Encyclopedia of the Dead Sea ScrollsEdited by Lawrence H. Schiffman and James C. VanderKam (Oxford: Oxford Univ. Press, 2000) 2 vols., 1132 pp., $295 (hardback)
It’s difficult to find an appropriate person to review an encyclopedia on a relatively narrow subject. Most of the experts are disqualified because they are contributors. Those few experts who are not contributors are disqualified because they are angry at not having been asked to contribute; their reviews usually consist of little more than picayune criticisms. Since I am not a scholar (and therefore not a potential contributor) but have a passing familiarity with the subject matter, I may be the only person qualified and unbiased enough to review this two-volume set.
I begin with three major criticisms: (1) my name is misspelled on page 558 (but not elsewhere); (2) my name appears on page 896, but this reference was mistakenly omitted from the index; (3) BAR’s role in freeing the scrolls is mentioned a number of times but is referenced only once in the index.