Professor Sidnie White Crawford (University of Nebraska-Lincoln) summarises the latest scholarship on the Qumran library of 800-900 fragmentary manuscripts from the mid-third century BCE to the late first century CE, and the history of the sect responsible for the collection and its scribal/learned characteristics. Her public lecture was delivered on January 25, 2018, on the occasion of receiving a D.Theol honoris causa from the University of Uppsala.
On February 21, 2018, Professor emeritus Yair Zakovitch (Hebrew University) delivered the first 2018 Lagrange lecture at the École biblique et archéologique française de Jérusalem, entitled “On Love and Beauty: The Complex Relations between the Song of Songs and Biblical Narrative.”
For decades it has been customary—indeed nearly academic dogma—to isolate the literary traditions of the Song from wider biblical traditions, especially prophetic literature and the scriptural narratives recounting Israel’s story. Recently, however, some scholars have begun to press arguments for recognizing inter-biblical allusions in the Song, working to re-integrate this unique specimen of biblical love-poetry within a broader biblical thought-world. The presentation of Prof. Zakovitch belongs within this budding debate and provided a sneak preview of material that will soon appear in his forthcoming study: The Song of Songs: Riddle of Riddles (T&T Clark, September 2018).
Professor Lawrence Schiffman (University of Chicago) delivered the 1990 Stroum Lectures in Jewish Studies at the University of Washington, “Creation, Revelation, and Redemption: The Religion of The Dead Sea Scrolls”.
Lecture 1: God, Humanity & The Universe in the Dead Sea Scrolls
Lecture 2: Scripture, Law & The Life of the Dead Sea Sect
Lecture 3: Apocalyptics, Messiahs, and the End of Days
The late African biblical scholar Dr. Peter Flint delivers a lecture introducing the Dead Sea Scrolls and their relevance for understanding the New Testament, on January 16, 2012 at El Shaddai Ministries, Tacoma, WA.
Dr. Eva Mroczek talks about her landmark book, The Literary Imagination in Jewish Antiquity (OUP, June 2016), in a “Frankely Judaic” podcast from the Frankel Institute for Advanced Judaic Studies. The host of “Frankely Judaic” is Jeremy Shere.
- the importance of the Dead Sea scrolls for understanding the literary production of the works which became the Bible and works which did not become the Bible, such as the books of Enoch;
- the depiction of David as an angelic scribe or bard in the first century CE;
- that there is no biblical book of Psalms in the Second Temple Period;
- the Hellenistic understanding of the writing of Genesis and Exodus evidenced by the book of Jubilees.
- that the ways ancient Jews thought about scripture “goes far beyond the Bible that we now have”
Professor Robert Alter (UC-Berkeley) discusses the three books of the Bible which might be considered the “most unorthodox: the two books that never mention the word God (the Book of Esther, the Song of Songs) and the book that pushes back against religious nationalism (the Book of Jonah).” The discussion is with Scott Saul in Chapter & Verse, a books-and-arts podcast from UC Berkeley’s Townsend Center for the Humanities.
In the Book of Esther, a story that veers into sex comedy, a beautiful Jewish commoner joins a Persian king’s harem and contrives to save her people. In the Song of Songs, two lovers engage in a dance of mutual seduction that encourages us, as readers, to “be drunk with loving.” And in the Book of Jonah, a man who refuses to preach to his enemies is swallowed by a giant fish — God working in magical as well as mysterious ways.
Professor Daniel K. Falk (University of Oregon) delivered the 2013 Peter Craigie Memorial Lecture, “Singing With Angels: Prayer in the Dead Sea Scrolls” at the University of Calgary on October 17, 2013.
Why did Jews begin to pray together daily? Prayer as regularized service of the community is one of the profound contributions of Judaism to western civilization, but the origins of Jewish liturgy remain obscure. The most important evidence is to be found among the Dead Sea Scrolls, which include the earliest known collections of Jewish liturgical prayers. Falk explores the significance of these prayers for understanding the distinctive religious life of these particular sectarians, who joined the angels in worship of God and warfare against dark forces, and in their prayer sought to harmonize with God’s created order and rectify disorder. Falk also reflects on what these texts reveal of trends in early Jewish prayer and piety more broadly.
Audio of the lecture is available here, beginning at 20:00.
Professor Emanuel Tov delivered a guest lecture in Scott Chapel, Oklahoma Christian University, in April 2014. The topic was the biblical texts among the scrolls at Qumran.
