Monday, October 8, 2007

Archaeology and the bible 30 : The Nash Papyrus

The Nash Papyrus
About the Nash Papyrus

*The Nash Papyrus is a collection of four papyrus fragments acquired in Egypt in 1898 by W. L. Nash and subsequently presented to Cambridge University Library. They were first described by Stanley A. Cook in 1903.

*Though dated by Stanley Cook to the 2nd century AD, subsequent assesments have pushed the date of the fragments back to about 150-100 BCE.

*The papyrus was by far the oldest Hebrew manuscript fragment known at that time, before the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls in 1947.

*Twenty four lines long, with a few letters missing at each edge, , the papyrus contains the Ten Commandments in Hebrew, followed by the start of the Shema Yisrael prayer.


1 [ . I am Jalhwe thy God that [brought] thee out of
the land of E[gypt:]
2 [thou shalt not hav]e other gods be[fore] me. Thou
shalt not make [for thyself an image]
3 [or any form] that is in the heavens above, or that is in
the earth [beneath,]
4 [or that is in the waters beneath the earth. Thou shalt
not bow down to them [nor]
5 [serve them, for] I am Jahwe thy God, a jealous God
visiting the iniquity]
6 [of fathers upon sons to the third and to the fourth
generation unto them that hate me, [and doing]
7 [kindness unto thousands] unto them that love me and
keep my commandments. Thou shalt [not]
8 [take up the name of Jahwe] thy God in vain, for Jahwe
will not hold guiltless [him that]
9 [taketh up his name in vain. Remember the day of the
Sabbath [to hallow it:]
10 [six days thou shalt work and do all thy business, and
on the [seventh day,]
11 a Sabbath for Jahwe] thy God, thou shalt not do therein
any business, [thou]
12 [and thy son and thy daughter,] thy slave and thy
handmaid, thy ox and thy ass and all thy [cattle,]
13 [and thy stranger that is] in thy gates. For six days
did Ja[hwe make]
14 [the heaven]s and the earth, the sea and all th[at is
15 and he rested [on the] seventh day; therefore Jahwe
blessed [the]
16 seventh day and hallowed it. Honour thy father and
thy mother, that]
17 it may be well with thee and that thy days may be long
upon the ground [that]
18 Jahwe thy God giveth thee. Thou shalt not do adultery.
Thou shalt not do murder. Thou shalt [not]
19 [st]eal. Thou shalt not [bear] against thy neighbour
vain witness. Thou shalt not covet [the]
20 [wife of thy neighbour. Thou shalt] not desire the house
of thy neighbour, his field, or his slave,]
21 [or his handmaid, or his o]x, or his ass, or anything that
is thy neighbour's. [Blank]
22 [(?) And these are the statutes and the judgements that
Moses commanded the [sons of]
23 [Israel] in the wilderness, when they went forth from
the land of Egypt. Hea[r]
24 [0 Isra]el: Jahwe our God, Jahwe is one; and thou
shalt love]
25 [Jahwe thy G]o[d with al]1 t[hy heart ... . ].

1 comment:

David said...

thanks for the translation, was searching all over for that!