Bible Review 8:5, October 1992

Bible Books

“The First Dead Sea Scroll”

The Damascus Document Reconsidered

Magen Broshi, editor (Jerusalem: Israel Exploration Society/Shrine of the Book, Israel Museum, 1992) 83 pp., $20.00

There is a special fascination about the ancient Hebrew text known as the Damascus Document, or the Zadokite Fragments. Solomon Schechter found tenth and twelfth-century copies of this text in the famous Cairo Genizah and published them in 1910. Even before 1947 when the Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered at Qumran, there was considerable interest in this text. But when the Damascus Document’s clear affinities with the scrolls were noticed and especially when earlier copies of it were identified among the Cave 4 scrolls by J. T. Milik, the attention it received increased all the more. In Schechter’s publication he gave a transcription of the full text from the Genizah, and he provided a photograph of just a single page. Since his time, no photographs of it have been made available except in Solomon Zeitlin’s edition,a in which they appear in reduced form. It is thus high time that photographs were published.

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