The realization that the Dead Sea Scrolls (DSS) contained portions of the Hebrew Bible was an unprecedented event for archaeology and biblical studies. However, understanding just how much the DSS can inform and shape our understanding of the Bible beyond the "biblical manuscripts" remains largely unknown. In The Dead Sea Scrolls and the Bible DSS expert James VanderKam explores the significance of the entire Scroll collection for the Bible and how it illuminates our understanding while also examining the "biblical scrolls" and their significance.
Each chapter brings readers up-to-date with the latest pivotal developments, focusing on relevant information from the scrolls and expounding their significance for biblical studies. This rich compendium from a distinguished scholar is essential reading for all who work at understanding biblical texts and their contexts within the ancient world. This volume is accessible for all readers, and makes an excellant introductory guide for students or additional reading for Old Testament and Jewish history courses.
The substantial value of the Dead Sea Scrolls for biblical studies is well known. However, it can be difficult to remain on the cutting edge of Dead Sea Scrolls scholarship. In this volume leading expert James C. VanderKam offers detailed summaries of significant ways in which the scrolls can enrich the reading and study of the Bible. Each chapter brings readers up-to-date with the latest pivotal developments, focusing on relevant information from the scrolls and expounding their significance for biblical studies. This rich compendium from a distinguished scholar is essential reading for all who work at understanding biblical texts and their contexts within the ancient world.
James C. VanderKam is John A. O'Brien Professor ofHebrew Scriptures at the University of Notre Dame and amember of the international team responsible for preservingand translating the Dead Sea Scrolls. His previous booksinclude The Dead Sea Scrolls Today andAn Introduction to Early Judaism (bothEerdmans).
-- North Carolina State University
"Written by one o the world's foremost authorities on Second Temple Judaism, The Dead Sea Scrolls and the Bible represents the culmination of a lifetime of devoted study of one of the most important archaeological and documentary finds of the modern age. In this single volume VanderKam explains the contribution of the Scrolls to critical issues in the study of Jewish and Christian scriptures: the authority of biblical and para-biblical books, scriptural interpretation and commentary, messianic hopes, and group controversies during the time of Jesus. Lucid and lively writing, careful textual analysis, and original insights combine to make this book a real pleasure to read."
James H. Charlesworth
-- Princeton Theological Seminary
"With typical succinctness and insight, Jim VanderKam presents a reliable introduction to the importance of the Dead Sea Scrolls for a better understanding of the Bible."
John J. Collins
-- Yale University
"VanderKam surveys not only the evidence of the Scrolls for the text and canon of the Hebrew Bible but also their relevance for understanding the New Testament. As usual, he is clear, thorough, and reliable. This will be a standard reference work for all students of the Bible."
-- Rice University
"With characteristic ease, erudition, and authority, James VanderKam expertly guides readers through the diffcult terrain of textual criticism and Scrolls controversies. In the end, the reader emerges with a clear and unbiased understanding of the true significance of the Scrolls for the field of biblical studies."
"It would be difficult to overestimate the importance of the Dead Sea Scrolls for understanding the origins, early interpretation and reception, and textual shape of the Bible. . . . James VanderKams brief volume provides an authoritative guide to this material. As a leading scholar of Second Temple Judaism, he combines careful attention to detail with a judicious eye for the overall picture. . . . A learned and readable tour de force. The work is careful but not pedantic, detailed but not fussy, wide-ranging but penetrating."
Journal of Ancient Judaism
"The importance of the Dead Sea Scrolls for the study of the Bible is undisputed. VanderKam provides a highly informative textbook, which not only introduces this field of study from the perspectives of the textual, interpretive, and canonical histories of the Hebrew Bible, but also presents the Dead Sea Scrolls as an important theological context for the New Testament."
Review of Biblical Literature
"This is a splendid contribution to the study of the Dead Sea Scrolls, lucidly written and generally accessible to readers of all sorts."
Journal of Theological Studies
"A valuable introduction for all novices in the field of the Dead Sea Scrolls."
Journal for the Study of the New Testament
"This volume will be extremely valuable for those seeking an introduction to this subject. It is written in a very clear style, whilst drawing on VanderKams deep knowledge of the field of Qumran research."
Congregational Libraries Today
"These essays provide a substantial overview. They are accessible and will enhance the readers understanding of the many ways in which these scrolls open windows on the world of the ancient Jewish community."
Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society
"Gives authoritative and up-to-date information on the Dead Sea Scrolls and the Bible. . . . It would make an excellent text for various courses on biblical backgrounds or on the Dead Sea Scrolls. . . . VanderKam is to be commended for making this significant information readily available to students of the Bible."
Reviews in Religion & Theology
"Short but very interesting book. . . . This is a worthy read into which VanderKam crams some of the most important contributions the scrolls have made to critical analysis. I would thoroughly recommend this book to all students interested in biblical interpretation."