Resources for Understanding the Dead Sea Scrolls

For the story of how the Scrolls were discovered in 1947, see this site.

For an overview of the texts discovered near Qumran, see this site.

For a collection of twenty-five basic facts about the Dead Sea Scrolls, see this site.

For an inventory and description of other artifacts discovered at or near Qumran, see this site.

For a bibliography on the Scrolls, see my bibliography or check out the Orion Center Bibliography of items published 1995-1997. (The Orion Center for the Study of the Dead Sea Scrolls and Associated Literature is located at the Hebrew University's Institute of Jewish Studies [see further below].)

A great place to begin study of the scrolls, their discovery, their contents, their significance, see James C. VanderKam. 1994. The Dead Sea Scrolls Today. Grand Rapids, Mich.: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company. This is perhaps the single best introduction to the Dead Sea Scrolls available today. It is also available as searchable electronic text from Logos Research Systems.

For a good critical edition of the nonbiblical scrolls with English translation, see the Princeton Dead Sea Scrolls Project, published by Westminster John Knox
Press (Louisville, Ky.) in collaboration with J.C.B. Mohr (Paul Siebeck) (Tubingen).

Or check out images of the scrolls themselves: 1QpHab, the Qumran commentary on Habakkuk; 1QH, the Hymn Scroll; 1QM, the War Scroll; or 1QIsab, the second (smaller) copy of Isaiah found in Cave 1. Or maybe you would like to take an (incomplete) tour of the caves.


The Library of Congress Exhibit on the Dead Sea Scrolls is worth exploring.

Included there is a helpful Outline of Objects and Topics in Scrolls from the Dead Sea.


The Shrine of the Book

The Shrine of the Book is part of the Israel Museum in Jerusalem. It is the home of the exceptional archaeological finds: the Dead Sea Scrolls and other rare ancient manuscripts. The dome covers a structure which is two-thirds below the ground, and is reflected in a pool of water that surrounds it.


Check out a course on the Dead Sea Scrolls taught at University of Pennsylvania by Robert A. Kraft.


The Orion Center for the Study of the Dead Sea Scrolls and Associated Literature
at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem

This is a helpful web site for understanding the Dead Sea Scrolls and associated literature. It is located at the Hebrew University's Institute of Jewish Studies. Established in 1995, the Orion Center's purpose is to stimulate and foster research on the Scrolls, provide a forum for the unique Scroll opportunities in Jerusalem, and to coordinate research being carried out at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem with research abroad. The Orion Center aims to integrate information gained from the Scrolls into the existing body of knowledge about Judaisms in the Second Temple Period. This website is intended to further those goals while providing educational, scholarly, and Orion Center-specific information.



Created and maintained by Dr. Loren L. Johns, academic dean and associate professor of New Testament at Associated Mennonite Biblical Seminary, Elkhart, Ind. Email: LJOHNS@AMBS.EDU
Last updated 6 October 2000.