Sioux Falls Atheists
Sioux Falls Atheists and Atheism, Agnostics and Humanism

Sioux Falls Atheists endorse The Dead Sea Scrolls for describing how the
discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls enhanced our understanding of
early Jewish history and of the Bible's Old Testament.

The Dead Sea Scrolls
Lectures by Professor Gary A. Rendsburg

The Dead Sea Scrolls (2010) - 24 lectures, 12 hours
The Dead Sea Scrolls
 at TheGreatCourses.com

The year: 1947. A Bedouin shepherd tracks one of his stray goats into a cave mouth above the shore of the Dead Sea at a desolate place named Qumran. Inside, he discovers a pair of tall, thin clay pots. And what he finds when he opens those pots will be nothing less than the greatest archaeological discovery of the 20th century: the Dead Sea Scrolls.

Soon enough, archaeologists began swarming the dusty cliffs of Qumran in search of more caves and more scrolls. In time, the original 7 scrolls this Bedouin shepherd haphazardly uncovered grew to 930 scrolls; some of them complete, others merely fragments.

In the 60 years since their dramatic discovery, excavation, reassembly, and translation, the Dead Sea Scrolls have provided us with these and other fascinating insights:

1. Our oldest biblical manuscripts, including all of the book of Isaiah, portions of virtually every other book in the Hebrew Bible, and other texts esteemed by ancient Jews

2. An unprecedented window into two great monotheistic traditions in the pivotal years before and after the time of Jesus, offering insights into Jewish history, culture, and religion, as well as the growth of early Christianity out of Judaism

3. Evidence of both the theological stance and ritual practices of the Yahad, an Essene group that had authored the scrolls and that, thousands of years later, have given scholars a fresh perspective on rival sects like the Sadducees and Pharisees

4. The remarkable consistency in wording and meaning between the biblical texts discovered at Qumran and the great medieval codices that form a part of the spiritual lives of millions of Jews and Christians

5. Enhanced knowledge of how the Bible was transmitted across the ages

Whether complete or only fragmentary, the 930 extant Dead Sea Scrolls irrevocably altered how we look at and understand the foundations of faith and religious practice.

Professor Gary A. Rendsburg holds the Blanche and Irving Laurie Chair in Jewish History in the Department of Jewish Studies at Rutgers University. An expert in the history of ancient Israel and the literature of the Bible, he has spent decades immersed in the study of Qumran and other ancient sites in Israel, Egypt, and Jordan. Among his more than 120 scholarly articles and books is The Bible and the Ancient Near East.

24 Lectures - 30 minutes each

1: The Discoveries and Their Significance 13: Stops and Starts En Route to Publication
2: The First Seven Scrolls 14: The Qumran Vision for a New Temple
3: Opening and Reading the First Scroll 15: Daily Life at Qumran
4: The Historical Backdrop of Ancient Judaism 16: The Halakhic Letter - Rituals Define the Sect
5: The Rise of the Jewish Sects 17: The Qumran Biblical Canon
6: The Dead Sea Site of the Qumran Sect 18: The Qumran Calendar
7: The Emergence of the Rabbinic System 19: Jewish Scholars and Qumran Ritual Practices
8: A Dead Sea scroll from Medieval Cairo 20: Prayers, Hymns, and the Synagogue
9: Pesher Interpretation - Prophecy Read Anew 21: Qumran Hebrew as an Anti-Language
10: The War Scroll and Other Apocalyptic Texts 22: The Enigma of the Copper Scroll
11: Biblical Manuscripts at Qumran 23: Connections to Christianity
12: Alternate Views of Qumran and the Scrolls 24: Scrolls Fragments and a New View of Judaism


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The Dead Sea Scrolls
Lectures by Professor Gary A. Rendsburg

Sioux Falls Atheists endorse The Dead Sea Scrolls for describing how the
discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls enhanced our understanding of
early Jewish history and of the Bible's Old Testament.