Breaking News: Dead Sea Scrolls to be Placed Online

Here is some exciting news from Dr Clive Field from a post on the Association of British Theological and Philosophical Libraries (ABTAPL) mailing list (reproduced here by permission):

Ever since their discovery in the late 1940s in eleven caves in the neighbourhood of Qumran, in the Judean Desert at the north-west end of the Dead Sea, the Dead Sea Scrolls have been incrementally transforming our knowledge of the Old Testament, Jewish life and thought between 20 BC and 70 AD, and the origins of Christianity. They are considered one of the greatest archaeological finds of the last century.

Access to the scrolls (at the Israel Museum, Jerusalem) has always been extremely limited, mostly to some 300 accredited scholars (apart from occasional exhibitions). So it is exciting news that, as part of its twentieth anniversary celebrations, the Israel Antiquities Authority yesterday announced that it is teaming up with Google’s Israeli Research and Design Centre in a $3,500,000 project to digitize all 30,000 fragments and make them freely available online.

Images will be created to the highest possible resolution, using infrared technology (which will allow researchers to see parts of the fragments that have turned black with age). The first images should be available next Spring, although the entire project will not be completed for some considerable time. The scrolls – in Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek – will be accompanied by transcriptions and English translations, with translations into other languages to follow.

Here is today’s report in the Daily Mail. 

The Use of the Old Testament in the New and Other Essays now on-line

Duke University Press have kindly allowed me permission to place online all the essays from the following Festschrift:

James M. Efird, editor, The Use of the Old Testament in the New and Other Essays: Studies in Honor of William Franklin Stinespring. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 1972. ISBN: 0822302888. pp.332.


It contains two articles on the use of the OT in the New (always a popular subject) as well as contributions by renowned biblical scholars J.H. Charlesworth and W.D. Davies. Of note is the article on Gnostic exegesis of the OT. Click here for a full listing.

What is the “Wizard of Oz” of Biblical Studies Articles?

It is a little known fact – at least it was to me – that The Wizard of Oz (1939) is the most quoted and alluded to movie of all time. Think of how many times you hear lines like “Well Toto, we’re not in Kansas any more!”, “There’s no place like home”, “I’ll get you my pretty…” and “I’m melting!”
If we applied the same criteria to articles in the field of biblical studies, which article would be the most cited? Well, my suggestion is this article by Samual Sandmel:Samuel Sandmel, “Parallelomania,” Journal of Biblical Literature 81 (1962): 1-13.Not only have I seen it cited many times but it deserves credit for adding a new word to the English theological dictionary.Sandmel writes:

We might for our purposes define parallelomania as that extravagance among scholars which first overdoes the supposed similarity in passages and then proceeds to describe source and derivation as if implying literary connection flowing in an inevitable or predetermined direction.

Surely the exhortation to avoid the error of parallomania is as valid today as it was in 1962?

Perhaps you have a nomination for the title – I’d love to hear it.

Many thanks the Society of Biblical Literature for their kind permission to reproduce this article.