A reflection on the significance of the Dead Sea Scrolls

Significance of the Dead Sea ScrollsWhat better time to reflect on the significance of the Dead Sea Scrolls than now, soon after celebrating their 70th anniversary? This corpus of ancient manuscripts has awakened immense interest, spawned an entire new field of scholarship, and reshaped our understanding of biblical studies, the history of Judaism and the background of Christianity. The scrolls have been at the center of their share of intrigue, legal action and even humor. Exhibits such as that taking place right now in Denver, under the auspices of the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA), are more than ample evidence of the tremendous interest in the scrolls. But how many people can actually explain what the scrolls are and what they should mean to us?

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The Dead Sea Scrolls at 70

Exciting new developments point toward future progress

Dead Sea Scrolls at 70The field of Dead Sea Scrolls is never without important new developments. At the recent conference, “The Dead Sea Scrolls at Seventy: Clear a Path in the Wilderness,” there was exciting news about the ongoing development of technological tools for reading and identifying the remaining small scraps or wads (several layers of fragments stuck together) that did not find their place in the amazing jigsaw puzzle that had to be assembled to decipher the scrolls.

The announcement was made by Pnina Shor, curator of the Dead Sea Scrolls for the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA), at a public session conducted in Hebrew at which I had the honor of being a speaker. The conference was organized by the Orion Center for the Study of the Dead Sea Scrolls of the Hebrew University, the IAA, the Israel Museum, New York University, and the University of Vienna — all major players in scrolls research.

Read more at The Jewish Tribune.

Jewish Connection to Jerusalem

Jewish Connection to JerusalemThe ongoing excavations of Jerusalem never seem to stop yielding amazing treasures that bring to life the Bible and the history of the Jewish people in its holiest of cities. This latest discovery comes on the heels of the disgraceful UNESCO resolution that by implication seeks to deny the historic relationship of the city to the Jews and their history.

The recent discovery of what may be the personal seal impression of Isaiah the Prophet, coming soon after the discovery close by of the seal impression of Hezekiah the King, serves as a welcome affirmation of the Jewish connection to Jerusalem, something we thought would have been self-evident to Jews, Christians, and even Muslims.

Read the rest of this article in the Jewish Tribune.