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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 lively interview, BAR editor Hershel Shanks engages James Charlesworth and Sidnie White Crawford in a conversation about John Strugnell, a linguistics genius and editor-in-chief of the Dead Sea Scrolls project who was ousted as the project’s head in 1990 (as well as from his post at Harvard University) following alleged anti-Semitic remarks. Charlesworth and Crawford share personal accounts of their work with Strugnell and the Dead Sea Scrolls. This in-depth discussion also explores the role of the scrolls in relation to the study of early Christianity.