New Book on the Dead Sea Scrolls

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(Timothy Lim) The Dead Sea Scrolls were found near the site of Qumran, at the northern end of the Dead Sea, beginning in 1947. Despite the much publicized delays in the publication and editing of the scrolls, practically all of them had been made public by the time of the fiftieth anniversary of the discovery. That occasion was marked by a spate of major publications that attempted to sum up the state of scholarship at the end of the twentieth century. A decade or so later, the Oxford Handbook of the Dead Sea Scrolls has a different objective and character. It seeks to probe the main disputed issues in the study of the scrolls. For indeed, many issues remain in dispute, despite the apparently impressive syntheses at the turn of the millennium. There has been lively debate over the archaeology and history of the site, the nature and identity of the sect, and its relation to the broader world of Second Temple Judaism and to later Jewish and Christian tradition. It is the intention here to reflect on diverse opinions and viewpoints, highlight the points of disagreement, and point to promising directions for future research.

The Oxford Handbook of the Dead Sea Scrolls ed. Timothy H. Lim and John J. Collins (Oxford: OUP, 2010) has just been published in the UK on the 28th of October.  The US publication will follow soon.  The book will be reviewed by a distinguished panel of scholars (Shaye Cohen [Harvard], Sidnie W. Crawford [Nebraska], and Eibert Tigchelaar [Leuven]) at the Society of Biblical Literature Annual Conference in Atlanta on Monday the 22nd of November, 9.30-11.30am (S22-134 in the program book).

Introduction: Current Issues in Dead Sea Scrolls Research

Timothy H. Lim and John J. Collins

PART I ARCHAEOLOGY OF KHIRBET

QUMRAN AND THE JUDAEAN

WILDERNESS

1. Khirbet Qumran and its Environs

Eric M. Meyers

2. The Qumran Cemetery Reassessed

Rachel Hachlili

PART II THE SCROLLS AND JEWISH HISTORY

3. Constructing Ancient Judaism from the Scrolls

Martin Goodman

 4. The Origins and History of the Teacher’s Movement

Michael O. Wise

5. Women in Qumran and the Dead Sea Scrolls

Tal Ilan

PART III THE SCROLLS AND SECTARIANISM

6. Sectarian Communities in the Dead Sea Scrolls

John J. Collins

7. The Classical Sources on the Essenes and the Scrolls Communities

Joan E. Taylor

 8. Sociological Approaches to Qumran Sectarianism

Jutta Jokiranta

9. Qumran Calendars and Sectarianism

Sacha Stern

10. The Book of Enoch and the Qumran Scrolls

James C. VanderKam

PART IV THE BIBLICAL TEXTS, INTERPRETATION, AND LANGUAGES

OF THE SCROLLS

11. Assessing the Text-Critical Theories of the Hebrew Bible after Qumran

Ronald S. Hendel

12. Authoritative Scriptures and the Dead Sea Scrolls

Timothy H. Lim

13. Rewritten Scripture

Molly M. Zahn

14. The Continuity of Biblical Interpretation in the Qumran Scrolls and Rabbinic Literature

Bilhah Nitzan

 15. Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek in the Qumran Scrolls

Jan Joosten

PART V RELIGIOUS THEMES IN THE SCROLLS

16. Purity in the Dead Sea Scrolls

Jonathan Klawans

17. Apocalypticism and Messianism

Michael A. Knibb

18. Exploring the Mystical Background of the Dead Sea Scrolls

James R. Davila

19. Wisdom Literature and Thought in the Dead Sea Scrolls

Armin Lange

20. Iranian Connections in the Dead Sea Scrolls

Albert De Jong

21. Was the Dead Sea Sect a Penitential Movement?

David Lambert

PART VI THE SCROLLS AND EARLY CHRISTIANITY

22. Critical Issues in the Investigation of the Scrolls and the New Testament

Jorg Frey

23. Monotheism, Principal Angels, and the Background of Christology

L. W. Hurtado

24. Shared Exegetical Traditions between the Scrolls and the New Testament

George J. Brooke

PART VII THE SCROLLS AND LATER JUDAISM

25. Halakhah between the Dead Sea Scrolls and Rabbinic Literature

Aharon Shemesh 

26. The Contribution of the Qumran Scrolls to the Study of Ancient Jewish Liturgy

Daniel K. Falk

27. Reviewing the Links between the Dead Sea Scrolls and the Cairo Genizah

Stefan C. Reif

PART VIII NEW APPROACHES TO THE SCROLLS

28. Rhetorical Criticism and the Reading of the Qumran Scrolls

Carol A. Newsom

 29. Roland Barthes and the Teacher of Righteousness: The Death of the Author of the Dead Sea Scrolls

Maxine L. Grossman

30. The Scrolls and the Legal Definition of Authorship

Hector L. Macqueen

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