There are an increasing number of excellent reference works available for those interested in studying the Dead Sea Scrolls and Qumran.
While all of the major Bible Dictionaries will include entries on the Scrolls (see my Annotated Guide to the Study of the OT/HB), the primary reference work that is focused exclusively on the Dead Sea Scrolls is:
- , Encyclopedia of the Dead Sea Scrolls (2 volumes; Oxford University Press, 2000). With 450 articles by an international team of scholars, this work offers the most comprehensive critical synthesis of current knowledge about the Dead Sea Scrolls -- and their historical, archaeological, linguistic, and religious contexts. Written in non-technical language this reference work provides authoritative answers and information for all readers. Buy from Amazon.ca | Buy from Amazon.com.
Surveys of Current Research
There is a number of essay collections that provide "state of the question" essays on the Dead Sea Scrolls.
- The Dead Sea Scrolls after Fifty Years: A Comprehensive Assessment (Brill, 1998). This work provides excellent summaries of the state of scholarship on different aspects of Scroll research. Buy from Amazon.ca | Buy from Amazon.com ,
- The Dead Sea Scrolls at Fifty: Proceedings of the 1997 Society of Biblical Literature Qumran Section Meetings (Scholars Press, 1999). Another excellent summary of the state of scholarship on different aspects of Scroll research. Buy from Amazon.ca | Buy from Amazon.com ,
A new and up-to-date concordance of the Scrolls has recently been published:
- , The Dead Sea Scrolls Concordance, Volume 1: The Non-Biblical Texts from Qumran (Brill, 2003). This keyword-in-context concordance contains a new and consistent linguistic analysis of all the words found in the Dead Sea Scrolls. All keywords have an English translation and they are listed in alphabetical order rather than by verbal root, which makes the concordance easy to consult for the non-specialist Buy from Amazon.ca | Buy from Amazon.com
Commentaries on the Scrolls
While there are many monographs on individual Scrolls, Eerdmans has initiated the first commentary series devoted to the Dead Sea Scrolls called the Eerdmans Commentaries on the Dead Sea Scrolls (ECDSS). Only one volume (of a projected 16 volumes) is published to date:
- , Liturgical Works (ECDSS 6; Eerdmans, 2000). After a general introduction to the Qumran library and Jewish liturgical traditions, Davila then provides an introduction, translation, notes on the original Hebrew, and line-by-line commentary for each of the Qumran liturgical works. The following scrolls are covered: Festival Prayers (1Q34; 4Q505, 507-509); 4QBerakhot (4Q286-90; 4Q280?); Songs of the Sabbath Sacrifice (4Q400-407; 11Q17; Mas1K); Times for Praising God (4Q409); Grace after Meals (4Q434a); A Lamentation (4Q501); A Wedding Ceremony? (4Q502); Daily Prayers (4Q503); The Words of the Luminaries 4Q504, 506); and Purification Liturgies (4Q512, 414). Buy from Amazon.ca | Buy from Amazon.com
Some good bibliographic resources for the study of the Scrolls, as well as comprehensive bibliographies, are noted below. Youmay also check out my (modest) Dead Sea Scrolls Bibliography.
- A Guide to the Dead Sea Scrolls and Related Literature (Eerdmans, 2008). This is more of an annotated bibliography to scrolls research, than an introduction, though it is indispensable for anyone wanting to delve into the scrolls. Buy from Amazon.ca | Buy from Amazon.com,
- The Orion Center Bibliography of the Dead Sea Scrolls (1995-2000) (Brill, 2001). The fourth -- and most recent -- official Scrolls bibliography. Buy from Amazon.ca | Buy from Amazon.com ,
- , A Bibliography of the Finds in the Desert of Judah, 1970-1995 (Brill, 2001). The third official Scrolls bibliography. All entries are alphabetically listed, provided with an identification number, and systematically classified by topics and key words as well as by manuscripts numbers and titles. Buy from Amazon.ca | Buy from Amazon.com
- A Classified Bibliography of the Finds in the Desert of Judah, 1958-1969 (Reprint; Brill, 1997). The second official Scrolls bibliography. Buy from Amazon.ca | Buy from Amazon.com ,
- Bibliography of the Dead Sea Scrolls, 1948-1957 (Fuller Theological Seminary Library, 1958). The first comprehensive topically arranged Scrolls bibliography. You may be able to find a used copy from Amazon.ca or Amazon.com. ,
For up-to-date bibliographies on the Scrolls, see the Orion Center for the Study of the Dead Sea Scrolls website.