Today 16 of my long-time friends from the South Bay journeyed through our unexpected rain storm to San Diego to see the exhibit of the Dead Sea Scrolls at the San Diego Museum of Natural History in Balboa Park. Fortunately, my friend Larry drove me and two other people—and he says he really enjoys driving in the rain. I sure don't! We Californians are rain wimps, unlike you Washingtonians and Oregonians. The traffic was really tough—3 hours down with flooding in the Camp Pendleton area and 2 1/2 hours back, with rain the entire time, and bumper to bumper cars. We did have a nice lunch in the always crowded and worth it Prado Restaurant in the park.
The exhibit, however, was worth the long turn-around drive in the rain—and for those of you in California, it will only be in San Diego through December 31. I don't know where it goes next. I highly recommend a visit if you can possibly make it. It wasn’t the scroll fragments themselves I found the most interesting, but the whole exhibit including incredible photos of the Qumram area, artifacts, interactive displays, scenes from the digs in the 1940s and 1950s, other manuscripts, and the maps and information about the scrolls which I frankly knew little about. The local Barona Mission Indian tribe had actually funded the listening devices for the tour and we spent three hours wandering and becoming educated about this incredible archeological find. Incidentally, the link above has comprehensive information that you might want to explore yourself.
And there was a nice bonus in all this journey. I don’t get to spend quality time very often anymore with our old friends and the five of us in our car spent hours catching up with each other’s lives which would not have been possible if we had simply met for dinner someplace. Barbara had actually printed off an excellent recap of the finding of the Dead Sea Scrolls, the key players, and all the theories that abound about this find and she read it off and on as we drove down. Consequently, we were pretty well informed going in.
So, I’m pooped tonight but I keep thinking of the copper etched scroll fragments, the 10 Commandments and the Book of Enoch fragments. And I learned something I can’t believe I didn’t know, but then no one in our group knew either. They refer to the times as BCE and CE, which more or less refers to what I call BC and AC, but it means before common era and common era. Did you know that?