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Professor Flint takes you on a journey from Jerusalem to the wilderness of Judea—and into the caves of Qumran, where many of the Dead Sea Scrolls were found in 1947 by Bedouin shepherds. He recounts the story of their discovery, reviews various Scroll manuscripts and shares an interesting analysis comparing the Old Testament books favored by the Jewish Essenes versus the early Christians. Flint focuses on The Book of Isaiah, one of the three most popular Biblical books appreciated by these similar, yet very different groups. Quoting the well-known verse Isaiah 40:3: “A voice of one calling: In the wilderness prepare the way for the LORD; make straight in the desert a highway for our God,” Flint explains how all four gospel writers included parts of this verse in their texts.
In this wide-ranging interview, Hershel Shanks sits down with 90-year-old priest and New Testament scholar Joseph Fitzmyer to reflect on Fitzmyer’s work with the Dead Sea Scrolls in Jerusalem in 1957 and 1958. The still-lively Fitzmyer recalls those years and more while relating anecdotes about the creation of a concordance from the scroll fragments and the publication team’s tentative transcriptions of the texts. It was these valuable transcriptions that eventually allowed the scrolls to be released to the public.