‘The Damascus Document’ Book Launch

Register here.

*The Damascus Document* Online Book Launch: with Steven Fraade, Timothy Lim, Vered Noam, & Lawrence Schiffman | 16 December, 10-11a EST

Join us for a discussion of the newest volume of The Oxford Commentary on the Dead Sea Scrolls, *The Damascus Document*, by Steven Fraade. Register here for the event, which will take place over Zoom on 16 December 2021, 10:00-11:00a Eastern Standard Time (New York). The event will include an introduction by the series editor, Timothy Lim (University of Edinburgh), a presentation by the author, Steven Fraade (Yale University), and responses from Vered Noam (Tel Aviv University) and Lawrence Schiffman (New York University). There will then be a time for questions from participants. We hope to see you then.

The Dead Sea Scrolls: The Light They Shed on Judaism and Christianity with Dr. John Collins

The discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls is widely regarded as the most important contribution of archeology to Biblical Studies in the twentieth century. The first lecture will ask, what are the Dead Sea Scrolls, who collected them? Are they the product of a marginal sect or representative of Judaism in the time of Jesus. The second lecture will consider some texts found in the Scrolls that are of special interest for Christianity, including one that speaks of a figure who is called Son of God.

To register go to The Dead Sea Scrolls: The Light They Shed on Judaism and Christianity.


Happening Now

The online symposium on the Scrolls and the Hebrew Bible.  It’s several hours long, so there’s still time to jump in.

Recently, scholarship has turned to the connections between material aspects of scrolls production on the one hand, and the production, redaction, and transmission of ancient texts on the other. One example in the field of biblical studies is the article by David Carr entitled “Rethinking the Materiality of Biblical Texts: From Source, Tradition and Redaction to a Scroll Approach” (ZAW 132/2020). This symposium will offer an exploratory conversation on the opportunities (and possible pitfalls) of enriching the study of the Hebrew Bible through more focused attention on ancient practices of creating and using scrolls. The interconnection of relatively recent theoretical movements (e.g., New Philology, sociological study of bibliography and New Materialism) and continuing analysis and collection of material evidence from ancient scrolls (especially from Egypt and the Dead Sea Caves) offers an opportunity to add precision to models for the formation and reception of (what would become) biblical texts by attending to practices surrounding their likely original material form—as parts of scrolls. Though pioneers in pursuing a ‘scroll approach’ were confined to limited descriptions from the Bible and later rabbinic literature, we now have a wealth of information from actual ancient scrolls and scribal practices from Egypt, Levantine sites like Deir ʿAlla, and especially the Judaean Desert (Qumran and other sites).

Scripta Qumranica Electronica

By combining two major databases (the digital images of all known Qumran fragments at the Leon Levy Dead Sea Scrolls Digital Library, IAA, Jerusalem, and the textual and linguistic data for all texts included in the Qumran­wörter­buch, Qumran Dictionary, at Göttingen Academy), SQE brings together scholars of the Scrolls and AI as well as database specialists on the one hand, as well as a broader public on the other hand. The highly customized and cutting-edge tools will enable scholars and students of the Scrolls (and more than 25.000 fragments) deeper insights than previously thought possible.

Check it out.  The site will go live and all its materials accessible for all around the time SBL meets in November.  For now, it’s information on the project only.

Joseph Lauer’s Roundup of Sources For the Latest Dead Sea Scroll Discovery

For the moment the ghosts of Moses Shapira and his Deuteronomy Fragment have been pushed to the sidelines as this morning, Tuesday, March 16, 2021, the IAA circulated English and Hebrew press releases over its insignia and those of other agencies. The release, titled “Thrilling finds have been uncovered by a challenging Israel Antiquities Authority operation in the Judean Desert Nature Reserve,” announced that “The finds include dozens of fragments of a biblical scroll from the Bar Kokhba period, a 6,000-year-old skeleton of a child and the oldest complete basket in the world” and “For the first time in approximately 60 years, archaeological excavations have uncovered fragments of a biblical scroll. The scroll, which is written in Greek, includes portions of the Book of the Twelve Minor Prophets, including the books of Zechariah and Nahum.”

The English release is attached hereto and I can forward the Hebrew release to any interested reader. The English release (titled “New scroll fragments uncovered in the Judean Desert Nature Reserve”) may also be read at the Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs site at https://tinyurl.com/jfyp5hck See also https://www.gov.il/he/departments/news/archaeology160321 [Hebrew]

As noted in the release, 47 high resolution pictures and three videos may be downloaded at the place in the release stating “Click here to download photos and video clip:” (The credits that should be noted if the items are used are also in the attached release.)

