The Dead Sea Scrolls represent the most important find of the 20th century for understanding the history of the Middle East in the centuries surrounding the birth of Christ. The scrolls provide an intimate link to the culture and background of Israel and Palestine with huge implications for understanding the political situation of the first century and gaining a picture of the relationship between Judaism and early Christianity. Reading the scrolls themselves demonstrates important cultural, theological, and conceptual connections between the Judaism and the New Testament authors.
The Dead Sea Scrolls: A New Translation presents a fully revised edition of Michael Wise, Martin Abegg, Jr. and Edward Cook's translation of the Dead Sea Scrolls. Between the first edition and this revised edition, numerous volumes of new texts have been published. The "official" scholarly edition of the Scrolls, Discoveries in the Judaean Desert, has gone from having ten published volumes in 1996 to thirty-nine published volumes in 2005. With all of the texts finally available, this new edition provides fresh and updated translations of the many scrolls that have been published since the first edition.
“In all of antiquity, only the Sectarian Manifesto and Paul’s Letters to the Galatians and Romans discuss the connection between works and righteousness.” (Page 454)
“So He raised up for them a teacher of righteousness to guide them in the way of His heart.” (Page 52)
“The Qumran scribes understood their task in the same way: to penetrate the secrets of Scripture not through reflection on the text itself, but through openness to the revelation of God.” (Page 79)
“God in His mysterious ways atoned for their iniquity and forgave their transgression” (Page 54)
“The Kittim, conquerors of nations, are pretty clearly the Romans” (Page 19)
...the spirit of debate and critique, reappraisal and revision is here very much present. The brief discussions of the languages and scripts of the scrolls are a nice and somewhat unusual touch in a volume of this kind.
The Dead Sea Scrolls are not just for scholars anymore. They are here in a book that anyone can understand. Read these texts. Hidden in their caves, they survived the ravages of time and decay to speak to us today across two thousand years. They have survived their authors and will survive us, their readers.
—John Dominic Crossan, professor emeritus, De Paul University and author of The Birth of Christianity and The Historical Jesus
...a rather readable presentation of a large portion of the non-biblical scrolls, which commends itself to the general reader.
Michael Wise is among the foremost scholars translating the Scrolls today, has been profiled in Time, The New York Times, and The Chicago Tribune.
Martin Abegg Jr. is co-director of the Dead Sea Scrolls Institute at Trinity Western University.
Edward Cook is research associate at the Aramaic Lexicon Project at Hebrew Union College.