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Re: DSS Course
Is education the presentation of "facts," or does it have something to do
with teaching students to use intelligence and discrimination to sort out
the "facts" and evaluate different approaches to their interpretation.
If you must have "facts" to present from a position of authority, in this
situation they must be the alternative positions that are beginning to
form around the interpretation of the Scrolls (check the ready flow of
books on the Scrolls for these); however, do your students a favor, and
instead of trying to play the authority in a field which is in a very
healthy flux, be their guide and mentor as they come to grips with the
study of the Scrolls. Note that at least some of the books will give you
a sense of the sides of the discussion (VanderKam's recent publication is
one possibility here).
Saint Martin's College
On Sun, 5 May 1996, Jim West wrote:
> The many postings which indicate that the conventional wisdom on the scrolls
> is erroneous has placed me between Scylla and Charybdis.
> Next semester I am to teach a course on the scrolls; but now serious doubts
> have been raised about my course outline. Like the serpent in the garden,
> you have planted the seed of doubt in my soul and I must therefore ask your
> If the conventional wisdom is wrong- then what can one present to a group of
> eager students as "fact" concerning the DSS?
> Where is one to turn for the most up to date theories? And in good
> conscience what can one really say about the scrolls?
> Jim West