There is also a heartwarming chat with Oklahoma Christian president John deSteiguer to talk about his childhood, career, and calling:
Emeritus Professor David J.A. Clines (University of Sheffield) discusses the different ideas about Creation found in the Bible, criticising the tendency to homogenize these differences. He discusses Genesis 1, Job 38-41, Psalm 104, and various New Testament texts.
Professor Ilana Pardes, of the Hebrew University, Jerusalem, delivered the 2010 Samuel & Althea Stroum Lectures in Jewish Studies at the University of Washington. The lectures discuss Shmuel Agnon’s novel Yesteryear and the methods of Zionist and modern secular exegesis of the Hebrew Bible. The audio of each lecture is available in mp3 format.
Harvard Divinity School provides a video of “a conversation between five scholars on the Song of Songs”, held on April 15, 2013. The panel was chaired by CSWR director Francis X. Clooney, S.J., and featured Cheryl Exum of the University of Sheffield, Michael Fishbane of University of Chicago Divinity School, Paul Griffiths of Duke University, and Stephanie Paulsell of HDS.
A special edition of the 2004 Hayward Lecture series was held on the topic of “Christian Beginnings and the Dead Sea Scrolls”, at Acadia Divinity College. Articles developed from the lecture series were later published in John J. Collins and Craig A. Evans, eds, Christian Beginnings and the Dead Sea Scrolls (Baker Academic, 2006).
John J. Collins, “A Messiah before Jesus?”
Craig A. Evans, “Jesus, John, and the Dead Sea Scrolls: Assessing Typologies of Restoration”
Martin Abegg, “Paul and James on the Law in Light of the Dead Sea Scrolls”
Peter Flint, “The Dead Sea Scrolls and the Biblical Canon”
Glenn Wooden, “Guided by God: Divine Aid in Interpretation in the Dead Sea Scrolls and the New Testament”
Barry Smith, “‘Spirit of Holiness’: An Eschatological Principle of Obedience”
Daniel J. Harrington, S.J., STM professor of New Testament (until his death on February 7, 2014), presents “Lament and Hope: The Contributions of the Biblical Lament Psalms“, at Boston College, on October 6, 2010.
Fr. Harrington offers reflections on the key elements of the biblical laments, including Psalms 3, 5, and 22, and their message for those who suffer today.
Robert Henry Charles’s classic edited collection of translations of Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha of the Old Testament (1913) is made available by the Christian Classics Ethereal Library (CCEL).
Although somewhat superseded by James Charlesworth’s Old Testament Pseudepigrapha (1983-85) and Bauckham, Davila, and Panayotov’s Old Testament Pseudepigrapha: More Noncanonical Scriptures 1 (2013), the translations in Charles’s edited volumes are still regularly used and referred to.
Volume 1: The Apocrypha of the Old Testament
1 Maccabees / William O.E. Oesterley
2 Maccabees / James Moffatt
3 Maccabees (Emmet)
Quasi-historical Books Written with a Moral Purpose
Sirach / George H. Box and William O.E. Oesterley
Wisdom of Solomon (Holmes)
Additions to and Completions of the Canonical Books
1 Baruch (Whitehouse)
Epistle of Jeremy [Jeremiah] (Ball)
Prayer of Manasses [Manasseh] (Ryle)
Additions to Daniel
Prayer of Azariah and Song of the Three Children (Bennett)
Bel and the Dragon (Witton Davies)
Additions to Esther (Gregg)
Volume 2: The Pseudepigrapha of the Old Testament
Primitive History Rewritten from the Standpoint of the Law
The Book of Jubilees / Robert Henry Charles
The Letter of Aristeas (Andrews)
The Books of Adam and Eve (Wells)
The Martyrdom of Isaiah (Charles)
1 Enoch (Charles)
The Testaments of the 12 Patriarchs (Charles)
The Sibylline Oracles (Lanchester)
The Assumption of Moses (Charles)
2 Enoch, or the Book of the Secrets of Enoch (Forbes and Charles)
2 Baruch, or the Syriac Apocalypse of Baruch (Charles)
3 Baruch, or the Greek Apocalypse of Baruch (Hughes)
The Psalms of Solomon (Gray)
Ethics and Wisdom Literature
4 Maccabees (Townshend)
Pirke Aboth (Herford)
The Story of Achikar [Ahikar] (Harris, Lewis, Conybeare)
The Fragments of a Zadokite Work [Cairo Damascus Document] (Charles)