What Are the Dead Sea Scrolls and Why Do They Matter? | David Noel Freedman and Pam Fox Kuhlken

This book is exactly what I expected: a very brief overview of the Dead Sea Scrolls. Using an engaging interview format, Kuhlken quizzes Freedman on the various questions surrounding the Scrolls.

Most—but not all—of this book was review for me, but a helpful review. If you’re a little fuzzy on the basics of the Scrolls or are looking for an introduction, this is a great primer. Freedman has studied the scrolls since they were found in 1947, so he’s a reliable guide. He handles questions about treasure-hunts and LXX validation with even grace and wisdom.

Here’s my sole criticism: Kuhlken persists in asking irrelevant Christianity-related questions. Freedman accurately states that the Qumran community was not influenced by Jesus or Christianity—in fact, it’s the other way around. Still, Kuhlken asks a series of questions to relate the two faiths. I suppose that’s what the main audience for this book would expect. I just found it slightly irritating.

You can’t go wrong with this book. It’s not too deep, but it’s wide and reliable.

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