As well as superb translations of all non-biblical texts sufficiently well preserved to be rendered into English, there are also a number of previously unpublished texts, and a new preface.
Since its first publication in 1962, The Dead Sea Scrolls in English has established itself as the standard English translation of the non-Biblical Qumran Scrolls and as giving an astonishing insight to the organization, customs, history and beliefs of the community responsible for them. This edition will contain new material, together with extensive new introductory material and notes.
Geza Vermes is the world's leading Dead Sea Scrolls scholar, whose English translations brought these extraordinary documents to thousands, and whose life has been inextricably interwoven with the scrolls for over sixty years. In this illuminating book he relates the controversial story of their discovery and publication around the world, revealing cover-ups, blunders and academic in-fighting, but also the passion and dedication of many of those involved. He shares what he has learned about the scrolls and, evaluating passages from them, gives his views on their true significance and what they can teach us, as well as those areas where scholarly consensus has not yet been reached.
Few scholars have been as closely associated with the Dead Sea Scrolls as Vermes. Writing with candour and unique authority, he has created an ideal introduction to understanding these miraculous documents.
More than three quarters of a million people have turned to How to Read the Bible for All Its Worth to inform their reading of the Bible. This fourth edition features revisions that keep pace with current scholarship, resources, and culture. Changes include:Updated language for better readabilityScripture references now appear only in brackets at the end of a sentence or paragraph, helping you read the Bible as you would read any book—without the numbersA new authors’ prefaceRedesigned and updated diagramsUpdated list of recommended commentaries and resources
Covering everything from translational concerns to different genres of biblical writing, How to Read the Bible for All Its Worth is used all around the world. In clear, simple language, it helps you accurately understand the different parts of the Bible—their meaning for ancient audiences and their implications for you today—so you can uncover the inexhaustible worth that is in God’s Word.
The Dead Sea Scrolls, in the narrow sense of Qumran Caves Scrolls are a collection of some 981 different texts discovered between 1946 and 1956 in eleven caves in the immediate vicinity of the ancient settlement at Khirbet Qumran in the West Bank, The caves are located about two kilometres (1.2 miles) inland from the northwest shore of the Dead Sea, from which they derive their name.
The consensus is that the Qumran Caves Scrolls date from the last three centuries BCE and the first century CE. Bronze coins found at the same sites form a series beginning with John Hyrcanus (135–104 BCE) and continuing until the First Jewish–Roman War (66–73 CE), supporting the radiocarbon and paleographic dating of the scrolls.
Manuscripts from additional Judean desert sites go back as far as the eighth century BCE to as late as the 11th century CE.
The texts are of great historical, religious, and linguistic significance because they include the third oldest known surviving manuscripts of works later included in the Hebrew Bible canon, along with deuterocanonical and extra-biblical manuscripts which preserve evidence of the diversity of religious thought in late Second Temple Judaism.
Biblical text older than the Dead Sea Scrolls has been discovered only in two silver scroll-shaped amulets containing portions of the Priestly Blessing from the Book of Numbers, excavated in Jerusalem at Ketef Hinnom and dated c. 600 BCE. A burnt piece of Leviticus dating from the 6th century CE analyzed in 2015 was found to be the fourth-oldest piece of the Torah known to exist.
Most of the texts are written in Hebrew, with some in Aramaic (in different regional dialects, including Nabataean), and a few in Greek. If discoveries from the Judean desert are included, Latin (from Masada) and Arabic (from Khirbet al-Mird) can also be added. Most texts are written on parchment, some on papyrus and one on copper.
The scrolls have traditionally been identified with the ancient Jewish sect called the Essenes, although some recent interpretations have challenged this association and argue that the scrolls were penned by priests in Jerusalem, Zadokites or other unknown Jewish groups.
Due to the poor condition of some of the scrolls, not all of them have been identified. Those that have been identified can be divided into three general groups:
- Some 40% of them are copies of texts from the Hebrew Scriptures.
- Approximately another 30% of them are texts from the Second Temple Period which ultimately were not canonized in the Hebrew Bible, like the Book of Enoch, the Book of Jubilees, the Book of Tobit, the Wisdom of Sirach, Psalms 152–155, etc.
- The remaining roughly 30% of them are sectarian manuscripts of previously unknown documents that shed light on the rules and beliefs of a particular group (sect) or groups within greater Judaism, like the Community Rule, the War Scroll, the Pesher on Habakkuk and The Rule of the Blessing.
Geza Vermes is one of the world's most respected bibilical historians. Bringing together his three acclaimed works on the life of Jesus in one volume, this book examines the circumstances surrounding the miraculous birth of Jesus, from the prophetic star to Herod's murderous decree; looks afresh at the arrest, trial and execution of this Jewish charismatic; and finally analyses Jesus' crucifixion and the subsequent sightings of him by his disciples.
Drawing on the New Testament, Jewish documents and sources from classical literature and history, these works separate myth from fact to penetrate the deeper meanings of the story of Christ.