The Dead Sea Scrolls and German Scholarship: Thoughts of an Englishman Abroad

George Brooke is the author of this little work.  If you click the ‘look inside’ box it will give you all the details you need.

In this slight but sprite and bright little volume, George Brooke, a world renowned expert on the Dead Sea Scrolls and related things, tells the story, in 26 pages, of an English scholar’s thoughts of German scholarship on Hebrew and Aramaic documents from antiquity.

The volume opens with a preface, or really a greeting, in German, to attendees of the conference where these lectures were first delivered and to readers of the series in which this little volume belongs.  This is followed by an introduction, in German, of George, who offers the lectures here enclosed.

Then Brooke launches into the lectures (in English) which honor the memory of the great Julius Wellhausen.  In the pages that follow, Brooke traces the legacy of German scholarship on the Scrolls.  After describing Joerg Frey’s historical survey, Brooke describes the Post-War era and the German scholars who first did serious work on the Scrolls.

Brooke then moves to describe German contributions to the study of the Dead Sea Scrolls after German reunification.  Chief among these contributions are manuscript reconstruction.  Here the Germans, and their meticulousness, excelled.  Brooke opines

Hartmut Stegemann’s method for the reconstruction of manuscripts is a magisterial contribution to the understanding of the Dead Sea Scrolls from the point of view of their material culture.  Here is a facet of the technical excellence of German scholarship at its best… (p. 12).

The follows Brooke’s effusive look into the implications of the Scrolls for study of the Old Testament and the German aid lent to that enterprise.

Finally, in the closing pages, Brooke talks about the outlook of Scrolls scholarship in the future.

It is clear that the German contribution to Dead Sea Scrolls scholarship in the years to come will continue to be very considerable (p. 24).


The little volume closes with a bibliography.  And though small, it is weighty and worthwhile.   And therefore highly recommended.