Friday, December 23, 2011

I recently went back to the Discovery Museum's Dead Sea Scrolls Exhibit to view the oldest surviving parchment copy of the Ten Commandments. Totally awesome. Don't miss it.
--Lauren Yarger

The oldest and best preserved parchment manuscript of the Ten Commandments – the rules that are the pillars of morality and law in the Western world and which 3,500 years later were written into the civil and criminal codes of 12 of the original 13 US colonies – will be exhibited in New York City for the first time during the holiday season. 

Written in Hebrew around 50 BCE on a parchment that measuresjust over 18 inches by 3 inches, the Ten Commandments Scroll will be on view in the exhibition Dead Sea Scrolls: Life and Faith in Biblical Times at Discovery Times Square through Jan. 2 (the rest of the exhibit continues through continues through April 15 in New York, then moves to the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia).  The narrow strip of  parchment encapsulates and defines how men and women should work and live with each other and their faith in a civil and collaborative society. 

The scroll contains text from Deuteronomy 5 and is among the trove of early documents known as the Dead Sea Scrolls, a group ofapproximately 900 manuscripts discovered in a series of caves in the Judeandesert in the late 1940s and 1950s. 

The 15-day exhibition period of the Ten Commandments scroll is the longest that the Israel Antiquities Authority has allowed outside Israel because of the scroll’s immeasurable importance, its fragility, and its age.  Following the exhibition, the Ten Commandments scroll will be returned to Israel. 

Discovery Times Square (DTS) is New York City’s first large-scale exhibition center presenting visitors with limited-run, educational and immersive exhibit experiences It is located at 226 West 44th Street (between Broadway and 8th Avenue).

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Lauren Yarger, Bio

Lauren Yarger has written, directed and produced numerous shows and special events for both secular and Christian audiences. She co-wrote a Christian musical version of “A Christmas Carol” which played to sold-out audiences of over 3,000 in Vermont and was awarded the 2000 Vermont Bessie (theater and film awards) for “People’s Choice for Theatre.” She also has written two other dinner theaters, sketches for church services and devotions for Christian artists.

Yarger trained for three years in the Broadway League’s Producer Development Program, completed the Commercial Theater Institute's Producing Three-Day Training and produced a one-woman musical about Mary Magdalene that toured nationally and closed with an off-Broadway run.

In 2008 she was a Fellow at the National Critics Institute at the O'Neill Theater Center in Waterford, CT. She writes reviews of Broadway and off-Broadway theater with a Christian perspective for Reflections in the Light ( and is editor of The Connecticut Arts Connection. She also is a contributing editor for

She also reviews books for Publisher's Weekly and is a member of the National Book Critics Circle. She formerly was Connecticut theater editor for CurtainUp, a national theater web site bsed in New York and a reviewer for American Theater Web.

She also served as Executive Director of Masterwork Productions, Inc. and worked in arts management for the Bushnell Center for the Performing Arts in Hartford and the Hartford Symphony Orchestra.

She is a freelance writer and member of the Drama Desk, The Outer Critics Circle, The American Theater Critics Association, The League of Professional Theatre Women and The CT Critics Circle.

A former newspaper editor and graduate of the University of Missouri’s School of Journalism, Yarger lives with her husband in West Granby, CT and has two adult children.

Copyright Notice

All contents copyright © Lauren Yarger 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013. All rights reserved. For reprint permission, contact

Scripture from THE MESSAGE Copyright 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002. Used by permission of NavPress Publishing Group.

Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved.

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