Oxford Handbook of the Dead Sea Scrolls; new biography of Milik

Two interesting books:

(1) T. Lim and J. Collins (eds), The Oxford Handbook of the Dead Sea Scrolls. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2010. Many good articles, especially Martin Goodman (“the notion that the Dead Sea sectarians cut themselves off from the Temple would seem to us bizarre if we only had the pagan evidence and archaeology as the background to our understanding of the scrolls” [p. 88]); Sacha Stern (“The absence of calendar polemics in Qumran sources raises our suspicion that the calendar was not a major issue that would have defined the Qumran community as essentially different, sectarian, or separatist” [p. 247]); Michael Wise (“the Teacher and his movement appear to belong to the first century BCE” [p. 119]); Joan Taylor (“Josephus does not imply that the Essenes . . . avoided the Temple, Jerusalem, or the public life of Judaism” [p. 182]), and more.

(2) Zdislaw Kapera and Robert Feather, Doyen of the Dead Sea Scrolls. An in depth biography of Jozef Tadeusz Milik (1922-2006). Krakow: Enigma Press, 2011. Jozef Milik, widely regarded as the most brilliant text person of the first generation of editors of the Dead Sea Scrolls, reclusive, mercurial . . . Robert Feather not only was able to befriend and have a number of visits with the legendary Milik in Paris in the last years of Milik’s life but in this volume gives details of some of those conversations. Fascinating material. (The book is difficult to obtain but is available for $90 from this seller in Poland: Archaeobooks.)

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