The Dead Sea Scrolls are one of the most important finds in biblical archaeology, and have profound implications for our understanding of Ancient Judaism and Early Christianity. Timothy Lim discusses the leading interpretations of the scrolls, and how they have changed the way we understand the emergence of the Old Testament.
- Introduces the historical and cultural context of the scrolls, through the archaeology and history of the Dead Sea region 2,000 years ago.
- Provides an accessible account of the leading interpretations of the scrolls, and how they have changed the way we understand the emergence of the Old Testament, Ancient Judaism, and Early Christianity.
- Discusses the scrolls' rise to the status of cultural icon, beginning with their discovery in the 1940s, to the political, legal, and scholarly controversies that still persist today.
- Navigates the ongoing scholarly debates over the archaeological site of Khirbet Qumran, the caves, and the marginalization of women
- Analyses the communities associated with the Scrolls and Essenes, the textual fluidity of the biblical texts, the formation of the canon, and the sectarian nature of early Christianity
- Part of the Very Short Introductions series - over eight million copies sold worldwide
New to this edition
- The Qumran-Essene theory that held sway in the last generation has been challenged by various scholars who have reassessed Roland de Vaux's interpretation of Khirbet Qumran, and the close link between the communities reflected in the Scrolls and the archaeological site. This edition discusses the alternate views to the Qumran-Essene theory
- Expands the discussion on the issue of 'canon', showing how the sectarian community did have an understanding of authoritative scriptures, forming a broadly bipartite canon of the Torah and the prophets
- Discusses the cultural significance of the Scrolls, including the most recent online digital projects
About the Author(s)
Timothy H. Lim, Professor of Hebrew Bible & Second Temple Judaism, University of Edinburgh
Timothy H. Lim is Professor of Hebrew Bible and Second Temple Period at New College, The University of Edinburgh. He has written several books and numerous articles on the Dead Sea Scrolls, including The Formation of the Jewish Canon (Yale University Press, 2013), and he co-edited The Oxford Handbook of the Dead Sea Scrolls (OUP, 2010), with John J. Collins. He is the General Editor of The Oxford Commentary on the Dead Sea Scrolls. Professor Lim is a renowned authority on Biblical and Jewish Studies and
recently delivered the Chuen King Memorial lectures at the Chinese University of Hong Kong in China.
"This very short introduction is an accessible book that arouses the interest of readers and teases their curiosity to learn more ... In his ability to synthesize and fascinate, Lim shows his almost thirty years of know-how in the study and teaching of the Dead Sea Scrolls." - Daniele Minisini, Review of Biblical Literature
"A very helpful, personal, and enjoyable introduction." - Emanuel Tov, The Expository Times
"Having read a number of books previously on this subject, I have a basic knowledge of the subject, but after reading Lim's book, I feel my knowledge has grown quite significantly ... A fascinating subject, treated with down-to-earth gusto, but with a reverence for the unique and astounding discovery it is." - Sandra Callard, On: Yorkshire Magazine
"impressively broad-ranging and useful" - Vulpes Libris
"Marvellously concise and elegantly written, this book is a masterful introduction to the main issues relating to the Dead Sea Scrolls. The Scrolls in a nutshell!" - John J. Collins, Holmes Professor of Old Testament, Yale a
"...an excellent, brief, but thorough introduction... Lim provides an authoritative guide to the contents and significance of the scrolls as ancient documents of major religious importance. That would be enough to ask, but he also provides a fascinating account of how these documents have played a role in modern copyright law and have become a focus for polemically tinged religious conspiracy theories. What a story!" - Carol A. Newsom, C. H. Candler Professor of Old Testament/Hebrew Bible, Emory University