About the Center
 Research Scholarships
 Orion in the Press
 Search the site
 Contact us
 Greenfield Seminar
 Discussion Hour
 Past Programs
 Current Bibliography
 Newly Published Texts
 Bibliography Search New!!
 DJD List
 Beginner's Guide to the Scrolls
 Orion Publications
 Brill List
 SBL List
 Magnes List
 Dead Sea Scrolls on Line
 Cave Tour
 About the Scrolls
 Scrolls in the News
 Email archives
 Author Index
 Scholarly Articles on Line
 Outside Links
 Rock Inscriptions Database
 Orion Center Library
 Israel Museum Scrolls Collection
 Upcoming Symposium
 Most Recent Symposium
 Symposium Gallery
 Past Symposia
 Conferences and Lectures
 Calls for Papers
 Fellowships and Study Opportunities
 Job and Volunteer opportunities
The Orion Center for the Study of the Dead Sea Scrolls and Associated Literature
Map / Home  

Current Newsletter

The Orion Center Newsletter

November 2011

Letter from the Director
Dear Friends and Colleagues,

Over the past year a variety of activities have taken place at the Orion Center. In February, scholars from Europe, North America, and Israel assembled for the 13th Orion Symposium. In addition to this rich symposium, lectures and scholarly meetings throughout the year dealt with a variety of topics, including newly discovered texts.

This Spring we will hold a special series of seminars on the Book of Enoch, conducted by Prof. Loren Stuckenbruck, Orion Visiting Professor (p. 2). We look forward to the participation of scholars and graduate students in these seminars. Prof. Stuckenbruck, a preeminent Enoch scholar, will guide us in reading the text and give us a chance to see his research in the making. This is a unique opportunity to become familiar with the working method of a leading scholar in the field. We hope to host similar advanced research seminars in the future. Regular Orion programs continue as usual. In addition to lectures by senior scholars, two new Orion researchers, Shlomi Efrati and Dr. Atar Livneh, will present their own work. The pinnacle of the ongoing activity in the Orion Center is its Bibliography project. In recent months, this project has received a new impetus. Much work has been and is being put into the planning and execution of this new stage. I would like to thank all those who are doing the work, and especially those who have helped me develop the new system: Shlomi Efrati, Dr. Michael Segal, and Ofer Arbeli. The new focus of the bibliography project requires us to read comprehensively both current publications and all publications from the past sixteen years on the Scrolls and related Second Temple literature. We appeal to you especially now, to send us books and offprints (paper or PDF), for the use of the researchers updating the database.

I would like to extend my thanks to the dedicated Orion staff and researchers. Likewise, I thank the Hebrew University, the Orion Foundation, the Sir Zelman Cowen Universities Fund, the Canadian Friends of the Hebrew University, the Orion Associates in Israel and abroad, and the Orion Academic Committee, for the diverse ways in which they support the work of the Center. Menahem Kister

Orion Bibliography Project Gathers Momentum

In the last 16 years, over 11,400 items have been collected in the Orion Center Online Bibliography database: books, articles, and reviews on the Scrolls and related topics, covering the years 1995 to the present. Last year, as we noted in these pages, the Center developed a new search engine, which enables sophisticated bibliographical searches. During this past academic year, the Center began a collaboration with the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA), which has made it possible to considerably upgrade the Online Bibliography. The Bibliography is to be linked to the IAA's new online scrolls database (p. 3). By the terms of our agreement, the IAA will finance the work of Orion researchers, who will update the existing bibliography with the capabilities of the new IAA resource in view.

The focus of the updating project is the addition of comprehensive keywords, to the existing database and to future entries. An Orion team-Prof. Kister, Dr. Michael Segal, and Shlomi Efrati has created a master list of keywords, hierarchically organized, so as to unify the cataloguing system. All the items currently in the database will be read and updated for keywords according to the new cataloguing method. In addition, we have added a new search field to the database, that of "Primary Text." This field will note Qumran and other Second Temple texts that are discussed in detail in a given article or book. This will enable a researcher to quickly find the scholarly discussions of any fragment or text. We envision that in time, links between the Bibliography and the IAA database will allow scholars to move seamlessly between the bibliography and images of the Scrolls. The integration of these two important resources will benefit users of both.

The scope of the bibliography remains 1995 to the present. The primary aim of the project continues to be the compilation of exhaustive bibliography on the Scrolls; but we include current research on the Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha as well. The vast literature on Philo and Josephus will continue to be covered only in part, to the extent that articles deal with issues relevant to the scrolls and related texts, e.g., biblical interpretation.

