Lexham Press is pleased to announce an exciting moment in scholarly databases for biblical studies: the development of a database for the biblical Dead Sea Scrolls.
The achievement of this database is the result of years of painstaking work on the part of Dr. Stephen Pfann. Dr. Pfann is President of the Board of Directors of the University of the Holy Land, as well as Chair of the University’s Department of Qumran Studies. Pfann holds an M.A. from the Graduate Theological Union and a Ph.D. from the Department of Ancient Semitic Languages at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. Dr. Pfann’s dissertation was supervised by Prof. Michael Stone. His areas of academic expertise are Qumran studies, ancient languages, paleography, and cultural geography. Dr. Pfann is the author of many scholarly articles related to his research, and has contributed to or co-edited several important works on the Dead Sea Scrolls, including: The Dead Sea Scrolls on Microfiche (with Emanuel Tov); and several volumes in the Discoveries in the Judaean Desert (DJD) series, the official publication series of the Dead Sea Scrolls (vol. XXV, Qumran Cave 4: Sapiential Texts, Pt. 1; vol. XXVI, Qumran Cave 4: Miscellaneous Texts from Qumran, Cryptic Texts and Miscellanea, Pt. 1; vol. XXXV, Qumran Cave 4: Halakhic Texts). Dr. Pfann lives in Jerusalem. His direct access to both the original scrolls and state-of-the-art imaging and viewing technology allowed him to review and revise the transcriptions of each biblical scroll.
The Logos Qumran Biblical Dead Sea Scrolls Database includes morphological tagging, prepared by Dr. Michael S. Heiser, Academic Editor at Logos.
The biblical scrolls from Qumran have had a profound impact on our understanding of the development and transmission of the Hebrew text of the Old Testament. Prior to 1947, scholars who studied the transmission of the text of the Hebrew Bible had access to the Masoretic Text handed down by scribes in Judaism since the second century A.D., the Septuagint, the Greek translation of the Hebrew Old Testament; and the Samaritan Pentateuch. All of these witnesses to the text of the Old Testament were preserved in manuscripts that dated well after the time of the composition of the Old Testament. The oldest complete Hebrew manuscript of the Old Testament prior to the discoveries at Qumran dated to around 1000 A.D. When the Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered, manuscripts of the Hebrew Old Testament as old as the third century B.C. were among them—more than a millennium older than the best textual data known at the time.
While scholars have had access to the biblical scrolls material for decades in expensive print volumes, this biblical textual treasure-trove is finally available to everyone in morphologically-tagged searchable database. Aside from morphological searching, which enables scholars to detect and analyze morphological and grammatical differences between the Masoretic Hebrew text and the oldest textual witnesses to the Old Testament, the Logos edition allows quick comparisons of the biblical Qumran material with other manuscript witnesses to the Old Testament.
Wow! Logos has done it again. Not only is Logos producing scores of resources in electronic format, with these data sets Logos is enabling students of the Bible and the ANE the chance to do morphological searches in primary material that relates to biblical studies. Thanks for a job well done, Logos.
—Dr. Michael A. Grisanti, The Master's Seminary
Having these materials available in a tagged and searchable electronic edition will be a great help.
—Dr. Richard A. Taylor, Director of Ph.D. Studies at Dallas Theological Seminary