St. Olaf Summer Vacation Seminar, July 11-17, 2010
The Dead Sea Scrolls: Adventures, Meanings and Context
1. The Adventure of the Dead Sea Scrolls: Discovery, Literature, and Modern Exhibits
This lecture introduces exciting world of the Dead Sea Scrolls and their significance, and includes the latest information on several recent Dead Sea Scrolls exhibits in the U.S. and Canada.
2. Living the Holy Life at Qumran: What Archaeology Tells Us
This lecture gives an archaeological overview of the Qumran site, and what it reveals about the beliefs and practices of the community of Jews who lived or met there.
3. Messianic Expectations and the End of Days: What the Scrolls Tell Us
An examination of key texts from Qumran that deal with the end times and messianic expectations. It will be shown that the Qumranites were an end—times community and that certain Scrolls refer to three Messiahs.
4. The Dead Sea Scrolls and the New Testament: Similarities and Differences
This lecture discusses the similarities and differences between key Qumran Scrolls and New Testament texts, including language associated with Jesus, Paul, and the Book of Revelation.
5. The Biblical Scrolls and Modern Bibles: How They Compare
An examination of the Biblical Scrolls, and their relevance for determining the accuracy of the Biblical text that has been handed down to us. Several new readings from the Scrolls will be discussed, followed by a comparison of several English Bible translations and to what extent they incorporate these new readings.
6. The Book of Isaiah: One of the Three Favorites at Qumran
This lecture focuses on the Isaiah Scrolls, one of the three favorite Books at Qumran, and found in the best preserved and most complete Scrolls. Reasons for the importance of Isaiah at Qumran, and several new readings from the Isaiah Scrolls will be presented. The lecture will include new information on the official dition of the two Isaiah Scrolls from Cave One, which has just appeared as volume 32 in the series Discoveries in the Judaean Desert (Oxford University Press).
7. Invitation to the Septuagint: The Bible in the Hellenistic World
An introduction to the Jewish translation that was used as Scripture by Hellenistic Jews and the New Testament writers. The discovery of several Septuagint scrolls at Qumran underscores the importance of the Greek Bible in both the ancient world and in modern scholarship.
8. The Unknown Books of the Septuagint: The Apocrypha and their Meaning
This lecture explores the books found in the Septuagint known collectively as the Apocrypha. The contents and themes of these very early Jewish works, some of which were composed in and others translated into Greek, will be explored. Several of the Apocrypha, such as the Book of Judith, have been featured in BAR and Bible Review over the years.
9. The Two Greatest Jewish Writers of Greco-Roman Times: Josephus and Philo of Alexandria
For scholars of early Judaism or of Christian origins, Josephus and Philo are essential reading. Josephus (associated with Judea) and Philo (associated with Alexandrian Judaism) present us with a window into the history and ideas of the various movements that made up Judaism around the beginning of the Common Era. Some key passages are important for understanding Christian origins, and the fall of the Temple and Masada are described by Josephus.
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