The pictures may also be accessed at https://tinyurl.com/be8uyctm or https://www.dropbox.com/sh/g00b6lw1po5qbe5/AADmYNw8kM8Vd2G2y-UFMiLxa?dl=0

The finds have received media attention, including at the following sites, and more will surely appear.

Among the Hebrew articles are:

Ha’aretz has taken advantage of the discoveries to publish three online Premium articles:

Zoom Lecture by James Charlesworth on the Dead Sea Scrolls

Via Joseph Lauer-

Why are the Dead Sea Scrolls so Sensational?
by Institute of Jewish Studies UCL

Lecture explaining why scholars concur that the recovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls is the most sensational discovery of ancient writings.

Date And Time: Thursday, 14 January 2021, 13:00 – 14:00 EST


About this Event: Since the early 1960s, Professor James Charlesworth has focused his research on the scrolls found in eleven caves on the western shores of the Dead Sea: The Dead Sea Scrolls. In this lecture, Charlesworth seeks to explain why scholars concur that the recovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls is the most sensational discovery of ancient writings. Throughout the world the perspective on Early Judaism and the Origins of Christianity have received a paradigm shift. Why? It is because of the startling and unexpected thoughts found in these scrolls that take us back to a time in the Holy Land from 200 BCE to 67 CE. How and in what ways, if at all, were John the Baptizer and Jesus from Nazareth influenced by the unique symbolic language in these scrolls?

You will receive the link to the event content in your order confirmation email, and in a reminder email before the event starts. Sign up here- https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/why-are-the-dead-sea-scrolls-so-sensational-tickets-134122777839

To Loot Or Not To Loot, in Helsinki, 10 Nov 2020

The Dead Sea Scrolls are one of the most important archaeological discoveries related to the Bible. But the (hi)story of their discovery by Bedouin, in the mid-twentieth century, is problematic and raises doubts as to their authenticity and provenance. Likewise, new manuscripts that surface on the antiquities market are dubious, and scholars have suggested that they should be ignored as they are unprovenanced, lest we become complicit in looting in trafficking. In this paper, I propose to go back to the early years of Dead Sea Scrolls scholarship in order to better understand if, how and why these scrolls were uncritically accepted. This, in turn, will help us figure out sound guidelines for handling and publishing such artefacts.

News from ‘The Lying Pen of Scribes’

Important message from Nils Korsvoll at UiA:

We would like to invite you all to tomorrow’s online Brown Bag Lunch seminar, 11.30 – 12:30, with the research group Claimed Pasts. We will be joined by Dana Ryan Lande, Postdoctoral Fellow, MF Norwegian School of Theology, Religion and Society (https://www.mf.no/ansatte/16206), who will introduce the topic: Media History, Narrative Unreliability, and the Dead Sea Scrolls: The Ethics of Provenance (Under-)Reporting.

The talk and discussion will be in English.

The lunch will be through Zoom, and please write and sign up at: nils.h.korsvoll@uia.no

All the best,
Claimed Pasts

Michael Langlois Interviewed about the Scrolls


Je réponds aux questions du magazine Science & Vie sur les manuscrits de la mer Morte contrefaits.

La nouvelle de manuscrits de la mer Morte contrefaits parmi les collections du Musée de la Bible à Washington est arrivée en France. Le journaliste Thomas Cavaillé-Fol a écrit un article à ce sujet ; j’ai répondu à ses questions, d’autant que j’avais déjà évoqué ces contrefaçons avec lui en 2017.

Vous pouvez retrouver son article ici.

Enjoy! (As the kids say).

Larry Schiffman Public Zoom Lecture on the Scrolls

Joe Lauer writes

Dr. Jim Davila noted the following ZOOM online Lecture “Reclaiming the Dead Sea Scrolls” to be given by Prof. Lawrence H. Schiffman, Thursday, July 16, 2020, 11:00 AM-12:15 PM EDT. Registration is required (see below). See “Schiffman lecture on the DSS” at https://paleojudaica.blogspot.com/2020/07/schiffman-lecture-on-dss.html

Prof. Schiffman’s website has the following at http://lawrenceschiffman.com/online-lecture-reclaiming-the-dead-sea-scrolls/


Thursday July 16, 2020
11:00 AM until 12:15 PM

This Zoom program will focus on how the texts of the Dead Sea Scrolls shed light on the history of Judaism and early Christianity. Registration required. An email with Zoom login details will be sent prior to the start of the program. Hosted by the Peninsula Public Library. The Peninsula Public Library’s site for the lecture is at https://tinyurl.com/yc449fzz where one can send e-mail notices of it to others. Its calendar of events is at https://tinyurl.com/ybqhacoc where there is a link for registration. The registration form is at https://tinyurl.com/y7e7hb2m