NASH PAPYRUS, a second-century (c. 150) B.C.E. papyrus fragment written in square Hebrew script, containing the *Decalogue and the *Shema. The Nash Papyrus was the oldest biblical text known before the discovery of the *Dead Sea Scrolls. A single sheet, not from a scroll, was purchased from an Egyptian dealer by W.L. Nash, secretary of the Society of Biblical Archaeology in England, and published by S.A. Cooke in 1903. The papyrus is of unknown provenance, although allegedly from Fayyum. The text of the Decalogue accords closely with the Septuagint of Exodus (20:2ff.), and must resemble the Hebrew that underlay the Septuagint translation
S.A. Cooke, in: PSBA, 25 (1903), 34–56; F.C. Burkitt, in: JQR, 15 (1903), 392–408; J. Mann, in: HUCA, 2 (1925), 283; W.F. Albright, in: JBL, 56 (1937), 145–76; idem, in: BASOR, 115 (1949), 10–19; M.Z.(H.) Segal, in: Leshonenu, 15 (1947), 27–36; Birnbaum, in: BASOR, 115 (1949), 20–22; F.M. Cross, in: JBL, 74 (1955), 148 n. 3.
Source: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2008 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.