Missing Dead Sea Scroll `is found at last'

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The Independent Online
ONE OF the lingering mysteries of the Dead Sea Scrolls, the 2,000- year-old parchments that include the oldest existing version of the Old Testament, may have been solved at last

For years, rumours of a lost scroll have circulated, the discovery of which could be crucial to future Christian and Jewish scholarship. And now, according to an article published today in the respected Jerusalem Report news magazine, there are tantalising claims that a missing ancient parchment has come to light and is under lock and key in a Benedictine monastery in northern Germany.

Quoting from notes purportedly written by a now-dead monk who spent years studying the scroll in secret, the magazine says that a young Bedouin found it hidden in a jar in a desert cave in Jordan.

In the mid-1970s it was purchased by the Benedictines from a Jordanian antiquities dealer, after six years of haggling involving "huge sums". The order smuggled it into Germany, where they have been deciphering it, operating under a vow of silence. The monk's notes - made covertly during his research - have since fallen into the hands of a small group of people in Jerusalem, as well as a Hebrew transcript of the scroll itself.

The group has told the Jerusalem Report that the parchment, known informally as the Angel Scroll, is 6ft long, contains 1,000 lines and dates from the first century. The magazine, which concedes the story could be a hoax, has arranged for a copy of the transcript to be handed to a member of the 55-strong team of international experts studying the Dead Sea Scrolls in Israel.