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The Dead Sea Scrolls Today


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About the Author

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).


In the fertile imaginations of some writers, the Dead Sea Scrolls have been the seed for imaginative (if not sound) speculation, resulting in such recent books as Michael Baigent and Richard Leigh's The Dead Sea Scrolls Deception (LJ 1/92) and Barbara Thiering's Jesus and the Riddle of the Dead Sea Scrolls (HarperSanFrancisco, 1992). In the wake of these books, VanderKam's sane appraisal of the Scrolls' saga and of current Scrolls scholarship, written on a level that is understandable to lay readers and others who are not specialists in the field, is especially welcome. In a balanced fashion, Bible scholar VanderKam addresses the major issues regarding the Scrolls: the circumstances surrounding their discovery and subsequent publication (and nonpublication); the identity of the Qumran group responsible for writing and collecting the documents; and the impact of the Scrolls upon traditional theories and beliefs. Recommended for seminary, academic, and public libraries.-Craig W. Beard, Univ. of Alabama Lib., Birmingham

Choice Magazine, Outstanding Academic Title (2010) From reviews of the first edition Commonweal
"This is the book for those interested in a sober, careful, and well-written account of the discovery of the Scrolls, their meaning, and the current state of research on them. A well-organized and highly readable account." Hebrew Studies
"An attractive book, easy to read, and with excellent photographs. VanderKam has rendered a much-needed service to the Dead Sea Scrolls by presenting such a thoughtful, well-reasoned, and balanced treatment." Church & Synagogue Libraries
"This is the book congregational libraries need to help readers put in perspective much that has come about as a result of the discovery of the Scrolls a half century ago." Journal of Biblical Literature
"Among the many books on the Dead Sea Scrolls, this one can be recommended as the best popular recitation of the history of the sites, of the texts, and of the scholarly process."

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