The Dead Sea Scrolls: A Very Short Introduction
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?
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LibraryThing ReviewUser Review - stillatim - LibraryThing
Not an ideal topic for a VSI, as the organization of this book makes clear: a bit on modern myths over the DSS; a bit on how they were discovered; a bit on the social context of the DSS; a tiny bit on ... Read full review
The Dead Sea Scrolls as cultural icon
The archaeological site and caves
On scrolls and fragments
New light on the Hebrew Bible
The canon authoritative scriptures and the scrolls
Who owned the scrolls?
Literary compositions of the scrolls collections
Jewish sectarianism in the Second Temple period
The religious beliefs of the sectarian communities
The scrolls and early Christianity
The greatest manuscript discovery
Very Short Introduction
The communities of the Dead Sea Scrolls