The Dead Sea Scrolls from Qumran provide the oldest, best, and most direct witness we have to the origins of the Hebrew Bible. Prior to the discovery of the Scrolls, scholars had textual evidence for only a single, late period in the history of the biblical text, leading them to believe that the text was uniform. The Scrolls, however, provide documentary evidence a thousand years older than all previously known Hebrew manuscripts and reveal a period of pluriformity in the biblical text prior to the stage of uniformity. In this important collection of studies, Eugene Ulrich, one of the world’s foremost experts on the Dead Sea Scrolls, outlines a comprehensive theory that reconstructs the complex development of the ancient texts that eventually came to form the Old Testament.
Several of the essays set forth his pioneering theory of “multiple literary editions,” which is replacing older views of the origins of the biblical text. The Dead Sea Scrolls and the Origins of the Bible represents the leading edge of research in the exciting field of Scrolls studies.
There are few scholars in the field of textual criticism of the Hebrew Bible with more breadth and depth of knowledge than Eugene Ulrich. . . . His theoretical writings on the subject of text criticism have been scattered in various Festschriften and other volumes. The present volume does a welcome service in bringing together these essays into one collection. . . . It is a “must-have” on any text critic’s shelf.
—Journal of Biblical Literature