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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.
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?
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.
Professor Zuckerman highlights the exciting new ways that ancient technologies allow us to decipher ancient texts and artifacts. In this dynamic presentation, he literally shines a light on some of the most important inscriptions in the field of Biblical archaeology, from the Copper Scroll to Ugaritic texts. Zuckerman’s demonstration of the groundbreaking InscriptiFact software answers critical questions on ancient Jewish coinage, the Dead Sea Scroll scribes and much more.