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The Complete World of the Dead Sea Scrolls (The Complete Series) Hardcover – June 17, 2002

4.6 out of 5 stars 25 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


“Well illustrated. . . . Numerous sidebars describe various technical terms as well as literary, historical, and cultural phenomena.” (Archaeology)

“Richly illustrated texts.” (Science News)

“Loaded with background material, this book provides an excellent primer to what is arguably the greatest discovery of biblical archaeology.” (Arizona Republic)

About the Author

Philip Davies has written five books and many articles on the Dead Sea Scrolls, as well as other books on biblical history. George J. Brooke is Rylands Professor of Biblical Criticism and Exegesis at the University of Manchester and co-founder of the journal Dead Sea Discoveries. Phillip R. Callaway has written widely on the Dead Sea Scrolls, including the book The History of the Qumran Community: An Investigation.

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Product Details

  • Series: The Complete Series
  • Hardcover: 216 pages
  • Publisher: Thames & Hudson (June 17, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0500051119
  • ISBN-13: 978-0500051115
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 1 x 10.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,108,921 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Virgil Brown VINE VOICE on December 7, 2002
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Where does one start the study of the Dead Sea Scrolls? One would do well to start with copies of the texts. The biblical texts may be found in _The Dead Sea Scrolls Bible_ translated by Martin Abegg et al. The non-biblical texts which includes the sectarian texts, may be found in _The Dead Sea Scrolls_ translated by Michael Wise et al. (Incidentally there are no unpublished texts of any significance. These two volumes cover the field.)
Then one needs a book which explains where the Dead Sea Scrolls were found such as Jodi Magness' _The Archaeology of Qumran and the Dead Sea Scolls_. But as the starting point one needs _The Complete World of the Dead Sea Scrolls_.
Philip Davies, George Brooke, and Phillip Callaway have written a "complete" introduction to the Dead Sea Scrolls. The first section of the book discusses the discovery of the scrolls, their editing, and their publication. The second section discusses the history of the time of the scrolls, including the sects of that time.
Perhaps the third section should have been divided into two. The third section begins with chapters on how to make a scroll, script styles, Carbon-14 dating of the scrolls, and how to reconstruct a scroll from fragments. (If one has never read of the techniques for scroll reconstruction, this chapter is a must.)
Next comes the bulk of the book. The most significant scrolls from each cave are discussed. Cave 1 had a number of the sectarian scrolls. Cave 4 had the largest number of scrolls. The scrolls from Caves 5 to 10 receive only two pages of attention despite the sensationalism surrounding the Greek scrolls found in Cave 7 (and see also page 190).
The fourth section of the book discusses the settlement of Qumran. (One should be sure to refer to Magness' _Archaeology_.
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Format: Hardcover
Like most Thames & Hudson productions, this book is a very beautiful text. Printed in vibrant, full-colour process, every page has graphics, pictures, colours, maps, or some other piece of visual interest. When dealing with a subject like the Dead Sea Scrolls, the material for visual presentation is grand, as are the settings in which many of the scrolls have been found.

After a brief introduction and chronology, the book is divided into five primary sections. The first section explores the early discoveries of the Dead Sea Scrolls, including the famous Damascus document, a 'Dead Sea Scroll' actually not from the Dead Sea area - 50 years prior to the 1947/48 discoveries, Solomon Schechter of Cambridge University discovered manuscripts in a Cairo genizah, and after the discovery of the DSS, the particular 'Damascus document' was recognised as being related to the DSS texts. This section also looks at the editorial process and the personalities first involved in reconstruction and editing of the texts. This involves the many controversies (such as the charges of cover-ups of damaging material, intentional delays, and simply old fashioned academic rivalries) as well as controversial personalities (Allegro, for example, wrote extensively apart from his DSS assignments calling into question the origins of Christianity).

The second section looks at the world of the DSS. This sets the historical context of Judea/Palestine in the centuries before and during Roman domination and occupation. From the Babylonian exile to the revolts against Rome and the formation of Rabbinic Judaism, the culture of the communities is important for understanding the context in which the biblical and extra-biblical texts of the DSS were written.
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Format: Hardcover
The discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls by Bedouin at Khirbet Qumran in 1947 was one of the greatest archaeological finds in recorded history. Produced from circa 200 B.C. to circa 100 A.D., the Scrolls are a wealth of knowledge from the ancient Middle East during Biblical times. The convoluted story of their collection, translation and publication has taken over fifty years and filled dozens of volumes. To a noephyte student of the Scrolls this collection of literature can seem overwhelming. Many different threads of research weave the tapestry of the Scrolls' history, and adding to the confusion are the many publications which are filled with ill-advised conjecture, conspiracy theories, misguided research and the like. _The Complete World of the Dead Sea Scrolls_ provides a starting point, a lens through which to view and organize this body of research material.
Phillip R. Davies, George J. Brooke and Phillip R. Callaway, three of the most respected scholars involved in the research and publication the famous Dead Sea Scrolls, have combined their expertise to create the most complete introduction to the Scrolls imaginable. Here "complete" does not mean that the authors have included the entire body of knowledge available regarding the Scrolls, but refers to the fact that they have introduced the reader to every facet of the story of the Scrolls' discovery, research and history.
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