A Very Short Introduction:The Dead Sea Scrolls – Timothy Lim

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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.

  • Introduces the historical and cultural context of the scrolls, through the archaeology and history of the Dead Sea region 2,000 years ago.
  • Provides an accessible account of the leading interpretations of the scrolls, and how they have changed the way we understand the emergence of the Old Testament, Ancient Judaism, and Early Christianity.
  • Discusses the scrolls' rise to the status of cultural icon, beginning with their discovery in the 1940s, to the political, legal, and scholarly controversies that still persist today.
  • Navigates the ongoing scholarly debates over the archaeological site of Khirbet Qumran, the caves, and the marginalization of women
  • Analyses the communities associated with the Scrolls and Essenes, the textual fluidity of the biblical texts, the formation of the canon, and the sectarian nature of early Christianity
  • Part of the Very Short Introductions series - over eight million copies sold worldwide

New to this Edition:

  • The Qumran-Essene theory that held sway in the last generation has been challenged by various scholars who have reassessed Roland de Vaux's interpretation of Khirbet Qumran, and the close link between the communities reflected in the Scrolls and the archaeological site. This edition discusses the alternate views to the Qumran-Essene theory
  • Expands the discussion on the issue of 'canon', showing how the sectarian community did have an understanding of authoritative scriptures, forming a broadly bipartite canon of the Torah and the prophets
  • Discusses the cultural significance of the Scrolls, including the most recent online digital projects
More Information
Pages 168
Publication Date 2017
Publisher Oxford University Press
ISBN 9780198779520
Binding Paperback
Author Timothy Lim
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