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The Complete Dead Sea Scrolls in English: Complete Edition [Kindle Edition]

Geza Vermes , Geza Vermes
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (63 customer reviews)

Kindle Price: $9.99

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Book Description

The discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls in the Judaean desert between 1947 and 1956 transformed our understanding of the Hebrew Bible, early Judaism and the origins of Christianity. These extraordinary manuscripts appear to have been hidden in the caves at Quumran by members of the Essene community, a Jewish sect in existence before and during the time of Jesus. Some sixty years after the Scrolls' first discovery, this revised and much expanded edition of The Dead Sea Scrolls in English crowns a lifetime of research by the great Qumran scholar Geza Vermes.



As well as superb translations of all non-biblical texts sufficiently well preserved to be rendered into English, there are also a number of previously unpublished texts, and a new preface.



Since its first publication in 1962, The Dead Sea Scrolls in English has established itself as the standard English translation of the non-Biblical Qumran Scrolls and as giving an astonishing insight to the organization, customs, history and beliefs of the community responsible for them. This edition will contain new material, together with extensive new introductory material and notes.



Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

It's been 50 years since a Bedouin youth named Muhammed edh-Dhub went looking for a stray sheep and instead found the Dead Sea Scrolls. In the intervening decades, the scrolls have been enveloped in a storm of controversy and bitter conflict: the scholars entrusted with translating and editing the texts sat on many of them instead, creating suspicions that escalated to conspiracy theories about supposed cover-ups of sensitive, even damaging material. Geza Vermes, a former professor of Jewish studies at Oxford and a noted authority on the scrolls, marks the 50th anniversary of Muhammed edh-Dhub's find with his book The Complete Dead Sea Scrolls in English; the title, however, is misleading, for the collection of documents is by no means complete.

Vermes has left out the copies of Hebrew scriptures that are available elsewhere, instead focusing on the sectarian writings of the Essene community at Qumran and the intertestemental texts, and these are indeed complete translations. Vermes has also included an overview of five decades of research on the scrolls and a thumbnail sketch of the Qumran community's history and religion. For anyone interested in biblical history, The Complete Dead Sea Scrolls in English is a worthwhile read.

From Library Journal

This one-volume translation of the Dead Sea Scrolls joins those of Florentino Garcia Martinez (The Dead Sea Scrolls Translated, Eerdman's, 1996) and Michael Wise and others (The Dead Sea Scrolls: A New Translation, LJ 12/96) and is the latest edition of The Dead Sea Scrolls in English, first published in 1962. In a 90-page introduction, Vermes (emeritus, Jewish studies, Wolfson Coll., Oxford) briefly summarizes the 50-year history of scrolls research. He presents an overview of the sectarian community associated with the scrolls (whom he identifies as the Essenes), its history, and its beliefs. Though dubbed "complete" (the preface explains that "meaningless scraps or badly damaged manuscript sections are not inflicted on the reader"), Vermes's translation is generally the most selective of the three. This sometimes saves the reader from the possible frustration of line upon line of brackets and ellipses, but it gives a limited idea of the extent of the textual material available. However, the translation is good and has stood as the standard for many years. As with Bibles, libraries should have more than one version of the Dead Sea Scrolls.?Craig W. Beard, Univ. of Alabama at Birmingham Lib.
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Product Details


Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
344 of 352 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback
Geza Vermes provides a concise introduction to the topic of the Dead Sea Scrolls and provides English translations of many of the scrolls and fragments found in the 11 caves of Qumran. This book was originally published in 1965 and was last updated in 1997. Much has happened in those 32 years and this book contains updates on the key items.
In the first 96 pages of the book, Vermes provides an insight into what the Scrolls are, who the authors were, a history of the community that wrote the scrolls, and the religious ideas of the community. 500 pages of translations and brief discussions of each scroll and fragment follow. The discussions are particularly helpful as introductions to the themes and background related to each scroll. About 40 pages at the end of the book present a catalogue of the scrolls, an index of the texts, and a bibliography. The indexes in the book provide references by topic and by the classification number of the text or fragment (e.g. 4Q525 is text number 525 from Qumran Cave 4).
Among the many key manuscripts translated in this book are the Community Rule, the Damascus Document, the Messianic Rule, the War Scroll, the Thanksgiving Hymns, the Apocryphal Psalms, the calendrical documents, the Blessings and Benedictions, the Peshers (commentaries) on numerous books of the Old Testament, Biblical Apocryphal Works, and the Copper Scroll (the Copper Scroll is a description of the locations of hidden treasures).
The book is quite complete, but new discoveries and revisions to existing hypotheses will always make future revisions a necessity. I have used this book to teach a 4-week mini-course on the Dead Sea Scrolls at my Church with much success. I highly recommend this book. The topic is fascinating and this book is a must for anyone serious about learning what is in the Dead Sea Scrolls and what life was like from 150 B.C to 70 A.D.
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190 of 194 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars For the first time in 2000 years... June 15, 2003
Format:Paperback
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.
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76 of 78 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback
Vermes has again, in this updated version of the DSS in English, held fast to the clear-eyed scholarship that has been the hallmark of his work. Of course, the individual reader must ultimately decide for himself how objective Vermes is in his presentation. For example, I view with skepticism Vermes's assertion that the original language of 1 Enoch is, without doubt, Aramaic. Frankly, there is compelling evidence that the original story or stories that became Enoch were originally written in Ethiopic, or were tales that traveled from East to West via the Phoenicians. Other plausible theories abound.
Nonetheless, there are many gems here, and, in my opinion, this book contains one the most honest and pure translations of 1 Enoch (along with the fragments from the Book of Giants), complementing the tremendous service done to Enoch by James Charlesworth in "The Old Testament Pseudepigrapha: Apocalyptic Literature and Testaments (Old Testament Pseudepigraphia, Vol 1)."
When I was doing postgraduate work in theology and biblical history, I always wished for a book like this (i.e., Vermes' DSS as updated in 1997). This work is, in my opinion, ideal for those who wish to study alone, and even for use in organized church study groups. There's plenty of "light" here, and Vermes indicates and suggests where the reader might look without insisting.
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115 of 128 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A word of caution about objections to this fine work December 9, 2000
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
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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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Geza Vermes
excellent book I really enjoy reading about the true accounts of ancient history as it pertains to the black man
Published 20 days ago by terrance566
5.0 out of 5 stars I Liked it but...
The paper stock is my only issue with the book, the content is excellent but that flimsy paper stock, I carefully turn pages rather than just turn the page without consciously... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Peter S. Lee
3.0 out of 5 stars The Title is a Blatant Lie
The title of this book is a blatant lie. It is not complete. It is not even close to complete. It is priced cheaply and is quite worthwhile, but do not expect to receive this... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Alan J Wescoat
5.0 out of 5 stars a must have book
a must have book that any book collector lover need at home.this book decor my hundred of book at home now
Published 3 months ago by alexander lavin
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Book!
Excellent and complete.... lots of richness. If you treasure history and want to gain a deeper understanding of ancient teachings this is a vital book.
Published 4 months ago by Kevin Locke
3.0 out of 5 stars Difficult to read and understand.
Difficult to read and follow. It's hard to determine truth as compared to the Bible which has been verified as truth.
Published 4 months ago by Debra Meyers Neese
5.0 out of 5 stars Full of fact
This is a very interesting treatise on the history of the Dead Sea Scrolls. It includes excerpts and explanations of their meanings to their authors.
Published 5 months ago by Dr. Ann M. Dalrymple
5.0 out of 5 stars Bit difficult to read; well worth the effort
Very good, well written book; somewhat difficult for me to understand at first, but once into the read, fascinating material. Read more
Published 7 months ago by chuck291
5.0 out of 5 stars Essene tribe of Judiasm
I heard a lot about it and am glad I got it. Still do not know how useful it is. The Essenes appear to have been an ultra-conservative tribe who lived in a commune away from the... Read more
Published 8 months ago by Larry A. Anderson
4.0 out of 5 stars A bit of a slog
"Complete Edition" are the operative words here.

There is plenty of material, not just the text of the Dead Sea Scrolls but also introductory material from Geza... Read more
Published 10 months ago by John Alldredge
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