04 Dead Sea Scrolls

04 Dead Sea Scrolls

September 7, 2015 is the last day for the Dead Sea Scrolls exhibition at the California Science Center in Los Angeles. For an even better visual experience and more value for the money, I recommend the Jerusalem 3D IMAX movie. You’ll see more things than if you personally visit Jerusalem. It’s available until October 28. And, of course, who wouldn’t be impressed by the space shuttle Endeavour?


Dead Sea Scrolls is called 死海古卷 (sǐ hǎi gǔ juǎn) or 死海經卷 (sǐ hǎi jīng juǎn) in Chinese.


死 (sǐ) is dead, 海 (hǎi) is sea, 古 (gǔ) is old, and 卷 (juǎn) is scroll.


Chinese character: 死
Chinese character: 海
Chinese character: 古
Chinese character: 卷
A name other than 古卷 (gǔ juǎn) meaning old scrolls is 經卷 (jīng juǎn), meaning scripture scrolls.


Once you know the 經 (jīng) character, meaning scripture, it’s time to learn 聖經 (shèng jīng), literally holy and scripture, meaning the Bible.


I bought the Dead Sea Scrolls exhibition book because absolutely no photography is allowed and I want to remember and understand more of what I saw. There were a lot of people at the exhibition and the line was moving very slowly. So go as early as you can.


I was surprised to see the size of sling-stones; they were as big as mandarin oranges, not the little skip rocks I had in mind. I was also impressed by the quality of the engraving on silver shekels; it is almost as good as on our modern quarters.



Chinese character: 耶
Chinese character: 路
Chinese character: 撒
Chinese character: 冷
Jerusalem is transliterated as 耶路撒冷 (yē lù sā lěng) in Chinese. From 耶 (yē) you can learn 耶穌 (yēsū), Jesus. With 路 (lù) you can learn 道路 (dào lù), the road or the way. 撒 (sā) is in 撒嬌 (sā jiāo), act cute, or 撒謊 (sā huǎng), lie. You can often see 冷 (lěng) in 冷凍 (lěng dòng), freezing.


撒嬌 (sā jiāo) is one of the Chinese expressions for which English has no single equivalent word. The way you say it in English depends on the context. I found this website that has great explanations about the term. Here’s the link: 撒嬌的英文怎麼說

Chinese character: 撒
Chinese character: 嬌Simplified Chinese: 娇


Tomorrow we’ll talk about the space shuttle!


Level 1

Little or no Chinese language proficiency

Look at the animated Chinese characters on this page and copy them on paper or try using a Chinese handwriting input method described to enter on your phone or computer.

Level 2

Able to translate from Chinese to English

經 (jīng) means scriptures. But it has other meanings. If you think daily scripture is 日經 (rì jīng) and monthly scripture is 月經 (yuè jīng) then you’d be totally wrong. Find out what these two terms mean.

Level 3

Able to translate from English to Chinese

So how do you say “I’m going to visit the Dead Sea for a week, and while I’m there I’ll read a scripture every day” in Chinese?

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