August 27, 2008
Well, I ain't no scholar (I speak da good English!) but I think this is great. For anyone who hasn't delved into the Dead Sea Scrolls, I highly, highly, highly recommend Theodor Gaster's scholarly, yet readable book "The Dead Sea Scriptures."
From a schollarly point of view, its rather exciting, though not overly groundbreaking. Almost all the scrolls are published (there are still a few scraps not officially published) but this should help spread access to the texts, as right now they come in in a rather lengthy and expensive series of academic books. It's a rather exciting event, from a scholarly perspective, if not groundbreaking. It does mean something for the freedom of knowledge at present.<br><br>For most people though, it probably won't mean/do much, because of the scrolls themselves. Even for those of us who can read Aramaic/Hebrew, the scripts are a little wonky and hard to read, not to mention the deteriorated state of many of the scrolls and their unpointed format. <br><br>That's not to say that they aren't going to be of use to people (some of the scrolls are quite gorgeous) but its not the kind of thing that you can just pick up and read, you know? But still, it's rather exciting and I'm glad that it's happening.
This field never ceases to generate controversy. Museum exhibits have been abusively slanted towards an increasingly disputed theory, and plagiarism charges have surfaced against Lawrence Schiffman, author of the popular "Reclaiming the Dead Sea Scrolls." See <br><br><a href="http://www.nowpublic.com/world/plagiarism-and-dead-sea-scrolls-did-nyu-department-chairman-pilfer-chicago-historian-s-work" rel="nofollow">http://www.nowpublic.com/world...</a>
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