Description: In The Dead Sea Scrolls for a New Millennium, Phillip R. Callaway presents the most comprehensive survey of the Dead Sea Scrolls since the final publication of the cave 4 fragments. The chapters on editing the Scrolls, on the caves, on the scrolls, and on Khirbet Qumran present the evidence without getting bogged down in older controversies. Callaway discusses the so-called yahad ostracon, as well as a fascinating writing exercise, and the supposed Dead Sea Scroll on stone.
Those who desire to know more about the Bible among the Scrolls are offered brief comments on over one hundred readings from Qumran's biblical manuscripts and other biblical texts. In the chapter on the pseudepigrapha and apocrypha, Callaway emphasizes the rich literary production of the mid- to late Second Temple period, with sections on Enoch, Jubilees, the Genesis Apocryphon, a Genesis commentary, the Reworked Pentateuch, targums on Leviticus and Job, the Temple Scroll, the New Jerusalem, an Apocryphon of Joshua, the psalms, various works of wisdom, Tobit, Ben Sira, the Epistle of Jeremiah, and the Greek fragments from cave 7. The chapter on the Community Scrolls deals with the Damascus Document, the Rule of the Community and its appendages, a Hybrid Rule, the Rule of War, the Thanksgiving Hymns, Florilegium, Testimonia, Melchizedek, the pesher commentaries on Habakkuk, Nahum, and Psalm 37, Ordinances, Calendar texts, Some Works of the Law, the Angelic Songs of the Sabbath Sacrifice, and the phylacteries.
In terms of the Scrolls and Jewish history, Callaway discusses the text called Praise for Jerusalem and King Jonathan, the Copper Scroll, the documentary texts (which may or may not be from Qumran), the history of the Qumran community, and some similarities to early Christian thought and language. In addition to clarifying discussions of all the works mentioned above, the author hopes that The Dead Sea Scrolls for a New Millennium will help readers understand the Scrolls not as the product of a radical, separatist community, but rather as the literary heritage of many of the greatest Jewish minds that lived in the Second Temple period.
Subjects: Literature, Dead Sea Scrolls
Review by Stephen Reed
Citation: Stephen Reed, review of Phillip R. Callaway, The Dead Sea Scrolls for a New Millennium, Review of Biblical Literature [http://www.bookreviews.org] (2012).
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