however small, have also been cut.

After cutting, the edges are coloured by artists by hand. Each stain and variation in colour is carefully matched so that the edges of the facsimile look 2,000 years old.

Edging

All the unprinted edges of the paper are painstakingly coloured by our team of artists using artist’s watercolours.

 

Two of the three Bedouin shepherds who accidentally discovered the first scrolls close to the northwest shore of the Dead Sea in a cave near Khirbet Qumran.

The Bedouin Shepherds Muhammed edh-Dhib (the Wolf) Ahmad el-Hamid and Jum’a Muhammed Khalil who, together with Khalil Musa, accidentally discovered the first scrolls close to the northwest shore of the Dead Sea in a cave near Khirbet Qumran.

Two of the three Bedouin shepherds who accidentally discovered the first scrolls close to the northwest shore of the Dead Sea in a cave near Khirbet Qumran.

The Bedouin Shepherds Muhammed edh-Dhib (the Wolf) Ahmad el-Hamid and Jum’a Muhammed Khalil who, together with Khalil Musa, accidentally discovered the first scrolls close to the northwest shore of the Dead Sea in a cave near Khirbet Qumran.

Printing

The scrolls were printed on a specially prepared, neutral pH, vegetable parchment paper and four copies on sheepskin parchment.

Sewing

Using archival thread of the same diameter as that still holding parts of the scrolls together today, every stitch on every joint has been faithfully re-sewn and coloured by hand.

Cutting

The scrolls were cut to the precise outline as it was in 1948. All hairline cracks and holes, however small, have also been cut.

After cutting, the edges are coloured by artists by hand. Each stain and variation in colour is carefully matched so that the edges of the facsimile look 2,000 years old.

Edging

All the unprinted edges of the paper are painstakingly coloured by our team of artists using artist’s watercolours.

John Trever photographing the scrolls. Image © John C. Trever PhD

John Trever set up his “studio” (full technical details) in the basement of the American School of Oriental Research in East Jerusalem on 21 February 1948. Image © John C. Trever PhD

Dedication

Each facsimile set can be personally dedicated by our calligrapher at no extra charge. Whether the facsimile is intended as a gift to an institution or a private individual, our calligrapher can inscribe a gift certificate with an appropriate inscription in any language.

Presentation

The scrolls and fragments are contained within a hand-made cloth-covered archival case made by hand by one of the UK’s finest binders.

The titles of the case labels are gold-embossed on parchment.

Each scroll is rolled and interleaved with archival tissue and housed in its own compartment.

The fragments are contained in a folder within the box and can safely be displayed in the specially-made museum quality Lucite frames.

The scrolls advertised in the Wall Street Journal on 1 June 1954
Wall Street Journal, 1st June 1954

Shipping, Packaging & Insurance

Price includes robust protective packaging, worldwide courier delivery by UPS and insurance.

International overnight service usually available at no extra charge.

Edition

The strictly limited edition of 49 copies comprises 41 numbered sets of the full facsimile and fragments on neutral pH vegetable parchment, four numbered sets on sheepskin parchment and four numbered copies of the single Isaiah Scroll.

A signed and numbered certificate, certified by Facsimile Editions and the Dead Sea Scrolls Foundation accompanies each copy.

Parchment Edition

Each fine parchment skin was selected from many hundreds to match the original. However, while each animal is unique and the colours may vary very slightly, the result is as close as possible to the original and should last as long! In order to get four perfect copies, many skins were lost.

The Facsimile set of three Dead Sea Scrolls and three fragments

£49,500

Available on back-order

The Facsimile set of three Dead Sea Scrolls and three fragments – Sheepskin Parchment

£89,500

Only 1 left in stock

The Isaiah Scroll Facsimile

£29,000

In stock

Historical Background

Discovered inadvertently by Bedouins in 1947, the Dead Sea Scrolls are the most important archaeological find of the twentieth century. Mystery and intrigue surrounded their acquisition and there are many accounts of their subsequent ‘wanderings’ as they continued to change hands after their discovery.

While many of the manuscripts have suffered the ravages of time the ancient people who hid the scrolls in the caves sealed some of them in clay jars, often wrapped in linen covers to help preserve them. The skins of most of the Dead Sea Scrolls are leather or parchment, light brown or yellowish in colour. The finest scrolls are almost white. The scrolls are believed to have been treated with salt and flour to remove the hair, and tanned with gall-nut liquid that was lightly brushed on or sprinkled over both surfaces of the skin. Most of the scrolls were written with carbon ink (powdered charcoal) which was fairly easy to erase. Yigael Yadin established that the Dead Sea scrolls generally conform to the later Talmudic rules for the writing of sacred scrolls.

The first seven scrolls came into the hands ofantiquities dealers who offered them to scholars. The first to recognise their antiquity was Professor Eleazar Sukenik, father of Yigael Yadin, who succeeded in acquiring three of them for the Hebrew University. Between 1948 and 1950 he published specimens from them.

Sukenik recollected, “My hands shook as I started to unwrap one of them. I read a few sentences. It was written in beautiful biblical Hebrew. The language was like that of the Psalms, but the text was unknown to me. I looked and looked, and I suddenly had the feeling that I was privileged by destiny to gaze upon a Hebrew scroll which had not been read for more than 2,000 years.”

