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Paperback The Dead Sea Scrolls - Revised Edition : A New Translation Book

ISBN: 006076662X

ISBN13: 9780060766627

The Dead Sea Scrolls - Revised Edition : A New Translation

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Book Overview

A fully revised and updated edition of our translation of the complete Dead Sea Scrolls, making it the definitive translation of the Scrolls in English. With new texts, updated introductions, a glossary of terms, and other new additions, this will become the definitive translation of the Scrolls, and the lead companion to our other Dead Sea Scrolls Guides: The Meaning of the Dead Sea Scrolls and the Dead Sea Scrolls Bible.

Customer Reviews

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It may take me the rest of my life to reflect on and discern the amazing writ!

"In their great variety and stunning richness, the Dead Sea Scrolls as captured in this groundbreaking translation offer modern readers an unprecedented glimpse of the complex roots of modern Christianity... texts encompass poetry and prose, teaching parables and magical tales, astrology, apocalyptic visions,..., stories of messiahs and antichrists," After Three Decades: I followed the saga of DSS since I read in 1970 Wilson's account of the discovery, two decades later. I strove to get any information, even John allegro's imaginary cults, but not until the siege was overcome, that few years later I could read, all in one compendium, the text of the Scrolls in plain English. It took its place, in my library, next to The Coptic Gnostic texts. It may take me the rest of my life to reflect on and discern the amazing writ! Three scholars of the second DSS generation offer a new translation of the Dead Sea Scrolls, integrated with material never published or translated before. The book includes newly published Psalms (151) attributed to David, non-Biblical texts claiming Moses as their author, previously unknown fables about Abraham and Jacob, and many other writings that shed light on non-Temple Jewish thought, parallels showing the Jewish origins of Christianity and the close relationship between Judaism and early Christianity. Some of its amazing texts are, The Damascus Document (Geniza manuscripts), The vision of the Son of God, Psalm 151 (Chanted in the Coptic Church for 17 centuries), The War of the Messiah, Rule of Initiation, between many amazing poetry and prose. Recent Developments in DSS: The Dead Sea Scrolls represent a non-rabbinic type of Judaism enhancing our understanding of Second Temple Judaism and of early Christianity. They DSS provide textual treasures for New Testament scholars, and have been called the evolutionary link between Judaism and Christianity, demonstrating a variety of important parallels to Jesus ministry, showing that the Gospel message to be based on, and rooted in Judaism. The major intact texts, from Caves 1 & 11, now housed in the Shrine of the Book museum in Jerusalem, were published by the late fifties. Since then, mostly fragments from Cave 4, about 40% of the Scrolls remained unpublished and were not accessible until 1991. Almost half of a century after the initial discoveries of the Dead Sea Scrolls, when the academic pressure for publication mounted, general access was granted through the photographs of the Scrolls. Late 1991 the photos were made available by the Biblical Archaeological Society in a computer reconstruction, based on a concordance. A nonofficial edition was announced, and the Huntington Library microfilm files of the scroll photographs were made accessible. In "The Current State of the Dead Sea Scrolls: Are There More Answers than Questions?" L. Grabbe stresses the need for Qumran scholarship to recognize how uncertain is much of our present knowledge of the Qumran material. Fol

For the first time in 2000 years...

