Unlocking the Meaning of the Dead Sea Scrolls

“This work [The Meaning of the Dead Sea Scrolls] provides a cap and climax to more than fifty years of research and publication of the Scrolls”
—David Noel Freedman, University of California, San Diego, Editor-in-Chief, Anchor Bible Project

Langley, B.C.—On November 20th, Trinity Western University’s Dead Sea scroll professors will give the public the key to unlock the mysteries of the Dead Sea scrolls. Published by Harper-Collins, The Meaning of the Dead Sea Scrolls will help the average reader better understand the 2000 year old Old Testament manuscripts, written mainly in Hebrew. At 7:30 that evening, the public will have the opportunity to hear from and meet two of the renowned biblical studies experts chosen to translate the Bible used by the Apostles and quoted in the New Testament.

This book will complete the triad of the already published, The Dead Sea Scrolls Bible (1999, containing the biblical scrolls) and The Dead Sea Scrolls, a New Introduction (1996, containing most of the non-Biblical scrolls), serving as an introductory book for the other two. Peter Flint, PhD, Co-Director of the Dead Sea Scrolls Institute at TWU and co-author of The Meaning of the Dead Sea Scrolls, is an expert in translating and understanding those ancient texts. He has authored numerous books on the Dead Sea scrolls and has co-authored The Dead Sea Scrolls Bible with Martin Abegg, PhD, Director of the MA in Biblical Studies at TWU.

“The Meaning of the Dead Sea Scrolls is the most thorough and up to date introduction to the scrolls,” says Flint, professor of religious studies at TWU. “It takes archeology, science, biblical studies, research, ancient languages, and brings them all together and explains what the scrolls mean and why they are so important.”

Two years ago, Flint was hand-picked by Harper-Collins to be the Canadian scholar to co-author the text. Partnered with his American counter-part, James Vanderkam, professor of Biblical Studies at the University of Notre Dame, the team produced the book which will serve as an introduction for the Dead Sea scrolls for the new millennium.

“The purpose was to bring to the attention of the public great scientific advances from the past decade, such as carbon-14 dating, DNA analysis and spectral imaging,” says Flint.

But the book is not filled with academic jargon and readers do not need to know Hebrew or Greek to understand it. “This book is aimed towards the thinking public,” says Flint. “Students, pastors—anyone who cares about the past and what’s going to happen in the future, anyone who cares about Christianity. All you need to read the new book is a curiosity to know more and a love of relevant knowledge.”

Also attending the book launch will be Martin Abegg, Associate Professor of Biblical Studies and Co-Director of the Dead Sea Scrolls Institute at Trinity Western University. As joint author of The Dead Sea Scrolls: A New Introduction and The Dead Sea Scrolls Bible, Abegg will be launching the much anticipated paper-back issue of The Dead Sea Scrolls Bible.

Abegg comments on why the Dead Sea scrolls discovery was so important. “The age of the scrolls is of grave importance,” he says. “Before finding them, the oldest complete manuscript of the Hebrew Bible dated approximately 1000 A.D. The Dead Sea scrolls discovery confirms that the younger manuscript was accurate, as any differences between the two were relatively minor.”

The book launch and book signing will take place Wednesday, November 20, 7:30 to 8:45 p.m. in Block Hall (Neufeld Science Centre) of Trinity Western University, 7600 Glover Road, Langley, BC. For more information call (604) 513-2005 or (604) 888-7511 extension 3504. To order the Dead Sea Scrolls books call (800) 882-3188.

Peter W. Flint Ph.D. (Notre Dame) is professor of Bible Studies and Co-Director of the Dead Sea Scrolls Institute at Trinity Western University in British Columbia. He is the author of numerous books on the Dead Sea Scrolls, including The Dead Sea Psalms Scrolls and the Book of Psalms (1997), and joint author of The Dead Sea Scrolls Bible (1999) and The Meaning of the Dead Sea Scrolls (2002).

Martin G. Abegg, Jr., Ph.D. (Hebrew Union College) is Director of the MA in Biblical Studies, Associate Professor of Biblical Studies and Co-Director of the Dead Sea Scrolls Institute at Trinity Western University. He is also the Chair of the Department of Religious Studies in British Columbia. Abegg is co-editor of A Preliminary Edition of the Unpublished Dead Sea Scrolls (1994), and joint author of The Dead Sea Scrolls: A New Introduction (1996) and The Dead Sea Scrolls Bible (1999).

Trinity Western University, located in Langley, B.C., is a not-for-profit Christian liberal arts university enrolling over 3,200 students this year. With a broad-based, liberal arts and sciences curriculum, the University offers undergraduate degrees in 35 major areas ranging from business, education and computer science to biology and nursing, and 12 graduate degrees including counseling psychology, theology and administrative leadership.

Last Updated: 2007-09-26
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