Page 18 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 17 (1958-1959)

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S E L E C T E D BOOKS ON TH E
DEAD SEA S C ROL L S
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HE SCROLLS are among the most important textual dis-
coveries of all time. They comprise the oldest known Jewish
library, and are more important than any other Jewish library
for many centuries after the Scrolls’ date. Moreover, the Scrolls
come from Palestine of the Roman period, where and when
Christianity was born. Small wonder then, that many books and
countless articles are being written on the Scrolls with no sign
of abatement. To the contrary, a new journal
(Revue de Qum-
ran),
the first issue of which appeared in July, 1958, is devoted
entirely to the Scrolls with articles in French, Spanish, German
and English.
Two of my students have produced excellent books on the
Scrolls for the layman. Both authors are Protestants trained
under Jewish scholars at Dropsie College. While both books
are addressed primarily fo
STI
evangelical Christian public,
they cover the subject so comprehensively, expertly and clearly,
that any interested reader would do well to read them. They
are Charles F. Pfeiffer’s
The Dead Sea Scrolls
(Grand Rapids,
Baker Book House, 1957), and William S. Lasor’s
Amazing
Dead. Sea Scrolls
(Chicago, Moody Press, 1956). These volumes
cover the field from the accidental discovery of the first manu­
scripts in 1947, and discuss their broad implications for Judaism
and Christianity.
Inasmuch as most of the books on the Dead Sea Scrolls do
not include the texts themselves in translation, the general read­
er will feel the need for English translations. Theodor H.
Gaster’s
The Dead Sea Scriptures in English Translation
(New
York, Doubleday Anchor paperback, ly'BHJ costs only 95c.
Gaster’s colorful English style aims at and achieves an inspira­
tional rendition rather than a literal translation. Extensive
translations are included in Millar Burrows’
T h e Dead Sea
Scrolls
(New York, Viking Press, 1955) and in
More L ight on
the Dead Sea Scrolls
(New York, Viking Press, 1958). Burrows’
books, containing complete discussions of the entire subject,
are judicious and packed with facts. The earlier volume made
th£ best seITerr’ list, because it is interesting as well as reliable;
the later one brings the topic almost up to date.
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