The Dead Sea Scrolls Today

The Dead Sea Scrolls Today

The Dead Sea Scrolls Today

The Dead Sea Scrolls Today

Synopsis

Best-selling book on the Scrolls, updated to reflect current scholarship and recent debates

The premier Dead Sea Scrolls primer ever since its original publication in 1994, James VanderKam's Dead Sea Scrolls Today won the Biblical Archaeology Society's Publication Award in 1995 for the Best Popular Book on Biblical Archaeology. In this expanded and updated edition the book will continue to illuminate the greatest archaeological find in modern times.

While retaining the format, style, and aims of the first edition, the second edition of The Dead Sea Scrolls Today takes into account the full publication of the texts from the caves and the post-1994 debates about the Qumran site, and it contains an additional section regarding information that the Scrolls provide about Second Temple Judaism and the groups prominent at the time. Further, VanderKam has enlarged the bibliographies throughout and changed the phrasing in many places. Finally, quotations of the Scrolls are from the fifth edition of Geza Vermes's translation, The Complete Dead Sea Scrolls in English (Penguin, 1997).

Excerpt

More than fifteen years have passed since The Dead Sea Scrolls Today first appeared, rendering its title increasingly more inappropriate. the early 1990s were exciting and confusing times in research on the Scrolls: publication of fragmentary texts had resumed in earnest after too long a hiatus, articles and books appeared all the time, and conspiracy theories were rife but beginning to be debunked. Now, in 2010, more than sixty years after the first scrolls came to light and when all them have been published, it is possible to view from a larger perspective what has happened and to sketch the current stage in Scrolls research.

The second edition of The Dead Sea Scrolls Today retains the format, style, and aims of the first edition, and the same wider audience is envisaged. There seemed no reason to make changes in those respects because the reception the first edition received shows that the book served a useful purpose. It sold far more copies than anticipated and was translated into six languages (Danish, German, Italian, Japanese, Polish, Portuguese). the major kinds of changes in the second edition are these:

First, the information is updated to take into account the full publication of the texts from the caves and the post-1994 debates about the Qumran site, including the later dating of the sectarian occupation of it and the implications following from the revised chronology.

Second, the bibliographies at the end of the chapters have been enlarged.

Third, there is an additional section regarding information the Scrolls provide about Second Temple Judaism and the groups prominent at the time.

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