Between 1947 and 1956, nearly 900 ancient Jewish manuscripts were
found in remote caves near Khirbet Qumran on the edge of the Dead
Sea. This authoritative and accessible book explains the nature and
significance of these amazing manuscripts and the dramatic impact
they have had on our understanding of religion in ancient
Palestine. Cutting through scholarly controversies and conspiracy
theories, it demonstrates how the Dead Sea Scrolls have transformed
our comprehension of the Bible, Judaism in the time of Jesus, and
the rise of Christianity.
In the second edition the main text, footnotes and
bibliographies have all been thoroughly updated, and a new chapter
added that expands the material on the identity of the community
behind the scrolls and provides a helpful survey of the
manuscripts. The book is an ideal introduction for anyone
interested in either the Scrolls themselves, Jewish history and
religion in the Second Temple period or the early Christian
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