>Norman Golb on the Dead Sea Scrolls


Professor Norman Golb has written another article on the ongoing Dead Sea Scrolls controversy. The article is available in PDF format on the website of the Oriental Institute at theUniversity of Chicago.

The following is an excerpt taken from the article:


Six decades after their discovery, the Dead Sea Scrolls are still being treated in many quarters as merely the writings of a small sect that once inhabited an austere desert location near the area where they were discovered. Nowhere is this effort being more ardently pursued than in the present series of Scroll exhibitions taking place here in the States.

This series, while rooted in showings of previous decades, was developed and formulated only during the past few years, beginning with the exhibit that took place in Charlotte (N.C.) in the spring of 2006. This one was passed on to Seattle’s Pacific Science Center (Autumn 2006). From there it traveled to Kansas City’s Discovery Place (Winter and Spring 2007), and it is now moving to San Diego’s Natural History Museum, with an opening planned for the end of June

It must be noted that the wording of the descriptions in the exhibit plaques has been formulated in consultation with and subject to the approval of the responsible curators at the Israel Antiquities Authority in Jerusalem.

While variations in wording can be found in each of the exhibitions, the basic idiom and associated message remain the same: they have in common an effort to convince the public of the truth of the old theory, created in the infancy of Scroll scholarship, that these manuscripts were written in whole or at least in large part by a Jewish sect of Essenes supposedly living at a site — Khirbet Qumran — located in the Judaean Wilderness near the Dead Sea shore.

These claims contradict the presently known accumulation of evidence, adduced by growing numbers of text scholars and archaeologists, demonstrating that the Scrolls are of Jerusalem origin, that Khirbet Qumran was a secular site with no connection to a religious sect, and that the Scrolls lack any organic relation to that site.

Read the whole article by clicking here.

The debate about the nature of the Qumran community continues. This article raises important issues that needs to be evaluated by those who are interested in the Dead Sea Scrolls.

Claude Mariottini
Professor of Old Testament
Northern Baptist Seminary

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3 Responses to >Norman Golb on the Dead Sea Scrolls

  1. >I saw Golb’s lecture here and it was by far the best of the series.Apparently the San Diego museum doesn’t want any criticism. It sounds like have an agreement with the old-school Qumranologists–hardly appropriate for a Natural History museum.


  2. >Robert,Thank you for your comment. Professor Golb has many things to say about the Dead Sea Scrolls and scholars need to pay attention to what he has to say.Claude Mariottini


  3. Biby Cletus says:

    >Hi i just surfed in searching for interesting facts on Essenes in the blogs. you have a cool blog. Do keep up the good work. I’ll be back for more. i live far from where you live. its nice to be able to see what people from across the world thinks. On a related note perhaps you might find the following article interesting. we are currently doing a series of posts on essenes and their culture and i’ll like to hear your take on the subject via comments. See ya there…. Historical Facts on Essene Culture Warm Regards from the Other Side of the Moon.Bijoy Cletus – Kerala, India


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