Lawrence Schiffman Surveys the Scrolls

I have not found online a more engaging, informative, well-balanced survey of the Dead Sea Scrolls than the video embedded below. As far as published resources go, you have a few very good options: Timothy Lim’s The Dead Sea Scrolls: A Very Short Introduction, John J. Collins’ The Dead Sea Scrolls: A Biography, and Craig A. Evans’ Holman Quick Source Guide to the Dead Sea Scrolls. All three of these provide clearly written introductions accessible to the general public.

Finding quality, free content online is a different story. YouTube is full of all sorts or crazy videos about the Dead Sea Scrolls. I was delighted to see that Lawrence Schiffman’s lecture provides not only quality information (I knew it would do that much), but also tells the story very well. I think this video made its way around the blogs and Twitter feeds several months ago when Schiffman joined the biblioblogosphere, but I just got a chance to watch it this morning, while carrying my 5 month old around the house as he slept.

Schiffman hits the high points concerning the discovery of the Scrolls, the archaeology of Khirbet Qumran, and surveys the contents of the Scrolls, all in an hour. Enjoy!