Reclaiming the Dead Sea Scrolls: The History of Judaism, the Background of Christianity, the Lost Library of Qumran

Reclaiming the Dead Sea Scrolls: The History of Judaism, the Background of Christianity, the Lost Library of Qumran

Reclaiming the Dead Sea Scrolls: The History of Judaism, the Background of Christianity, the Lost Library of Qumran

Reclaiming the Dead Sea Scrolls: The History of Judaism, the Background of Christianity, the Lost Library of Qumran

Synopsis

Controversy has surrounded the Dead Sea Scrolls ever since they were first discovered in caves bordering the Dead Sea. what is their true meaning? What revelations do they hold about Judaism and about the origins of Christianity? In this bestseller Schiffman lifts the shroud of mystery and conspiracy that has obscured their true meaning, proving that many of the scrolls have been incorrectly translated and misinterpreted.

Excerpt

T his book aims to correct a fundamental misreading of the Dead Sea Scrolls. For some forty-five years, the scholars publishing and interpreting the scrolls have focused almost singlemindedly on the scrolls' significance for our understanding of early Christianity. This is the first work ever written to explain their significance in understanding the history of Judaism.

This book sets before the public the real Dead Sea Scrolls, our most important collection of Jewish texts from the centuries before the rise of Christianity. Only through scholarly efforts to understand what the scrolls can teach us about the history of Judaism -- a project in which many of us, Jews and Christians, are now involved -- can we effectively learn what they have to teach us about the history of Christianity, a religious tradition that came into being only after these texts were composed and copied.

Only recently have scrolls scholars moved toward this latter focus, beginning with the discovery of the Temple Scroll in 1967. Since the release of the entire collection in 1991, prompted in large measure by public controversy and extraordinary media attention, scholars have increasingly tended to consider the scrolls in this light. Indeed, the writing of this book would not have been possible without open access to the entire collection, which has enabled me to include here texts never before discussed. At last, the Dead Sea Scrolls can be recognized for what they really were and are: the documents of various groups of Second Temple Jews whose writings were assembled by a particular sect inhabiting the Qumran settlement during the Hasmonaean and Herodian periods, about 135 B.C.E.-68 C.E.

Although this description of the corpus may seem obvious, its full implications for our understanding of both Judaism and Christianity have only recently been recognized. The popular press, however, is far behind the scholars, who despite disagreements on many specific matters of interpretation have reached virtual consensus on this central point. In fact, the media continue to provide a . . .

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.