11
The Dead Sea Scrolls Fifty Years On

For nearly a hundred years, starting with the 1850 excavations by the French scholar F. de Saulcy, archaeologists laboriously searched every corner of the Land of Israel, but their spades failed to turn up anything written on perishable material, leather or papyrus. Then suddenly, in 1947 on the arid shore of the Dead Sea, a Bedouin shepherd accidentally stumbled on the greatest Hebrew manuscript discovery in history. In a cave south of Jericho and about two miles north of the ruins of Khirbet Qumran, he found seven leather scrolls. They were 1, 000 years older than the most ancient Hebrew biblical codices previously known. Three manuscripts (an incomplete Isaiah Scroll, the War Scroll, and a Hymns Scroll) were purchased by E. L. Sukenik, professor of archaeology at the Hebrew University, and posthumously published by 1954. The other four (a complete Isaiah Scroll, the Community Rule, a commentary on the Book of Habakkuk and parts of an Aramaic paraphrase of Genesis) were acquired by the head of a Syrian Christian monastery in Jerusalem and entrusted to American scholars who edited the first three in 1950 and 1951. A few years later these scrolls were purchased by an anonymous buyer on behalf of the State of Israel and all the seven rolls from Cave 1 ended up in the Shrine of the Book, part of the Israel Museum in Jerusalem.

Between 1951 and 1956, the Qumran site and the neighbouring cemetery were excavated and ten more manuscript caves were identified. Cave 4 yielded tens of thousands of fragments and Cave 11 several further scrolls which were deposited in the Rockefeller Museum in East Jerusalem. To prepare the fragments for publication, the Jordanian archaeological authorities appointed Father Roland de Vaux, a French Dominican of the Ecole Biblique of Jerusalem, as chief editor. He in turn established a small international team of Christian, mostly Roman Catholic, Hebraists. They were faced with a monumental jigsaw puzzle of manuscript fragments. In the 1950s and early 60s the publication of the texts proceeded swiftly, but enthusiasm progressively abated. In 1967, the Six-Day War brought the fragments in the Rockefeller Museum under

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Jesus in His Jewish Context
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Preface vii
  • 1: Jesus the Jew 1
  • 2: The Gospel of Jesus the Jew I 14
  • 3: The Gospel of Jesus the Jew Ii 27
  • 4: The Gospel of Jesus the Jew Iii 40
  • 5: Jewish Studies and New Testament Interpretation 53
  • 6: Jewish Literature and New Testament Exegesis 68
  • 7: The Present State of the 'son of Man' Debate 81
  • 8: The Jesus Notice of Josephus Re-Examined 91
  • 9: A Summary of the Law by Flavius Josephus 99
  • 10: New Light on the Sacrifice of Isaac from Qumran 109
  • 11: The Dead Sea Scrolls Fifty Years On 114
  • 12: Jesus the Jew and His Religion 124
  • Abbreviations 139
  • Notes 141
  • Acknowledgements 187
  • Bibliography 188
  • Index of Names and Subjects 194
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