In 1947 the first of the Dead Sea Scroll discoveries was made near the site of Qumran, at the northern end of the Dead Sea. Despite the much publicized delays in the publication and editing of the Scrolls, practically all of them had been made public by the time of the fiftieth anniversary of the first discovery. That occasion was marked by a spate of major publications that attempted to sum up the state of scholarship at the end of the twentieth century, including The Encyclopedia of the Dead Sea Scrolls (OUP 2000). These publications produced an authoritative synthesis to which the majority of scholars in the field subscribed, granted disagreements in detail.
A decade or so later, The Oxford Handbook of the Dead Sea Scrolls has a different objective and character. It seeks to probe the main disputed issues in the study of the Scrolls. Lively debate continues over the archaeology and history of the site, the nature and identity of the sect, and its relation to the broader world of Second Temple Judaism and to later Jewish and Christian tradition. It is the Handbook's intention here to reflect on diverse opinions and viewpoints, highlight the points of disagreement, and point to promising directions for future research.
I: ARCHAEOLOGY OF KHIRBET QUMRAN AND THE JUDAEAN WILDERNESS ; II: THE SCROLLS AND JEWISH HISTORY ; III: THE SCROLLS AND SECTARIANISM ; IV: THE BIBLICAL TEXTS, INTERPRETATION AND LANGUAGES OF THE ; RELIGIOUS THEMES IN THE SCROLLS ; VI: THE SCROLLS AND EARLY CHRISTIANITY ; THE SCROLLS AND LATER JUDAISM ; VIII: NEW APPROACHES TO THE SCROLLS
Reviews for The Oxford Handbook of the Dead Sea Scrolls
The importance of this work ... lies not merely in this wealth of expertise but rather in its unique objective. ... the decision of Collins and Lim to highlight contested questionsin diverse areas of Scrolls' scholarship give this particular volume a refreshing and welcome overarching unity. It will be consulted and appreciated by any scholar whose work engages the field of Second Temple Judaism. * Shane Berg, Scottish Journal of Theology * In addition to pointing readers to what we know about the scrolls. the Handbook very successfully gets across the crucial message that some of the most groundbreaking achievements in current scroll scholarship have to do with challenging what we thought we knew. * Charlotte Hempel, Bibilical Archaeology Review * This volume brings together leading researchers to provide an up-to-date review of the major issues in the study of the Dead Sea Scrolls. ... This is a rich feast. ... It will nourish students for years to come and serve as an excellent means of taking stock of current research. * William Loader, Expository Times *