Since their discovery in 1947, the Dead Sea Scrolls have become an icon in popular culture that transcends their status as ancient Jewish manuscripts. Everyone has heard of the Scrolls, but amidst the conspiracies, the politics, and the sensational claims, it can be difficult to separate the myths from the reality.
In this Very Short introduction, Timothy Lim discusses the cultural significance of the finds, and the religious, political and legal controversies during the seventy years of study since the discovery. He also looks at the contribution the Scrolls have made to our understanding of the Old Testament or Hebrew Bible, and the origins of early Christianity. Exploring the most recent scholarly discussions on the archaeology of Khirbet Qumran, and the study of the biblical texts, the canon, and the history of the Second Temple Period, he considers what the scrolls reveal about sectarianism in early Judaism. Was the archaeological site of Qumran a centre of monastic life, a fortress, a villa, or a pottery factory? Why were some of their biblical texts so different from the ones that we read today? Did they have 'a Bible'? Who were the Essenes and why did they think that humanity is to be divided between 'the sons of light' and those in darkness? And, finally, do the Scrolls reflect the teachings of the earliest followers of Jesus?
ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.
A very helpful, personal, and enjoyable introduction. * Emanuel Tov, The Expository Times *
Having read a number of books previously on this subject, I have a basic knowledge of the subject, but after reading Lim's book, I feel my knowledge has grown quite significantly ... A fascinating subject, treated with down-to-earth gusto, but with a reverence for the unique and astounding discovery it is. * Sandra Callard, On: Yorkshire Magazine *
impressively broad-ranging and useful * Vulpes Libris *
Marvellously concise and elegantly written, this book is a masterful introduction to the main issues relating to the Dead Sea Scrolls. The Scrolls in a nutshell! * John J. Collins, Holmes Professor of Old Testament, Yale a *
...an excellent, brief, but thorough introduction... Lim provides an authoritative guide to the contents and significance of the scrolls as ancient documents of major religious importance. That would be enough to ask, but he also provides a fascinating account of how these documents have played a role in modern copyright law and have become a focus for polemically tinged religious conspiracy theories. What a story! * Carol A. Newsom, C. H. Candler Professor of Old Testament/Hebrew Bible, Emory University *
1: The Dead Sea Scrolls as cultural icon
2: The archaeological site and caves
3: On scrolls and fragments
4: New light on the Hebrew Bible
5: The canon, authoritative scriptures, and the scrolls
6: Who owned the scrolls?
7: Literary compositions of the scrolls collections
8: Jewish sectarianism in the Second Temple Period
9: The communities of the Dead Sea Scrolls
10: The religious beliefs of the sectarian communities
11: The scrolls and early Christianity
12: The greatest manuscript discovery
Series: Very Short Introductions
Number Of Pages: 144
Published: 11th May 2017
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 17.5 x 11.5
Weight (kg): 0.14
Edition Number: 2
Edition Type: Revised