Digital Dead Sea Scrolls Available Online

A fragment of Isaiah from Cave 1, Qumran

In a giant upgrade to The Leon Levy Dead Sea Scrolls Digital Library, the Israel Antiquities Authority is making 10,000 multispectral images available to all via the web. The entire site has better searching, browsing and indexing. You can search by keywords, or browse by language, location (including cave-by-cave), or content. The scrolls are being [Read More...]

Apostrophe to Zion: New Meaning for a Dead Sea Scroll?

psalmscroll

I’m still enjoying Slacktacular August with a reduced blogging schedule, but I thought this was a fascinating little slice of the philology world that shows how scholars grapple with ancient languages and shifting meanings. In this case, it’s the Hebrew root “taph-bet-ayin,” which has various modern meanings: “to demand,” “to investigate,” “to prosecute.” The “Apostrophe [Read More...]

Geza Vermes, Biblical Scholar, Passes Away

vermes

I learned from Mark Goodacre’s blog that legendary Biblical scholar Geza Vermes passed away this week. Like many, I first encountered Vermes in the massive and important Dead Sea Scrolls in English, the most widely available edition of the Qumran texts. Later, I read some of his more controversial work on the historical Jesus. I [Read More...]

Conviction Upheld in Dead Sea Scrolls Identity Theft

golb

In yesterday’s news about the final stop for the Dead Sea Scrolls exhibit, I mentioned some of the controversy surrounding scroll scholarship. One of the more bizarre sideshows in the world of the DSS is The Sorry Saga of the Golbs. Raphael Golb is the son of scroll scholar Norman Golb, a man who has [Read More...]

Dead Sea Scrolls Heading to Boston Next

exhibits_dead-sea-scrolls_family-pointing-scales-weights

I wrote about the Dead Sea Scrolls: Life and Faith in Ancient Times exhibit when it visited Philadelphia last year. The scrolls still fascinate because they’re a kind of missing link between the closing of the Old Testament and the opening of the New, giving us a picture of some elements of Judaism as it [Read More...]

Frank Moore Cross, Requiescat in Pace

frankcross

It’s impossible to have even a cursory knowledge of the Dead Sea Scrolls without encountering Frank Moore Cross, who died last Wednesday at age 91 from complications from pneumonia. His work on Semitic languages and Canaanite myth informs a great deal of what we know about the development of Hebrew writing. Cross retired from a long and distinguished [Read More...]

Where Dead Sea Scrolls Go, “Controversy” Follows

4q321

From the moment word of Muhammed edh-Dhib‘s discovery in the Judean desert began to circulate in scriptural and archaeological circles, the Dead Sea Scrolls have been shadowed by controversies. As a subscriber to Biblical Archaeology Review throughout the sturm und drang of the “liberation” of the scrolls in the early 1990s, the Strugnell controversy, and the theories and [Read More...]

The Dead Sea Scrolls Come to America

I wrote some quick personal reactions to the “Dead Sea Scrolls: Life and Faith in Ancient Times” exhibit when I first saw it. Now my full article is up at the National Catholic Register. It’s a good exhibit, and if you’re in the Philadelphia region, you need to check it out, or check in this fall [Read More...]

Visiting the Dead Sea Scrolls in Philadelphia

dss-exhibit12

As I mentioned earlier, I spent my morning at the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia visiting the touring exhibit Dead Sea Scrolls: Life and Faith in Ancient Times. I have to write a news story about it for the National Catholic Register, but I thought I’d give you some quick impressions. First of all: see it. [Read More...]

Where I Am Today

DSS_header5

I’m in Philly visiting the Dead Sea Scrolls: Life and Faith in Ancient Times for a story in the National Catholic Register. I’ll post some initial reactions when I return, and a link to the story when it’s published. Here’s the official line: The Franklin Institute’s Dead Sea Scrolls: Life and Faith in Ancient Times [Read More...]