History of Dead Sea Scrolls Scholarship

As Emanuel Tov wrote in his foreword to my book, Reclaiming the Dead Sea Scrolls:

Soon after their discovery in 1947, the Dead Sea Scrolls took the world by storm, and ever since scholars and general readers alike have studied them, read them, or at least talked about them. The first scrolls were published in 1950 in what we now consider primitive editions, but at least they were released; the delay in the publication process occurred only at a later stage. Together with these text editions we have been blessed, usually, by a veritable flood of studies on the Qumran community and individual scrolls. These studies elucidated the content of the scrolls and placed them in the context of the Jewish society and multifaceted literatures of the late Second Temple period.

Dead Sea Scrolls scholarship has been plagued by publication delays, uncertainties about the authors of the scrolls and difficulties in deciphering the text.

In a radio interview from last year, I discuss the history of Dead Sea Scrolls scholarship, from their discovery in 1947 and up until contemporary theories on the identity of the Qumran community. The interview can be listened to at: Indiana Jones: Myth, Reality and 21st Century Archaeology with Dr. Joseph Schuldenrein.

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