From The Text of the Old Testament. By Ernst Wurthwein/Courtesy WM. B. Eerdmans Publishing
The Nash Papyrus, acquired in Egypt in 1902 by W. L Nash, was the oldest surviving biblical fragment before the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls. It probably dates to the second century B.C.E. The text— which comes from a liturgical, devotional or instructional collection rather than from a biblical scroll—comprises a version of the Decalogue (largely from Exodus 20:2–17, but in part from Deuteronomy 5:6–21) as well as Deuteronomy 6:4–5. The latter verses are the first portion of the Shema‘ (“Hear, O Israel, the Lord is our God, the Lord is one”), Judaism’s affirmation of the unity of God, which also appears in juxtaposition with the Decalogue in the tefillin from Qumran (see photos of the tefillin).