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New Book: The Dead Sea Scrolls: What Have We Learned?

7th June 2006

DSS_WhatLearned.jpgI am quite excited about this new book on the Dead Sea Scrolls:

The Dead Sea Scrolls: What Have We Learned?, Eileen M. Schuller (Louisville: Westminster John Knox, 2006; Buy from Amazon.ca | Buy from Amazon.com).

Dr. Eileen Schuller is Professor of Religious Studies at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario. She is a long-time member and former President of the Canadian Society of Biblical Studies and one of the leaders in translating, editing, and publishing the Dead Sea Scrolls. She has published a number of excellent works and was an associate editor of The Encyclopedia of the Dead Sea Scrolls (Oxford University Press, 2000; Buy from Amazon.ca | Buy from Amazon.com). Most importantly, Schuller is a careful, balanced, scholar.

The blurb from the publisher has this to say about the work:

Beginning with the question, What have we learned from the Dead Sea Scrolls after 50 years of study, this book does not intend to present brand new discoveries, but rather presents a discovery made 50 years ago that everyone has heard at least something about already, and so takes the reader through the past 50 years decade by decade, highlighting key evenets and accomplishments in scrolls scholarship. The core chapters concentrate on a specific area where the scrolls have made a distinctive contribution in how we think about key questions in the development of early Judaism and early Christianity. In each chapter a few specific passages are discussed, so that the reader can become familiar with the actual text of the scrolls themselves.

The only thing I don’t get about the blurb is that it talks about the discovery made 50 years ago; the Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered in 1947 — doesn’t that make it almost 60 years ago?

Here is the table of contents for the book:

  1. Fifty Years Plus: A Survey Decade-by-Decade
  2. What Have We Learned About Scripture?
  3. What Have We Learned About Prayer and Worship?
  4. What Have We Learned About Women?
  5. Looking to the Future

This would be an excellent companion to one of the standard introductions to the Dead Sea Scrolls (See my “Annotated Guide to the Study of the Dead Sea Scrolls” for more resources).

Oh, yeah, did I happen to mention that Eileen Schuller was my examiner for my doctoral comprehensive on the Dead Sea Scrolls and is on my dissertation committee?


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