The book of Ben Sira

This manuscript changed the course of scholarship. It prompted Schechter to travel to Cairo and retrieve the contents of the Genizah.  The book of Ben Sira, known in Christian circles as Ecclesiasticus, was composed in the 2nd century BCE, but doubts about its sanctity led to its exclusion from the Hebrew Bible and the loss of its Hebrew text in the Middle Ages. In Solomon Schechter’s day, the oldest known version was in Greek, and some questioned the existence of a Hebrew original. When Schechter saw that this manuscript preserved a copy of the original text, he made plans to track down its source in Cairo.

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