Date of this Version
Near Eastern Archaeology 65:1 (2002), pp. 81–86.
The Dead Sea Scrolls—in the popular imagination, the very name conjures up scandal, intrigue and mystery. Tales of illicit excavations, clandestine purchases, and midnight trips to Beirut, all with the sound of gunfire crackling in the background, abound in the lore of the Scrolls and the scholars associated with them. While visions of Roland de Vaux as a French Indiana Jones may be the product of an overheated imagination, the actual story of the discovery of the Scrolls is nevertheless an exciting one in the annals of archaeology.
To say that the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls has revolutionized the study of the Hebrew Bible and Second Temple Judaism is to repeat what has become a well-worn cliché. But clichés, though trite, are often true, and, in fact, the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls has revolutionized the study of the Hebrew Bible and Second Temple Judaism.