At this stage, we appeal to you who use the database for help on several levels. Again, it is crucial that we receive books and offprints of articles (paper, PDF, or links) for the use of the researchers compiling the keywords. In addition to updating the keywords, we also want to add any items that have been published in the last 16 years but overlooked. We will be grateful for any publication that you bring to our attention. We are also trying to update the list of doctoral and masters'

Loren Stuckenbruck to be First Orion Distinguished Visiting Scholar

In order to foster dialogue and interaction between scrolls scholars in and outside of Israel, the Orion Center has instituted a Distinguished Visiting Scholar program. From time to time, we plan to host a leading scholar of the Scrolls or of Second Temple literature for a short visit. The inaugural Distinguished Visiting Scholar will be Prof. Loren Stuckenbruck of Princeton Theological Seminary, who will be our guest in March and April 2012. During his term at the Center, Stuckenbruck will conduct a series of three Hebrew University faculty/graduate student seminars entitled, "Reading 1 Enoch: Text, Interpretation and Theology". The seminars will address:
  • the current state of research on both the Ethiopic and Aramaic manuscripts of 1 Enoch;
  • and
  • the significance of this research for the understanding of the historical and theological issues arising from the text.
Stuckenbruck will also present a Greenfield Scholars' Seminar on New Testament traditions concerning the birth of Jesus.

Prof. Stuckenbruck's research more generally focuses on Second Temple Judaism and Early Christianity. in particular the Dead Sea Scrolls, the Enochic literature, other Jewish sapiential and apocalyptic writings, and the New Testament. He is currently preparing a commentary on 1 Enoch (the Book of the Watchers) for the Anchor Bible series. He is also working with Ted Erho (University of Durham, UK) on a text-critical edition of the Ethiopic manuscripts of 1 Enoch.

*For more information and the dates of the upcoming programs, please check our website, at http://orion.mscc


To Orion founder and Hebrew University Professor Michael E. Stone on the publication of two new books:

  • Ancient Judaism: New Visions and Views. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2011 (produced with the collaboration of the Orion Center)

  • Noah and His Book(s). Edited with Aryeh Amihay and Vered Hillel. Atlanta: Society of Biblical Literature, 2010.

An evening colloquium will be held in celebration (see Calendar, p. 4).

Center News

The highlight of this past year at Orion was February's 13th International Orion Symposium, which dealt with the transmission and transformation of biblically-related traditions. No less international and diverse, however, was the Center's lineup of regularly scheduled seminar speakers and topics. The Fall roster featured talks on Josephus, by HU professor Daniel Schwartz; on biblical interpretation in postbiblical literature, by Prof. Menahem Kister, Yakir Paz, and Shraga Bar-On; and on demonology and sin, by Matlow Scholar Miryam Brand (New York). The Spring semester offerings included a seminar led by Prof. Jan Joosten (Strasbourg, France) on Septuagint research, and a program led jointly by Prof. Andrei Orlov (Marquette University, Wisconsin), and Dr. Reuven Kiperwasser (The Open University, Israel) on the figure of Leviathan in Second Temple and later literature. Prof. Gideon Bohak (Tel Aviv University) and Prof. Alexander Rofe (Hebrew University) led a session on newly discovered manuscript fragments. Dr. Cana Werman (Ben- Gurion University) spoke on the Book of Jubilees; and Matlow Scholar Shlomit Harel-Kendi (Bar-Ilan University) discussed polemics in the Temple Scroll.

  • The new Bibliography research staff has begun its work. HU graduate students Oren Abelman, Shlomi Efrati, Ariel Kopilovitz, and Yakir Paz, along with Dr. Atar Livneh (Haifa University), join veteran staff researcher Hannah Wortzman (HU) in the task of compiling new bibliography and updating the database. We wish them success in their new endeavors.

  • We welcome Michael Tuval as the 2011/2012 Matlow Scholar. Tuval, a doctoral candidate at the Hebrew University, is writing on The Priests as Leaders of Judaism in Flavius Josephus and the Dead Sea Scrolls.

  • Thisyear's visitors have included both senior scholars and graduate researchers. Among the visitors: Prof. Beate Ego, Ruhr-University Bochum, Germany; Elisabeth Levy, Norwegian Bible Society; Dr. Claudia Losekam, Ruhr- University Bochum, Germany; and Prof. Eileen Schuller; McMaster University, Canada. Dr. Hakan Bengtsson, of the Swedish Theological Institute, Jerusalem, came to Orion with a group of faculty and students from Uppsala University.

