Why Study the Scrolls at TWU?

The Dead Sea Scrolls Institute (DSSI) at Trinity Western University supports the research of scholars across campus and in the community whose work explores the significance of the Qumran discoveries for the words of scripture and the worlds beyond it. Since its inception in 1995, the DSSI has become an international leader in developing research tools for Qumran studies, hosting public events and academic conferences on current topics in Dead Sea Scrolls, and providing advanced training for students in the textual, historical, linguistic, and cultural contexts of these remarkable finds.

Dr. Andrew Perrin is the current Director of the DSSI, which benefits from the research activities of five Research Associates (see below). Directors of the DSSI have held three prestigious research chairs, including the Canada Research Chair in Dead Sea Scrolls Studies (Dr. Peter Flint), the Ben Zion Wacholder Professorship in Dead Sea Scrolls (Dr. Martin Abegg), and the current Canada Research Chair in Religious Identities of Ancient Judaism (Dr. Andrew Perrin).

Research initiatives and events of the DSSI are integrated with offerings of the Master of Arts in Biblical Studies program delivered by the Department of Religious Studies. In 2015, alumni of this program and the DSSI created the “Dead Sea Scrolls Legacy Scholarship” for incoming graduate students to recognize the heritage and future of Qumran research at Trinity Western University.

DSSI news, opportunities, and events are posted regularly on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. Whenever possible we make aspects of our projects and events available online to a global audience on our YouTube channel. Please subscribe or follow our social media accounts for updates and open-access content.

About the Director

Andrew Perrin, PhD

Dr. Perrin is Canada Research Chair in Religious Identities of Ancient Judaism and Assistant Professor of Religious Studies. His work explores the life, thought, and culture of Second Temple Judaism in light of the Aramaic Dead Sea Scrolls. His book The Dynamics of Dream-Vision Revelation in the Aramaic Dead Sea Scrolls (Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 2015) won the Manfred Lautenschlaeger Award for Theological Promise from the University of Heidelberg. Aspects of his work have been published in Journal of Biblical Literature, Dead Sea Discoveries, Vetus Testamentum, Journal for the Study of the Pseudepigrapha, and Biblical Archaeology Review. He is a past fellow of the Albright Institute of Archaeological Research in Jerusalem and of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation at Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität in Munich. He is currently writing a commentary on a selection of Aramaic Dead Sea Scrolls, which was awarded an Insight Grant from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council.

Research Associates

Martin Abegg, PhD

Dr. Abegg is Emeritus Professor of Religious Studies and former Co-Director of the Dead Sea Scrolls Institute. His past work includes translations, notes, and introductions to the biblical scrolls in The Dead Sea Scrolls Bible (HarperSanFrancisco, 1999) and non-biblical texts in The Dead Sea Scrolls: A New Translation (HarperSanFrancisco, 1996). Dr. Abegg is also a co-editor of the three-volume Dead Sea Scrolls Concordance (Brill 2003-2016), which includes lexical data for all texts found in the caves near Qumran, and a consultant and contributor to the concordances of several volumes in the Discoveries in the Judaean Desert series (Oxford). He is currently editor of the new Dead Sea Scrolls Editions (Brill) and is preparing a text edition of the War Scroll for that series. His other ongoing projects include developing Accordance Bible Software modules on the syntax of Qumran Hebrew.

Kyung S. Baek, PhD

Dr. Baek is a Postdoctoral Fellow with the Canada Research Chair in Religious Identities of Ancient Judaism. His research interests include the Dead Sea Scrolls, New Testament, and the use of the Hebrew Scriptures in both collections. He is a co-editor and contributor to Reading the Bible in Ancient Traditions and Modern Editions: Studies in Memory of Peter W. Flint (SBL Press, 2017) and co-author of Leviticus at Qumran: Text and Interpretation (Brill, 2017). His current projects include a study on the use of Daniel in the Dead Sea Scrolls and a new volume, The Great Isaiah Scroll: Text and Translation (Eerdmans).

Don (Dongshin) Chang, PhD

Dr. Chang is Assistant Professor of Biblical Studies at Northwest Baptist Seminary of ACTS Seminaries. His research explores the characterization of priestly figures in late antiquity and ideologies related to the priesthood and temples in the Dead Sea Scrolls, Hebrew Bible, and Septuagint. His monograph Phineas, The Sons of Zadok, and Melchizedek: Priestly Covenant in Late Second Temple Texts (Bloomsbury, 2016) won the “Book of Excellence” award in Theology and Biblical Studies from the Heemang Nanum Foundation. His current projects include articles on the conceptualization of sojourners in the Hebrew Bible/Old Testament and a Korean study on covenant renewal in the book of Acts viewed through the lens of ancient Jewish traditions.

Kipp Davis, PhD

Dr. Davis’s research focuses on the transmission and interpretation of scripture in Second Temple Judaism and the issue of manuscript provenance and authentication of fragments in private collections. His publications in these areas include the monograph The Cave 4 Apocryphon of Jeremiah and the Qumran Jeremianic Traditions (Brill, 2014) and the co-edited volume Gleanings from the Caves: Dead Sea Scrolls Artefacts from the Schøyen Collection (Bloomsbury, 2016). His most recent work combines forensic approaches and scribal studies to develop innovative tools for detecting manuscript forgeries. Aspects of these ongoing outcomes have been featured in mainstream media outlets such as CNN, The Guardian, Science, National Geographic, and PBS’s hit documentary series NOVA.

Marcus Tso, PhD

Dr. Tso’s research explores moral emotions, virtue, ethics and demonology in the Qumran sectarian literature and the New Testament. His publications on these topics include the monograph Ethics in the Qumran Community: An Interdisciplinary Investigation (Mohr Siebeck, 2010) and essays in The Significance of Sinai: Traditions about Sinai and Divine Revelations in Judaism and Christianity (Brill, 2008), The Hebrew Bible in Light of the Dead Sea Scrolls (Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 2012), and the recent T&T Clark Companion to the Dead Sea Scrolls (Bloomsbury, 2018). Dr. Tso is former Associate Professor of Biblical Studies at Ambrose University and Seminary.