Unravelling the Story of the Scrolls

Isaiah Scroll

In 1946, a group of Bedouins searching the caves of Wadi Qumran near the Dead Sea discovered a number of jars containing seven scrolls of biblical books and commentaries. Additional excavations over the next decade uncovered many more texts that have come to be called the Dead Sea Scrolls. These manuscripts have proven invaluable for understanding the social, political, and theological dimensions of Judaism between approximately 200 BCE and 70 CE.

In a wide-ranging interview with NPR, Professor John J. Collins of Yale University reviews the major issues surrounding the Dead Sea Scolls, including 1) the circumstances surrounding their discovery, 2) the major themes found in the scrolls and their significance for ancient Judaism and early Christianity, and 3) the history of their interpretation and current trends in academic research.

‘Dead Sea Scrolls’ Live On In Debate And Discovery