  • We have received a number of significant book donations (see the Orion Center Library page for a list of some recent donations: ces/library.shtml. Thanks to all the authors, editors, and series editors who have arranged with the relevant presses to have their books sent to the Center. This is a very crucial respect in which you help us to offer the most up-to-date resources to those who come to us for help with their research, and we appreciate your thoughtfulness.

  • Finally, a special thank you to intern Cody Gaffney (Notre Dame), for his cheerful assistance with myriad Orion programs and tasks; and to Ariella Amir, who juggles the ever-expanding personnel and paperwork that keeps us going.

Orion Center Academic Committee
Dr. Esther Chazon, Chair; Prof. Menahem Kister;
Prof. Shlomo Naeh; Prof. Joseph Patrich;
Prof. Shalom Paul; Dr. David Satran;
Dr. Michael Segal; Prof. Emanuel Tov

New Fragments and New Technologies, II: The Leon Levy Dead Sea Scrolls Digital Library by Pnina Shor, Curator and Head of DSS Projects for the Israel Antiquities Authority

With relatively little fanfare but much excitement, the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA) has begun in earnest its scrolls digitization project. The project involves a massive effort to re-image all of the scrolls and fragments in the IAA's collection, both as a conservation measure and to make the digitized images freely available and accessible worldwide to scholars and public alike. The anticipated end result of the IAA initiative will be an open-access, online, searchable database of all available scrolls and fragments, comprising images, transcriptions, and translations of texts, along with access to bibliography and publications on the scrolls. The project is directed by Curator Pnina Shor; Dr Gregory Bearman, formerly a principal scientist at the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, is the IAA Consultant for Imaging Technologies. The database will be powered by Google Israel.

Color image of 11Q5 (Psalms Scroll), Psalms 133 &144 (Courtesy of IAA)
Color image of 11Q5 (Psalms Scroll), Psalms 133 &144 (Courtesy of IAA)

In November 2008, we reported on the original pilot for this project. At that time, three separate cameras were used to prepare a series of multiple images, using high-resolution color, infrared, and spectral imaging. As soon as funding for the next stage became available through the generous donations of the Leon Levy and Arcadia Foundations, the IAA commissioned Ken Boydston of the MegaVision company, and Dr. Bill Christens-Barry, chief scientist at Equipoise Imaging, to build a dedicated camera that brings together the three originally separate capabilities. Another pilot was run last July in Santa Barbara, California, at the end of which the system was dismantled and fine-tuned before delivery.

In January of 2011, preparation of the database began, with the high-resolution digital scanning of most of the PAM negatives and all other negatives taken by the IAA to date. At about the same time, Dr. Shani Tzoref was hired to prepare the data already in the IAA scrolls database for the online computerized system.

The process of re-imaging the scrolls, fragment by fragment, began at the end of August, when the American team came to Jerusalem to install the MegaVision system in a specially prepared studio. The team also trained photographers Yair Medina and Shai Halevi from Jerusalem Fine Arts Prints, which was contracted by the IAA to conduct the imaging. 56 spectral images of each fragment (recto and verso) are to be produced, in 12 different wavelengths (7 visible, 5 in the near-infrared range [NIR]), with 28 different exposures of each side. The separate images are then computer- combined to form both color and NIR images in the highest resolution possible. The basic database, featuring the digitally scanned "old" images and as many as will be ready of the new spectral images, is expected to go online (via Google) at the end of this year or the beginning of the next.

High-resolution Infrared (NIR) image of 11Q5 (Psalms Scroll), Psalms 133 &144 (Courtesy of IAA)
High-resolution Infrared (NIR) image of 11Q5 (Psalms Scroll), Psalms 133 &144 (Courtesy of IAA)

The IAA has conceived this project in entirely collaborative terms, with the goal of creating the most widely useful online resource for scrolls study, both for the general public and for scholars. From the earliest stages, the IAA has consulted with experts from all relevant fields including imaging technologies, information technologies, and scrolls scholarship. In October of 2010, the IAA nominated a committee of consulting scholars that includes Emanuel Tov, Menahem Kister, and Michael Segal, of the Hebrew University; Devorah Dimant, of the University of Haifa; and Elisha Qimron, of Ben-Gurion University of the Negev. The Orion Center itself is one such collaborating partner, providing scholarly expertise on the scrolls and consulting on the development of the scroll search engine. We plan to link the Scrolls database and the Orion Bibliography database so as to facilitate research on the scrolls from either venue. Another three-way collaboration has evolved between Hebrew University Institute of Chemistry Prof. Zeev Aizenshtat, who is conducting research on the physical properties of parchment and ink, and Prof. Emilio Marengo and his doctoral student, Marcello Manfredi, of the University of Eastern Piedmont (Italy), who have applied spectral imaging to the monitoring of works of art; they will apply their joint expertise, together with Dr. Fenella France from the Preservation Directorate of the Library of Congress (USA), to the development of a monitoring system to track the wellbeing of the scrolls. The IAA’s eventual hope is to enfold within the database spectroscopic images of all scroll fragments, both those in our own collection and those housed at other institutions, and we are eager for a variety of academic and conservatorial conversation partners.