Geza Vermes' book, The Complete Dead Sea Scrolls in English, is a worthy capstone to a long and distinguished scroll career. Vermes entire career, from his student days to this present work, has been concentrated largely on the Dead Sea Scrolls and related topics. His doctorate in 1953 was completed with a dissertation on the historical framework of the Dead Sea Scrolls. It is difficult to find any scholar with as complete a knowledge of the scrolls as has Vermes; it is impossible to find one who knows them better.This book was released in 1997, 50 years from the time the first Arab shepherd climbed into a cave in search of a wandering animal and instead fell upon the first of the Dead Sea Scrolls. Following the 'revolution' of 1991 (to use Vermes words), everyone interested could have unfettered access to the Scrolls, and yet, as inaccessible as they had been previously due to physical restriction, they remained just as inaccessible due to the problem of language and translation. 'In addition to the English rendering of the Hebrew and Aramaic texts found in the eleven Qumran caves, two inscribed potsherds (ostraca) retrieved from the Qumran site and two Qumran-type documents discovered in the fortress of Masada, and brief introductory notes to each text, this volume also provides an up-to-date general introduction, outlining the history of fifty years of Scroll research and sketching the organisation, history and religious message of the Qumran Community.'This is the latest volume of a series: when Vermes first published an edition in 1962 (then 15 years after the discovery of the first scrolls), the book had 262 pages; the current edition has 648. The introduction deals with a brief sketch of the history of research (including a bit on the controversies, such as not allowing Jewish scholars to work on these Jewish texts, the close-guarding and restrictive access of the scrolls by the scholars); further issues in the introduction address current research, including questions of dating, provenance, and perhaps, most importantly, the meaning and significance of the Qumran texts.Vermes puts together a three-part essay on his view (as well as a little on alternative views) of who was the community at Qumran, the history of that community, and the religious ideas of the community.This is where we get into the text of the Scrolls in earnest. Vermes begins with The Community Rule a large document that listed the requirements and a penal code. This is best known as the Manual of Discipline. Composition may have begun about 100 BCE, and several fragmentary remains exist of copies of the manual. 'There are, to my knowledge, no writings in ancient Jewish sources parallel to the Community Rule, but a similar type of literature flourished amogn Christians between the second and fourth centuries, the so-called 'Church Orders' represented by works such as the Didache, the Didascalia, the Apostolic Constitution.'From the Rules and variants, including the now-in

This is how this book stacks up

This book needs to be considered alongside _The Dead Sea Scrolls Translated_ edited by Florentino Garcia-Martinez. Both are "comprehensive" translations of the Dead Sea Scrolls which have become available since the end of the embargo in the fall of 1991.Wise, Abegg, and Cook organize this book primarily by the Qumran manuscript number. The exceptions are the manuscripts found in Cave 1 which have no number. These appear at the beginning of the book along with other manuscripts which relate to the same text. So for example, the Thanksgiving Scroll appears at the beginning of the book along with 4Q427-432. The Damascus Document also appears at the beginning of this book along with manuscripts Geniza A and B.At the end of the book there is a helpful index of DSS manuscripts and the page(s) on which they may be found. There is also an index of references to other liturature, the Hebrew Bible, the New Testament, and Rabbinic texts. So for example the editors find some connection between 4Q525 and Matthew 5.3-10. Both are beatitudes.It is not a disadvantage of this book that it contains no Hebrew texts. I find that I want to look at photos of the manuscripts and judge the translations for myself. Nor is it a disadvantage of this book that it does not contain any biblical texts. Those may be found in a translated form in Martin Abegg's _Dead Sea Scrolls Bible_.The advantage this book does have is its commentary. The editors have brought numerous significant items to the the attention of the reader which the non-specialist probably had not noticed. Even so, the commentary will bring some enlightenment to DSS specialists as well.

A word of caution about objections to this fine work

There is no better translation available to English language readers than this volume by Vermes. The objections registered by some ill-informed conspiracy-theorists concerning Vermes are themselves based on no real evidence. Vermes has an opinion, a very well-informed scholarly opinion, formed from years of study--honest study. He is not a flaming seeker of fortune and fame as are many people who try to make much more out of what is in the DSS than anyone can possible know. As one trained as a scholar in this area of study, I offer two observations: First, my own word of caution: Beware of DSS conspiracy theories and wild claims made from esoteric so-called readings of the texts. Second, my advice: Read the Scrolls in this fine translation for yourself and ask whether Vermes's ideas are reasonable or whether the wild allegorical re-readings offered by certain flamboyant interpreters have any real merit.
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