Tabor Bookshelf: Jesus and the Dead Sea Scrolls, edited by James H. Charlesworth

This most useful collection of essays in the Yale Anchor Bible Reference Library, edited by James H. Charlesworth, Jesus and the Dead Sea Scrolls: The Controversy Resolved (New York: Doubleday, 1992) 370 pp [paper and hardcover] has endured the test of time over the past three decades. It contains twelve essays written by a selective “Who’s Who” of classic Dead Sea Scrolls research, along with Bibliography, and selected indices. The Forward (“A Critical Consensus”) as well as Chapter One, “The Dead Sea Scrolls and the Historical Jesus,” both written by Charlesworth, is worth the price of the book–both for what it says–thirty years ago–and what it represents. Charlesworth also contributes a chapter on Jesus and the Righteous Teacher. The other ten contributors represent both topically and methodologically a nice balance of DSS scholarship at the time: Otto Betz, Howard C. Kee, Paolo Sacchi, David Flusser, Rainer Riesner, Craig A. Evans, James D. G. Dunn, Joe Zias, Morton Smith, and Alan Segal. In my view each of these contributions continues to be valuable. I particularly note Morton Smith’s provocative essay, “Two Ascended to Heaven–Jesus and the Author of 4Q491,” as way ahead of its time. And Alan Segal’s contribution, “The Risen Christ and the Angelic Mediator Figures in the Light of Qumran,” has also become classic. This little volume goes particularly well with my on-line course by the same title: “Jesus and the Dead Sea Scrolls,” to be released in September 2023.

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