The Provo International Conference on the Dead Sea Scrolls - Technological Innovations, New Texts, and Reformulated Issues

Article excerpt

edited by Donald W. Parry and Eugene Ulrich. Studies on the Texts of the Desert of Judah, Vol. 30. Leiden: Brill, 1999. 711 pp. $184.00.

This impressive volume contains 43 articles which were read at the conference held on the Brigham Young University campus in Provo, Utah, 15-17 July 1996. The articles are placed under the following seven divisions: Technology, Editions and Analyses of Text, The Qumran Community, Calendar, Levi and the Priesthood, Messianism and Eschatology, and Wisdom and Liturgy.

In the first division there are articles about different technological innovations and tools that contribute in unique ways to the study of the Dead Sea Scrolls. Among those are imaging, DNA tests, and archaeological applications of Synthetic Aperture Radar. I found special interest in the article by George Brook about the Allegro Qumran Photograph Collection. John Mark Allegro, who became a member of the Dead Sea Scrolls international editorial team in the 1950s, was a keen photographer; as a part of his work on the scrolls he took many photographs. The significance of the Allegro collection rests in its information on the range of small details of significance to any scholar working on the manuscripts concerned.

The second division is devoted to editions of several texts. Among these are new published fragments of 4QSAMa (4Q51). In 1953 F. M. Cross published a portion of 4QSAMa in his important study, "A New Qumran Fragment related to the Original Hebrew Underlying the Septuagint," BASOR, Vol. 132 (1953), pp. 15-26. D. W. Parry presents here further work on this significant manuscript: 13 fragments of 1 Samuel 25:3-31:4. From the third section that deals with the Qumran community, I would like to note the learned methodological study of C. Hutt, "Qumran and the Ancient Sources." In the section on the calendar there is an interesting article about an astronomical measuring instrument from Qumran.

In the division on messianism there is a very important study of J. …