Researchers Have Found the Oldest Known Manuscript of Leviticus

How the En-Gedi Scroll Confirms the Accuracy of Textual Transmission of the Bible

How do we know that the Bible we read today is what was originally written? Has the text been corrupted? A recent discovery along with significant advances in imaging technology reveal the earliest known fragment of Leviticus (1:3). Here’s a short video explaining how this works. But the bottom line is that this should increase your confidence in the Bible.

(Photo credits WSJ and University of Kentucky)

The Text Has Not Changed

“For decades, an object much like a burnt stick sat in storage in Israel, awaiting the day when its secrets could be divined. Now researchers have revealed that the blackened object is one of the oldest known copies of a text fundamental to both Jews and Christians. Hidden within the charred manuscript are verses from the sacred text called the Five Books of Moses. Also known collectively as the Torah, they are the foundation of Judaism and also integral to Christianity’s Old Testament. To scholars’ astonishment, the newly divulged text is exactly the same, in both letters and format, as text in modern Torah scrolls read by most Jews now. The burnt manuscript dates to the 3rd or 4th century, according to chemical dating…. Emanuel Tov of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem said: “This is quite amazing for us, that in 2,000 years, this text has not changed.”” (read the rest here)


Despite the skepticism you may run into online or in the classroom, you can trust the text! Want a quick read on how we know the biblical text has not been corrupted? Here’s a more detailed case for why you can trust the Bible.


Is the Old Testament Reliable?

Read more on these articles about the En Gedi scroll at the Wall Street Journal and USA Today.