In this course, Professor Lawrence H. Schiffman presents the real Dead Sea Scrolls. In doing so, this widely published authority on Judaic studies imparts a clear understanding of what the Scrolls are, and even more importantly, what they are not. The discovery of the Scrolls is itself a thing of legend. As the story goes, a Bedouin boy discovered the Scrolls in a cave in 1947 while looking for a missing goat. But as Professor Schiffman explains, even this simple story is more complicated than it first appears. Indeed, everything about the Scrolls, from their long, torturous road to full publication to the contentious haggling over dating, meaning, and translation of the Scrolls, has been shrouded in controversy - so much so that even otherwise respected academics have succumbed to the curse of the Scrolls by committing serious errors in their Dead Sea Scrolls scholarship.
The Dead Sea Scrolls have been the subject of numerous sensationalistic articles in tabloid publications. All manner of people with outrageous theories, including apocalyptic groups and those who believe that the Scrolls contain some hidden message that will lead to man's salvation, have used the Scrolls to further their agenda. In these lectures, Professor Schiffman engages listeners with a fascinating explanation of the content of the Scrolls, the times in which the Scrolls were kept, and the Jewish sectarians who lived in the Dead Sea community. First and foremost, Professor Schiffman clarifies one of the biggest and most widespread misunderstandings about the Scrolls, which is simply this: The Scrolls were not Christian texts nor do they contain any references to Jesus or John the Baptist. The Scrolls, in fact, pre-dated Christianity by many years. By dispersing this myth of the Scrolls as Christian texts, the invaluable insights the Scrolls provide can finally be appreciated. Download and start listening now!