Friday, January 8, 2010

In Store Now - The Dead Sea Scrolls

From B&H Publishing we have a very attractive book on the Dead Sea Scrolls.  It is printed on glossy paper with full color.  This is part of a series done by B&H Publishing called the Holman QuickSource.  The size of the books are 9 1/4 x 5 which I've never really liked since, like mass market, I'm constantly fighting with the book to read the text which is closest to the middle.  But some books are worth the fight and this appears to be one of them. 

The author, Craig Evans, is an authority on the Dead Sea Scrolls and is the Payzant Distinguished Professor of New Testament at Acadia Divinity School. 

Topics include:

Who wrote the scrolls?
Do the scrolls undermine the Christian faith?
Did the New Testament borrow from the scrolls?
The science of dating the scrolls.
Restoring and preserving the scrolls.
Historical groups and people name in the scrolls.
Who were the Essenes?
How did the Essenes interpret Scripture?
How did the Essenes relate to other Jews?
Were Jesus and John the Baptist Essenes?
Archaeology of Qumran and the Scrolls.

I was surprised to read that "the DSS [abbreviation for Dead Sea Scrolls] were discovered at least four times: twice long ago and twice again in modern times."  (30-31)  In chapter 11 Evans lists all 11 Qumran caves and the contents of each.  He also explains how the scrolls are referred to (i.e., 4Q521 means document 521 from Cave 4 of Qumran). This will be an excellent guide for the beginner.  Two appendixes round off this work with one listing "Major Scrolls Publications" and the second listing "Major Scrolls Players." 

The book is a paperback with 398 pages and sells for $14.99.

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