Tuesday, October 21, 2008
The Dead Sea Scrolls: Mysteries of the Ancient World
The Jewish Museum in New York is presenting an exhibition of the Dead Sea Scrolls titled: “The Dead Sea Scrolls: Mysteries of the Ancient World.” The exhibit runs through January 4 at The Jewish Museum, 1109 Fifth Ave, New York.
Contrary to previous exhibits, this one focus on the controversy raging among scholars on the provenance and authorship of the scrolls. According to an article published by The Jewish Week, the exhibit presents Roland de Vaux’s view that the scrolls belonged to the Essenes, a monastic Jewish sect who lived at Qumran.
The exhibit also presents the views of Norman Golb, that the scrolls belonged to Jerusalem Jews escaping a Roman attack.
The Jewish Museum has made an effort at presenting both sides of the controversy. Susan L. Braunstein, the exhibit’s curator, said that “It’s not the moment to say which is the most believable or correct. We don’t have enough of the archaeological evidence published; there’s no smoking gun.”
The article gives a ray of hope that may solve the controversy. Until now, some of de Vaux’s field notes from his excavations at the Qumran remain unpublished. Some scholars believe that these notes may vindicate the new theories about the scrolls.
The article reports that Jean-Baptiste Humbert, the successor to de Vaux, has announced that the third volume of de Vaux’s field notes from his excavations will be published within the next three months and the fourth and final volume will be published within a year after that.
The article in The Jewish Week is excellent and presents a balanced view of both side of the debates. Read the article by clicking here.
Professor of Old Testament
Northern Baptist Seminary
Tags: Archaeology, Dead Sea Scrolls, Jean-Baptiste Humbert, Norman Golb, Roland de Vaux