Four other scrolls, sold by the Bedouin to the Bethlehem antiquities dealer Kando (who in turn sold them to Mar Athaniasius Samuel, the Archbishop of the Syrian Orthodox Christian community), were independently recognized as ancient and photographed by Dr John Trever and Dr William Brownlee in Jerusalem in 1948. Mar Samuel brought them to the United States where they were exhibited first in 1949. Photographs of two were published in 1950: the Great Isaiah Scroll and the Commentary on Habakkuk. Photographs of the Manual of Discipline were published in 1951. After being offered for sale in the Wall Street Journal on 1st June 1954, the Government of Israel, with the help of a donation from Samuel Gottesman, purchased the scrolls which are now housed in the Shrine of the Book in Jerusalem.

In 1949 Gerald Lankester Harding and Father Roland de Vaux excavated Qumran Cave 1 and found fragments from seventy more original scrolls. Between 1951 and 1962 tens of thousands of additional scroll fragments were discovered, mostly by Bedouin, in ten more caves near Qumran and in several other locations in the Judaean Desert. It has taken 60 years to publish this vast collection.

After the Six-Day War in 1967, Yadin obtained the Temple Scroll. Subsequently, the major collections from Qumran Caves 2-11 and the Rockefeller Museum came under the control of the Israel Department of Antiquities. The only major scroll not in Jerusalem was the Copper Scroll and other scroll fragments which are displayed in the National Archaeological Museum of Jordan.

Kando, the antiquities dealer in his shop.

Kando, the antiquities dealer

The story behind the first, and only, full-size, museum quality facsimiles of the three most important Dead Sea Scrolls

On the 8th November 2006, we received an email from Dr Weston Fields, Director of the Dead Sea Scrolls Foundation in Jerusalem with a conundrum. An exhibition centred on the Dead Sea Scrolls was to open in Seoul. The organisers had hoped that the Israel Antiquities Authority would be willing to loan their most treasured scrolls and fragments for this exhibition but their negotiations had been unsuccessful. The Koreans were facing the prospect of an exhibition without any scrolls. Could Facsimile Editions help?

Our approach to challenges has always been “the answer is yes – whatever the question”. We readily offered our expertise and began researching the new techniques and materials that would be needed to produce museum quality facsimile scrolls of unquestioned realism so as not to disappoint the anticipated two million visitors to the exhibition.

The Great Isaiah Scroll is approximately seven metres (23 feet) long and is made up of 17 parchment sheets, sewn end to end. The scroll’s edges are damaged, some of the sewing is missing and there are many hairline cracks and holes. The complex matter of reproducing material written some 2,100 years earlier was about to lead us on a fascinating adventure.

Dr Fields explained that the scrolls had been photographed in 1948 in Jerusalem soon after their discovery by John Trever, an accomplished photographer, and William Brownlee, both young American post-doctoral fellows at the American School of Oriental Research.

The knowledge of the existence of these images was especially important since it meant that if they could be obtained it would be possible to reproduce the Scrolls exactly as they were when they were found in 1947.

The original photographs, now owned by John Trever’s family and stored in a vault in the USA, were taken by hand to Milan, Italy, where they were scanned and immediately returned to the USA. As the scrolls were moved frequently and handled and stored in less than ideal conditions in the early years after their discovery, most of the original stitches have been lost. Crucially, however, while every detail of the text was clearly apparent, the original sewing was also still discernible.

Making the facsimile

Once scanned, the painstaking work of colour separation, colour correction and printing could begin and preparations began on formulating a special paper to closely replicate the feel and texture of the scrolls’ parchment.

Once printed, lasers cut the scrolls’ precise outlines, tiny holes and hairline cracks. The parchment is buckled. Over the millenia, holes and blemishes have appeared in the scrolls and the parchment has reacted to the many changes in temperature and humidity. Reproducing the cockling was challenging but a process was developed that buckled the paper so realistically that it is hard to tell the facsimiles from the originals. To complete the process, the edges of the scrolls were meticulously coloured by hand by our artists. A magnifier is required to distinguish these printed scrolls from the originals!

Seeing the scrolls’ stitches in perfect detail presented us with an irresistible challenge to precisely copy the stitches too. Each stitch is sewn by hand using a specially dyed linen thread, further enhancing the accuracy, authentic feel and appearance of the facsimile scrolls.

Facsimile Editions’ copies of the Dead Sea Scrolls have drawn hundreds of thousands of visitors to numerous exhibitions around the world. While the originals are safely stored and never on display in their entirety, let alone in sufficiently brightly lit displays, the facsimiles are made to be used, displayed and studied.

The Isaiah Scroll on display at the Vatican's Verbum Domini exhibition. Note the column-by-column translation above the scroll

The imaginative display of The Great Isaiah Scroll at the Vatican’s Verbum Domini exhibition where a column-by-column translation was displayed above the facsimile.

The Facsimile set of three Dead Sea Scrolls and three fragments

£49,500

The Isaiah Scroll Facsimile

£29,000

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