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The Story of the Scrolls: The miraculous discovery and true significance of the Dead Sea Scrolls Kindle Edition

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Length: 267 pages

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"Vermes has the rare gift of wearing his immense scholarship lightly."  —Independent


"The world's leading Gospel scholar."  —Times

About the Author

Geza Vermes is the author of The Changing Faces of Jesus and The Complete Dead Sea Scrolls in English, as well as the Jesus trilogy: Nativity, Passion, and Resurrection. He is Professor Emeritus of Jewish Studies at the University of Oxford.

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31 of 32 people found the following review helpful By Etienne ROLLAND-PIEGUE on May 14, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Geza Vermes published his first article on the Dead Sea Scrolls in a Parisian periodical in 1949. The news of a sensational manuscript discovery in the Palestine of the British Mandate had first broken the year before, and the public was already thrilled by the new light these texts could shed on ancient Judaism, Bible studies, and the life of Jesus. But the eager public was to be kept for decades from accessing the documents: even now, more than half a century later, many questions surrounding the Dead Sea Scrolls remain open, and what has been called "the greatest ever manuscript find in the field of biblical studies" has not yielded all its secrets. The Dead Sea Scrolls continue to be a matter of controversy and media attention. In a time when religion no longer inspires passion in our de-christened societies, they have become the stuff of legend and fiction, and they fuel the modern thirst for conspiracy theories and pseudo-scientific speculations. This book substitutes facts for fiction, history for legend, and scholarship for superstition. It is the Story of the Scrolls by a person who, as he tells jokingly, has practically written them. Indeed, nobody other than Geza Vermes has done more to make their content accessible to the general public and to explore their true significance in a dispassionate and scholarly fashion.

In 1949, by the time the young Vermes swore he would devote himself to solving the mystery of the manuscripts, he already had led a tumultuous life.
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful By SingleEyePhotos on September 29, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book was written in a light, 'chatty' tone which belies the scholarly title and subject matter. The author was intimately involved in working on publishing the Dead Sea Scrolls almost from the time of their discovery. While I would personally have liked this to be a bit more scholarly, I still found it a very good overview of the trials and tribulations of trying to get the Scrolls translated and published.

The author basically divides this book into 4 sections - a brief background history; a disucssion of the Scrolls and the culture in which they originated; a discussion of how the Scrolls have advanced scholarship in all types of Biblical (and related) studies; and a brief conclusion/summing-up.

Recommended. As I said above, this was a little 'lighter' than I was hoping for, but it would still be an excellent introduction for someone who is interested in the subject, but not quite ready for more in-depth information.

Note on Kindle formatting: Very good. There were occasional examples of unnecessary hyphenation, but other than that, formatting was well done. Note that like many NF books, the actual 'story' ends at about 75% with the remainder being notes and bibliography.
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Kindle Customer on May 17, 2011
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This book gave extremely extensive information while being very accessible. It was written in a conversational and personal style but the facts were there. I found that it confirmed much of the information I already had from some of the major participants I had met in person (Marty Abegg and Peter Flint) at a conference and showing of the Scrolls in Seattle in 2006, as well as the information I had researched elsewhere. If you want to know about the Scrolls, I recommend coming to this book first.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By William Varner on November 20, 2012
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There is a lot of what I call "media hype" about the Dead Sea Scrolls. Reporters love to report a sensational "discovery," like finding Jesus or James in the scrolls, or even as one tabloid headlined: "Elvis Found in the Dead Sea Scrolls." I have dozens of books on the Scrolls, including translations into English of all of them. My advice to laymen is not to buy and read one of those translations. You will be disappointed, because most of the non-Biblical scrolls are quite tedious and boring, even to the interested Christian reader.

I just finished the book on the DSS that I will recommend without reservation as the best semi-popular introduction. It is titled The Story of the Scrolls, by Oxford scholar, Geza Vermes. You will have every one of your questions about the scrolls answered in a sensible and informed way. It is good to read someone, now over 80 years of age, who has been with the DSS almost since day one of their discovery in 1947. As a young scholar, Vermes was right there in Jerusalem in 1952, when the first scrolls from Cave One were released and excavations had just begun at Qumran. He conveys an insider's account with many personal encounters and observations - and he writes with clarity. He has written a half dozen other books on the scrolls and Qumran, including a complete translation of all the scrolls into English. There is no one in the world more qualified to tell us about the Dead Sea Scrolls than Geza Vermes.

Every person ought to read at least one book on the Dead Sea Scrolls, even if only to counter the sensationalists mentioned above.
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