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Re: DSS Course

In my DSS course, just completed last week, I had the students purchase
Vermes' DSSE and Schiffman's _Reclaiming the DSS_.  (Despite their
disagreements, Vermes actually suggested to me using Schiffman as a good
intro book alongside his.) Vermes is a strong proponent of the Essene
theory and Schiffman has his sadducean theory.  In the section of the
course discussing the identity of those who wrote the scrolls, I also drew
on Vanderkam and the debate in BAR awa other writings.   By that time in
the course, we had already read the primary material on Essenes in Josephus
and studied the political and religious situation in Palestine in the
relevant centuries.

I wonder, however, if Qumran and the DSS is too narrow a subject for
undergraduates (unless they have taken several relevent courses).  Perhaps
it would be better to do a course on Second-Temple/Inter-testamental
Judaism with a large unit on Qumran and the DSS.


Paul V. M. Flesher
Religious Studies
University of Wyoming
Laramie, WY  82071-3353