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The Dead Sea Scrolls in English (Pelican) [Paperback]

Geza Vermes
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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The Complete Dead Sea Scrolls in English (7th Edition) (Penguin Classics) The Complete Dead Sea Scrolls in English (7th Edition) (Penguin Classics) 4.6 out of 5 stars (7)
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Book Description

30 April 1970 Pelican
The discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls between 1947 and 1956 transformed the study of the Bible, early post-biblical Judaism and the beginnings of Christianity. Written in Hebrew and Aramaic, and dating roughly from 200 BC to the mid first-century AD, they afford insight into Palestinian Jewish life and ideology. This revised edition includes 26 newly translated scroll texts, an introduction discussing developments in Qumran scholarship, and an inventory of all the scrolls made available in 1991.
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Product details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd; New edition edition (30 April 1970)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0140205519
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140205510
  • Product Dimensions: 17.5 x 10.9 x 2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 3,589,426 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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About the Author

Geza Vermes is Professor Emeritus of Jewish Studies, University of Oxford, UK. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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5.0 out of 5 stars An important asset for scroll studies. 21 Feb 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
It provided a very good reference book to others I have that refer to the scrolls. It would be interesting to know if strill later finds will update it.
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Amazon.com: 5.0 out of 5 stars  1 review
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Géza Vermes (1924-2013) was a British scholar of Jewish Hungarian origin—who also served as a Catholic priest in his youth—and writer on religious history, and Qumran research. He wrote many books, including Jesus the Jew.

He wrote in the Introduction to this 1962 book, “The books and articles written on this subject… in the main have been highly technical and therefore accessible only to the specialist. The present work gives the actual text of the non-biblical religious writings, so to a large extent the reader will now be able to judge them for himself… In the following pages I have nowhere applied the term ‘Essenism’ to this community… it has been my intention to allow the Scrolls to speak for themselves… Essenism is dead. The brittle structure of its stiff and exclusive organization was unable to withstand the national catastrophe which struck Palestinian Judaism in A.D. 70… it lacked the pliant strength which enabled orthodox Judaism to survive. And although its Teacher of Righteousness clearly sensed the deeper obligations implicit in the Mosaic Law, he was without the genius of Jesus who laid bare the inner core of spiritual truth and exposed the essence of religion as an existential relationship between man and man, and between man and God.”

He notes, “the Community Rule (III, v) refers also to a purificatory rite in connexion with entry into the Covenant. This seems to have been a peculiar and solemn act similar to Christian baptism, and to have symbolized purification by the ‘spirit of holiness.’” (Pg. 45) Of their Common Meal, he says, “It may be assumed from the similarity between the Meal and the Messianic Banquet that the former was believed to be a ritual anticipation of the latter. This being so, the Meal was a liturgical drama expressing the participants’ ardent hope of sharing in the great Communion Supper of the Messianic triumph. Such a banquet is foretold in the Book of Isaiah (xxv, 6) and is alluded to in the New Testament when, during the Last Supper, Jesus tells the apostles that he will not drink wine again ‘until the say when I drink it new with you in my Father’s house.” (Mt 26:29) (Pg. 47)

The rules for the Meal are described in the Scrolls: “And [when] they shall gather for the common [tab]le, to eat and [to drink] new wine, when the common table shall be set for eating and the new wine [poured] for drinking, let no man extend his hand over the first-fruits of bread and wine before the Priest; for [it is he] who shall bless the first-fruits of bread and wine, and shall be the first [to extend] his hand over the bread. Thereafter, the Messiah of Israel shall extend his hand over the bread, [and] all the Congregation of the Community [shall utter a] blessing, [each man in the order] of his dignity.” (Pg. 121)

Of course, in 1991 the Biblical Archaeology Society was able to publish the complete "Facsimile Edition of the Dead Sea Scrolls," so Vermes’ publication has been in a sense superseded. But his commentaries on the documents are still well worth serious study by students of Judaism and early Christianity.
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