Understanding the Dead Sea scrolls: a reader from the Biblical archaeology review

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Random House, Aug 4, 1992 - Religion - 336 pages
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A groundbreaking anthology that demolishes the myths -- and reveals the true significance -- of the greatest archaeological discovery of our time.

Ever since their initial discovery in 1947, the Dead Sea Scrolls have aroused excitement, jealousy, and not a little dread among some who feared their contents might undermine the foundations of Judaism and Christianity. For more than 35 years the majority of scroll texts remained the intellectual property of an exclusive coterie of scholars. Recently, however, the Biblical Archaeology Review succeeded in breaking that monopoly.

This path-clearing volume is an illuminating assessment of what these texts reveal about a lost era in the history of two world religions, Christianity and rabbinic Judaism. Were the Dead Sea Scrolls written by the Essenes, an ascetic sect of Jews that may have included John the Baptist among its members? Is the Copper Scroll a secret map to the treasures of the Jerusalem Temple? In what way do these books prefigure the teachings of early Christianity? Additional chapters address the controversies surrounding the Scrolls' discovery and their long suppression -- including the possible role of the Vatican and charges of anti-Semitism on the part of a former chief editor of the official scroll publication team.

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User Review  - Jane Doe - Kirkus

Outstanding anthology, drawn in part from The Biblical Archaeological Review and The Bible Review, that serves as a complete primer to what biblical scholar Harry Thomas Frank has called ``the most ... Read full review

User Review  - W.G. Hulbert - Christianbook.com

Years ago, this was the first book I read on the Dead Sea Scrolls. Since then, it has become one of my most important DSS references. This is a great introduction. The story of the discovery, the ... Read full review


The Bedouin shepherds of the first discovery
Scroll jars

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About the author (1992)

Hershel Shanks is founder and editor of Biblical Archaeology Review and Bible Review and editor of Understanding the Dead Sea Scrolls, a collection ofessays. He is the author of Judaism in Stone and Jerusalem: An Archeological Biography.

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