The Ancient Library of Qumran and Modern Biblical Studies

The Ancient Library of Qumran and Modern Biblical Studies

The Ancient Library of Qumran and Modern Biblical Studies

The Ancient Library of Qumran and Modern Biblical Studies

Excerpt

The study of the scrolls and fragments of scrolls from the wilderness of the Dead Sea has barely begun. Only a small part of the fund of discoveries is published. Although much of the unpublished material will duplicate or confirm what already is known or suspected, there is much which is of revolutionary import. Positions which must be won now by complicated combinations of bits and tatters of evidence will automatically establish themselves once the vast corpus is laid out for all to see. Certain new documents will sweep away much of the flatulent nonsense now swelling the secondary literature on the scrolls, delivering sober scholars from the burden of continuing controversy, or rather freeing them to enter into new debates.

The time has not yet come, obviously, when it is possible or desirable to attempt total, much less final syntheses in the several major areas of Qumrân research. Nevertheless, Qumrân studies are ready to enter into a new phase. It is not too early to discern some of the coherent patterns emerging from the mass of fact accumulated by a decade of discoveries in the wilderness of Judah. And it is time to lay many of the early discussions to rest. The combination of newly found and partially published documentary material and the results of . . .

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