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The Library of Qumran: On the Essenes, Qumran, John the Baptist, and Jesus Paperback – April 29, 1998


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Editorial Reviews

Review

"This study is set to become one of the standard introductions to the Scrolls in English."

Language Notes

Text: English (translation)
Original Language: German
If you buy a new print edition of this book (or purchased one in the past), you can buy the Kindle edition for only $2.99 (Save 88%). Print edition purchase must be sold by Amazon. Learn more.


O's Little Book of Happiness
"O's Little Book of Happiness"
A collection of thoughtful and affecting writing on happiness-the first in a series of inspirational books from O. Magazine. Learn more | More in Self-Help

Product Details

  • Paperback: 302 pages
  • Publisher: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co. (April 29, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0802861679
  • ISBN-13: 978-0802861672
  • Product Dimensions: 6.2 x 0.7 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.7 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,633,479 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
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See all 7 customer reviews
Overall this is certainly a book worth reading if one is interested in the scrolls at Qumran.
Nathan P. Gilmour
This is an excellent one volume introduction and overview of the scrolls, from history to contents to translation to importance.
FrKurt Messick
He does not jump to conclusions about the involvement of the Essenes at Qumran but does not deny it either.
J.B. Hughes

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Nathan P. Gilmour on February 26, 2001
Format: Paperback
This generally helpful book breaks from its task, I think, when it speculates about the character of pre-second temple Israelite religion. Up to that point it provides a lovely overview of the Qumran's reconstructed history, a skillful debunking of the sensational stories of Jesus and John the Baptist emerging from the sect, and a good rundown of the contents of the various Dead Sea Scrolls. All this is done responsibly and with an eye on the larger scholarly community.
The one part with which I took issue was his evaluation of pre-second temple Israelite religion. Contrary to much scholarly evidence, he maintains that, before the faction development that arose out of the second temple period, Israel was pretty much a monolithic religious entity. If this were the case, the many attacks on those who maintain shrines outside of Jerusalem (see Deuteronomy, Kings, etc.) would not be such a prominent part of the Scriptures.
Overall the book is excellent, and the pre-second temple material is only background to the main arguments. Overall this is certainly a book worth reading if one is interested in the scrolls at Qumran.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By FrKurt Messick HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on June 27, 2004
Format: Paperback
Hartmut Stegemann's text on the Dead Sea Scrolls is one of the most popular introductory texts of the subject available in the German language. Here translated into English, it is a welcome addition to the body of literature about the scrolls. While essentially it covers the same material as many other introductions on the scrolls, Stegemann's writing style, focus and authoritative manner are interesting and useful.
Stegemann's first few chapters discuss the discoveries and dating of the manuscripts. The earliest discoveries in the Qumrani region occurred in 1947/48, with the majority of the rest of the scrolls being found in the following decade. Stegemann addresses in these early chapters the issues of dating the scrolls and the publication process, which he defends vigourous, and he chides the detractors of the process, holding particular ire for the book 'The Dead Sea Scrolls Deception' by Baigent and Leigh, a popular book that sensationalised the scroll publication delay by speculating on sinister plots by church officials to suppress damaging revelations. Unfortunately, Stegemann's view, while justified for the most part in discounting books such as Baigent and Leigh's, does not take into account the academic territoriality which, while far less explosive and sensational than a Vatican-led plot of suppression, still has an element of shameful restriction to it.
Stegemann proceeds to explore the archaeological excavations and reconstructions of the Qumrani settlement, which, according to the official scroll team interpretations (of which Stegemann is a strong adherent, and are generally the most probable) was a monastic-type settlement of the Essenes, a minor Jewish sect; the scrolls for the most part consisted of the library of this community.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Richard S. Mitnick on January 2, 2006
Format: Paperback
I enjoyed Stegemann's book very much. In spite of the fact that he presented a great deal of material,I never felt bogged down in unnecessary detail.

Two ideas in his book were new to me. First, that the Teacher of Righteousness died of old age, when everything else that I have read has him being slain. Second, that the basis of normative Rabbinic Judaism has its roots in Essene theology. Again this goes against everything else that I have ever read, which has normative Rabbinic Judaism coming out of Pharasaic Judaism.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Robert Tremmel on March 7, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The book was well done. Very thorough and informative. Sometimes it dragged a little but all things considered it kept my interest. Not sure that I agree with some if his conclusions. It seems fairly obvious to me that members of the first century Church were more than a little influenced by the Essenes.
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