70 Years of Discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls

On August 6, 2017, at the 17th World Congress of Jewish Studies, Jerusalem, the first plenary session celebrated “70 Years of Discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls”. The four papers look at various ways in which the Dead Sea Scrolls enhance our knowledge of early Jewish literature.

Chairperson: Esther Chazon

Devorah Dimant: The Dead sea Scrolls and the Jewish Apocryphal Literature

Emmanuel Tov: The Exegesis of the Bible Enriched by the Dead Sea Scrolls

Hindy Najman: Rethinking the Contours of the Biblical Corpus through the Lens of the Dead Sea Scrolls

Michael Segal: On Writing and Rewriting in Light of the Dead Sea Scrolls

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David M. Carr: Beyond Original Sin: Genesis on the Emergence of True Adulthood

On April 5, 2018, Professor David M. Carr (Union Theological Seminary) delivered the final lecture in the 2017-18 Killeen Chair of Theology and Philosophy lecture series, at St. Norbert College.

David M. Carr, Ph.D., professor of Old Testament at Union Theological Seminary, invites us to consider the transformative possibilities in the story of God’s creation of male and female humans in the Garden of Eden in Genesis 2-3. Carr’s lecture will offer a new reading of Genesis 2-3 as a subtle account of what it means to be a fully adult human, neither all good nor all bad.

The lecture begins at 3:15.

Biblical Exegesis in Second Temple Literature (Bar Ilan)

Below are videos of the papers from the “Biblical Exegesis in Second Temple Literature” section of the conference “Biblical Exegesis through the Ages” at Bar-Ilan University on May 9, 2018.

דבורה דימנט (אוניברסיטת חיפה) ‘כתוב בספר’: ספרים ולוחות בספרות ארמית יהודית מימי הבית השני

Moshe J. Bernstein (Yeshiva University), “Reading the Genesis Apocryphon as Biblical Commentary”

 

Michael Segal (Hebrew University), “Early Biblical Exegesis in the Septuagint”

 

אסתי אשל (אוניברסיטת בר-אילן), “ושאלו להון ספרא וחכמתא וקושטא” :לימוד והעברת ידע במגילה החיצונית ובספרות קרובה

Lawrence H. Schiffman (New York University), “Biblical Exegesis in the Temple Scroll”

James Kugel (Bar-Ilan University), “The Legendization of Midrash in Second Temple Time”

 

Sidnie White Crawford, “The History of Qumran and its Library: A New Synthesis”

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.

Danna Nolan Fewell on the Destruction of Sodom and Bible-Thumping, Bible-Tweeting Culture

On April 3, 2017, Professor Dana Nolan Fewell (Drew University) delivered a lecture on the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah in Genesis 19, and its reception in “Bible-Thumping, Bible-Tweeting Culture”. The lecture was held at the College of the Holy Cross, Worcester, Massachusetts.

 

Rewriting the Exodus: Susan Docherty’s Inaugural Professorial Lecture

On May 23, 2016, Professor Susan Docherty (Newman University, Birmingham) delivered her Inaugural Professorial Lecture, “Rewriting The Exodus”.

The biblical account of the Exodus has always been significant for Jews in constructing their history, identity and theology. The story of how God acted through Moses to free the Israelite slaves from their suffering in Egypt is, not surprisingly, retold in numerous Jewish writings throughout the centuries.

In Graeco-Roman times, the large number of Jews living outside of Palestine in cities and towns throughout the Empire particularly enjoyed celebrating Moses as a Hebrew hero who triumphed over hostile foreign powers. One of the most interesting of these retellings, known as the Exagoge, takes the form of a Greek Tragedy. I will discuss the interpretation given to the Exodus in this play, and how this compares to that found in other early Jewish sources and the New Testament.

This text raises questions which are still relevant today, including how far religion can be assimilated to different cultures, and how free theologians should feel to adapt authoritative sacred texts to respond to new circumstances.

The lecture is available for viewing on Panopto:

 

Christine Hayes: Moses at Sinai – God’s Partner or Adversary? (Shavuot 5776)

Professor Christine Hays (Yale University) delivered a lecture in the Shalom Hartman Institute 5776 Rabbinic Webinar Series on Shavuot and its commemoration of the giving of Torah. The lecture, “Moses at Sinai: God’s Partner or Adversary?” was given on the first day of Shavuot 5776 (June 1, 2016).

Sidnie White Crawford on the Dead Sea Scrolls and Composition of the Bible

Here is a collection of lectures given by Professor Sidnie White Crawford (University of Nebraska-Lincoln) on the subject of the Dead Sea Scrolls and what they tell us about the composition of the Bible.

 

“The Rewritten Bible at Qumran” (4Q Reworked Pentateuch)

“What Do the Dead Sea Scrolls Teach Us About The Bible?”

“The Dead Seas Scrolls After 60 Years: What Have We Learned?”

“The Qumran Collection of Texts as a Scribal Collection”

Lawrence Schiffman – 2006 Stroum Lectures: The Religion of The Dead Sea Scrolls

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

Peter Flint on the Dead Sea Scrolls and the New Testament

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.

Elie Wiesel on Genesis and Job

On October 11, 2001, Elie Wiesel (September 30, 1928 – July 2, 2016) was invited to present a guest lecture in Boston University’s Core Curriculum: The Ancient World (Humanities, Genesis to Plato) course (run by Professor James H. Johnson). Elie Wiesel’s lecture begins (at 14:30) with the stories in Genesis and proceeds to discuss the book of Job (33:10). The video culminates with a Q&A session (44:35).

Note that the sound quality of the video is below par.

Phyllis Trible on Jacob, Hagar and Sarah

phyllis-trible

Professor Phyllis Trible delivered the 2014 Kellogg Lectures at Episcopal Divinity School, on May 9, 2014. The two lectures are available in audio format, on SoundCloud:

1. Justice for Jacob

2. Justice for Foremothers: Hagar and Sarah

 

Ron Hendel: “The Exodus as Cultural Memory”

Professor Ron Hendel (University of California at Berkeley) delivered a lecture at the Arizona Centre for Judaic Centre on March 9, 2015, on the subject of “The Exodus as Cultural Memory”.

The Exodus is a central event in biblical and Jewish memory. But according to the archaeological and historical record, it is unclear what it is a memory of.  I propose that it is, in part, a transformed memory of the demise of the Egyptian Empire in Canaan, which facilitated the emergence of Israel as an independent people.  The story served as an engine of a distinctive cultural identity, a function that it continues to perform today.

The lecture begins at 5:30.

A version of the lecture was published in Israel’s Exodus in Transdisciplinary Perspective, edited by Thomas E. Levy, Thomas Schneider, and William H.C. Propp (Springer, 2015).