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Who Wrote The Dead Sea Scrolls?: The Search For The Secret Of Qumran
     

Who Wrote The Dead Sea Scrolls?: The Search For The Secret Of Qumran

by Norman Golb
 
Since their discovery in the Qumran caves beginning in 1947, the Dead Sea Scrolls have been the object of intense fascination and extreme controversy. Here Professor Norman Golb intensifies the debate over the scrolls' origins, arguing that they were not the work of a small, desert-dwelling fringe sect, as other scholars have claimed, but written by different groups

Overview

Since their discovery in the Qumran caves beginning in 1947, the Dead Sea Scrolls have been the object of intense fascination and extreme controversy. Here Professor Norman Golb intensifies the debate over the scrolls' origins, arguing that they were not the work of a small, desert-dwelling fringe sect, as other scholars have claimed, but written by different groups of Jews and the smuggled out of Jerusalem's libraries before the Roman seige of A.D 70.

Golb also unravels the mystery behind the scholarly monopoly that controlled the scrolls for many years, and discusses his role as a key player in the successful struggle to make the scrolls widely available to both scholars and students. And he pleads passionately for an academic politics and a renewed commitment to the search for the truth in scroll scholarship.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
The Dead Sea Scrolls, discovered in 1947 in caves in the village of Qumran, now on Jordan's West Bank, have been linked to the Essenes, an ancient Jewish pacifist, communal sect, and some scholars have suggested that Jesus may have been an Essene. Golb, professor of Jewish history and civilization at the University of Chicago, disputes the conventional wisdom in an engrossing, closely argued study. In his rival theory, Palestinian Jews, fearful of the impending Roman siege of Jerusalem in A.D. 70, took or copied manuscripts from Jerusalem's libraries, smuggled them out of the city and hid them at Qumran, Massada and other sites. Moreover, the presumed Essene monastery of Qumran was actually a Jewish rebel fortress, argues Golb, who marshalls archeological, historical and textual evidence, including his own fieldwork at Qumran and his work on the scrolls. He believes the scrolls and related fragmentary manuscripts embody a wide spectrum of doctrines, genres and themes, from a Hebrew hymn by a Jewish nationalist poet to an apocalyptic brotherhood initiation to an inventory of documents stashed away in the Judaean wilderness. Photos. BOMC, QPB, History Book Club, Newbridge Natural Science Book Club and Reader's Subscription alternates; author tour. (Jan.)
Library Journal
Contrary to scholarly consensus, Golb contends that, rather than being the product of sectarian scribes, the Dead Sea Scrolls were the work of individuals from many diverse groups and that they were deposited in the caves near the Dead Sea (among other locations) by Jews fleeing the Roman army during the First Revolt (c. 70 c.e.). He also claims that the Qumran complex served not as an Essene monastery but as a fortress for Jews involved in the revolt. This is primarily a scholarly work (though it is not beyond the grasp of nonspecialists). Golb marshalls historical, archaeological, and paleographical evidence to support his arguments. Unfortunately, he also lets readers in on his personal efforts to question and oppose the scholarly status quo, leaving the impression of being self-serving. Because of growing public interest in the scrolls and dissatisfaction with traditional theories about them, this work should be in both public and academic collections.-Craig W. Beard, Univ. of Alabama Lib., Birmingham

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780684806921
Publisher:
Touchstone
Publication date:
06/20/1996
Edition description:
1st Edition
Pages:
480
Product dimensions:
1.07(w) x 6.00(h) x 9.00(d)

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