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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.
This video features Hershel Shanks’s engaging interview with Dead Sea Scrolls experts Weston Fields and George Brooke, who present key findings about the scrolls and the fascinating story behind their study and interpretation. Shanks focuses on British scholar John Marco Allegro, a maverick and self-proclaimed publicist who contended the scrolls could relate to early doctrines of Christianity. Fields and Brooke also discuss the controversial letter written to and published in The Times (of London) by five Dead Sea Scrolls team members disassociating themselves from Allegro and his opinions. Later, they comment on the unique Copper Scroll with its Hebrew “treasure map” listing valuable lost items from the first-century C.E., likely from the Jerusalem Temple. Is the list fact, as Allegro passionately believed, or just a fantasy?