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What Are the Dead Sea Scrolls and Why Do They Matter? Paperback – March 21, 2007


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 141 pages
  • Publisher: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co. (March 21, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0802844243
  • ISBN-13: 978-0802844248
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 6 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,636,995 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

David Noel Freedman is the Endowed Chair in Hebrew Biblical Studies at the University of California and has been a Dead Sea Scrolls scholar for over 50 years. Pam Fox Kuhlken is Assistant Professor of English at Arizona Western College and teaches in the graduate Creative Writing Program at Perelandra College.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Aaronjon on November 8, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Freedman and Kuhlken present a very teachable primer on the Dead Sea Scrolls. I have purchased half a dozen books on the Scrolls in preparation for an upcoming class I am teaching, and found this book to be unique in 1 way: it anticipates common questions regarding the Scrolls, and provides sound, concise answers.

While not the most detail-oriented of the books I purchased, it still contains lots of meat, and none of the sensationalist claims of other, less academic books. This book does not get too lost in the extra-canonical material, discussing mostly the Hebrew Bible material, and its implications and impact on western political and religious thought.

Highly recommended when purchased in conjunction with a copy of the DSS Bible, and perhaps Timothy H Lim's "The Dead Sea Scrolls: a very short introduction."
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Roger Heffington on September 30, 2007
Format: Paperback
I met the author in a parking lot one day. He mentioned the fact that he was involved with the Dead Sea Scrolls exhibit at the Museum. He also mentioned his book which I promptly ordered. Pretty interesting- if you are interested. I like the format of the book-questions and answers. If you truly want to learn about the Dead Sea Scrolls and want it explained in layman's terms, this book is for you!
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Eibert Tigchelaar on June 27, 2008
Format: Paperback
This is an easily readable first introduction to the scrolls, clearly meant for the the layman with no previous knowledge, but with interest in the Bible and Christianity. This is perhaps the best book for a broad popular audience, keeping things simple and comprehensible. However, all those who have more than a fleeting interest are not served by this book. The book by and large represents scrolls scholarship of thirty or fourty years ago, and none of the texts published in the mean time is discussed by the author. The book bristles with small factual mistakes, which do not detract from the broad overall picture, but nonetheless should have been avoided. But the author also elaborates on things, such as the size of biblical scrolls as opposed to non-biblical ones, that have no basis in reality. The book pays attention to issues, such as the documentary hypothesis, and whether D and P are successive or contemporary, that are entirely irrelevant to the scrolls. The glossary at the end does not correspond to the content. Whereas Freedman argued that the Wicked Priest could not have been a Maccabee, but was Hananiah (Onias) II, the glossary simply states that he was probably one of the Maccabees. But ultimately, the author is not really interested in the scrolls: "the book is really closed on the Dead Sea Scrolls. There is not a whole lot more to learn ... By contrast, the work on the Hebrew Bible is endless: always more work, more analysis ..." Most other introductions do show what more there is to learn about the Dead Sea Scrolls, with regard to wisdom, halakhah, liturgy, mysticism.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Pamela P. Auerbach on November 5, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Selective analysis. Very informative and presented in a question and answer format. Good review of biblical history and how the Dead Sea Scrolls fits in to the big picture.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By L. A. Vitale on February 20, 2009
Format: Paperback
I recently finished reading this nonfiction book & enjoyed reading it very much. What I enjoyed most about this book is how very readable it was. I am not very well schooled, if you will, in terms of religion or various religious thought/beliefs, so felt this book was perfect for the layperson (like myself) who wanted to know more about the Dead Sea Scrolls, where they came from and why they are an important part of history.

This book is also written as a series of questions and answers; A format which I also found to be a wonderful way in which to present the topic of the Dead Sea Scrolls. This book is also a short and fast read and very much too the point with regards to the topic at hand.
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