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Re: DSS Course


Though I haven't been there recently, Bob Kraft has placed all the students'
class minutes for his course on dss (amongst others) on the web at


This course was heavily "original text"-based -- as it should -- dealing
with individual documents and their context and implications. He used the
Garcia Martinez translations as one of the course books and I think compared
with Vermes when possible. He also had a number of guest speakers. You'll
find the notes invaluable.

>The many postings which indicate that the conventional wisdom on the scrolls
>is erroneous has placed me between Scylla and Charybdis.
This is a true academic position!
>Where is one to turn for the most up to date theories?  
It will be hard to find "up to date" theories as the texts have not that
long ago been liberated from the Christian monopoly that propagated the
monastery theory. This is an important transition period and so far it has
provided us with some extremely interesting texts. It's here that you can
find some more appetizing food for your course.

Both Tov and Vanderkam have been recommended to me as good sources of dss
scholarship. Perhaps you could follow them up.

>And in good
>conscience what can one really say about the scrolls?
If you are implying "in your course", I think there's still a hellova lot
there you can deal with including:

the physical circumstances of the texts, their location and their discovery;
the archaeology of Khirbet Qumran;
the general historical context of the documents;
how the documents reflect their times and the emergence of a canon;
the teacher of "righteousness" and the conflict with the spouter et al;
the preoccupations of the texts (purity, calendar, etc);
the differences of position within the texts themselves;
the conflicting theories (as have been seen on the list);
the differences in approach between the handling of the dss and the Nag
Hammadi texts -- or, how not to take a scholarly approach;
the contrast between Christian and Jewish interpretation and use of dss

Sorry if I read your last question wrongly. I was just thinking of what
could be used for didactic purposes. 

Here's hoping for comments from people more qualified to comment than I.


Ian Hutchesson