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Reading the Dead Sea Scrolls: Essays in Method
George J. Brooke
EJL 39
Publication Date
October 2013


The Dead Sea Scrolls, which have long captured the public imagination, are now all available in principal editions and accessible translations. This book addresses the next stage in their analysis by raising questions about how they should be read and studied. The essays collected here illustrate two approaches. First, some essays argue that traditional methods of studying ancient texts need to be refined and broadened in the light of the Scrolls. The volume thus contains studies on text criticism, literary traditions, lexicography, historiography, and theology. Second, the book also argues that innovative methods of study, applied fruitfully in other areas, now also need to be applied to the Scrolls, such as studies that consider the relevance for the Scrolls of deviance theory, cultural memory, hypertextuality, intertextuality, genre theory, spatial analysis, and psychology. Many of the examples in these studies relate to how authoritative scripture was handled and appropriated by the groups that gathered the Scrolls together in the caves at and near Qumran, so some of the same texts are analyzed from several different perspectives.

George J. Brooke is Rylands Professor of Biblical Criticism and Exegesis at the University of Manchester. He is the author of numerous books and articles, including The Dead Sea Scrolls and the New Testament (Fortress), and the co-editor of several volumes, including Copper Scroll Studies (T&T Clark), The Mermaid and the Partridge, and The Scrolls and Biblical Traditions (both from Brill).

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Download volume front matter, including table of contents and introduction.