In his parable of the unrighteous steward, Jesus referred to the practice of recording business transactions in a written agreement. (Lu 16:6, 7) The papyrus document shown here is written in Aramaic and is dated to about 55 C.E. It was found in a cave located in Wadi Murabbaat, a dry riverbed in the Judean Desert. The document describes the debt and the terms of repayment agreed to by Absalom son of Hanin and Zechariah son of Jehohanan. This type of document may have come to mind when people heard Jesus’ illustration.
Courtesy of The Leon Levy Dead Sea Scrolls Digital Library; IAA, photo: Shai Halevi