Weston Fields, a prominent Dead Sea Scrolls scholar, passed away at his home in Bear Island, Alaska, on May 25.
Fields attended Faith Baptist College in Omaha, Nebraska, and then earned M.A., M.Div., and Th.D. degrees from Grace Theological Seminary in Winona Lake, Indiana.
In 1985, Fields moved to Jerusalem to pursue a Ph.D. in Hebrew Bible at the Hebrew University, where he studied with Shemaryahu Talmon and Emanuel Tov, among others. His Ph.D. thesis, on literary motifs, was titled Sodom and Gomorrah: History and Motif in Biblical Narrative. After his graduation in 1991, Fields was invited to become the Executive Director of the newly created Dead Sea Scrolls Foundation, formed to raise funds for the publication of the Dead Sea Scrolls. He was very successful in this endeavor; his fundraising efforts made possible the final publication of the scrolls in the series Discoveries in the Judaean Desert. The foundation also worked with the Israel Antiquities Authority to mount scroll exhibitions throughout the world.
Fields’s work, The Dead Sea Scrolls: A Full History, volume 1, is an invaluable, thoroughly researched account of the early history (1946–1960) of the discovery, purchase, and publication of the Dead Sea Scrolls. He was nearing completion of volume 2 when he passed away; it is hoped that the volume will be published posthumously.
Fields will be sorely missed by his many friends and colleagues around the world.