Image of 11Q5 (Psalms Scroll), Psalms 133 & 144, combining high-resolution NIR and color images (Courtesy of IAA)
Image of 11Q5 (Psalms Scroll), Psalms 133 & 144, combining high-resolution NIR and color images (Courtesy of IAA)

Orion Center Calendar, Winter 2011/2012*
  • November 16. Lecture and Discussion 12:15-2:00 p.m. The Rabin Building, Room 2001 Shlomi Efrati (The Hebrew University): "The Second Exile: A Note on the Development of The Testaments of the Twelve Patriarchs"
  • December 7. Jonas C. Greenfield Scholars' Seminar 12:15-2:00 p.m. The Rabin Building, Room 2001 Dr. Atar Livneh (University of Haifa and the Orion Center): "With My Sword and Bow': Literature, Exegesis, and History in Jubilees"
  • December 28. Evening Celebration of Two New Books by Michael E. Stone (see p. 2) 4:30 p.m. Beit Maiersdorf Faculty Club, Room 501 Prof. Menahem Kister (The Hebrew University): "Enoch, Noah, Abraham: Competition among Biblical Figures in Postbiblical Literature"
    Dr. Esther Chazon (The Hebrew University): "Text, Traditions, and Religious Experience in the Hodayot"
    Dr. Alexander Kulik (The Hebrew University): "Language and Imagination: Linguistic Factors in the Development of Apocalyptic Traditions"
  • January 19. Jonas C. Greenfield Scholars' Seminar 10:15 a.m-12 p.m. The Rabin Building, Room 2001 Prof. Vered Noam (Tel-Aviv University): "The Story of King Jannaeus in b. Qiddushin 66a- A Pharisaic Reply to Sectarian Polemic"

  • Spring Semester forecast:
    Research Seminar, Prof. Loren Stuckenbruck Reading 1 Enoch: Text, Interpretation, and Theology March 15, March 19, and March 22, 2012 2:15-4:00 p.m., The Rabin Building, Room 2001 Spring Semester seminar speakers include Prof. Stuckenbruck and Michael Tuval. Please check the website for the full Spring program.

    *Please note: Unless otherwise specified, Orion seminars are held in the Mandel World Center of Jewish Studies (Rabin Building), The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Mt. Scopus. All Fall semester lectures are given in Hebrew.
    Orion Publications (In Preparation)
    New Approaches to the Study of Biblical Interpretation in Judaism of the Second Temple Period and in Early Christianity, edited by Gary A. Anderson, Ruth A. Clements, and David Satran.

    Hebrew in the Second Temple Period: The Hebrew of the Dead Sea Scrolls and of Other Contemporary Sources, edited by Steven E. Fassberg, Moshe Bar-Asher, and Ruth A. Clements.

    Research Grants and Awards
    The Orion Center awards Research Grants to young scholars once a year. Priority is given to projects that a) can be done uniquely in Jerusalem or at the Hebrew University; and b) help integrate the new information gleaned from the Scrolls into the broader picture of Second Temple Judaism. Applications are submitted in the Spring.
    *Please visit our website for deadlines and applications

    New DSS Fragments at Southwestern Baptist
    Theological Seminary
    Ryan E. Stokes

    In 2010-11, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, Fort Worth, Texas, purchased fragments of eight DSS manuscripts. The collection includes hitherto unpublished fragments from several biblical books, as well as one fragment of an unidentified work. Among the unpublished biblical manuscripts are fragments containing Exod 23:8-10; Lev 18:27-29; Deut 9:25- 10:1 and 12:11-14 (which appear to be from different copies of Deuteronomy); Psalm 22:4-13; and two fragments from a Daniel papyrus containing Dan 6:22-24 and 7:18–19. Also among Southwestern’s acquisitions are a piece of the Paleo- Leviticus scroll from Cave 11 (published in 1985 by D.N. Freedman and K.A. Matthews), and a stylus from the Dead Sea region. Bruce Zuckerman of the West Semitic Research Project has produced high-quality images of the fragments and stylus, and members of the seminary faculty are working with Peter Flint of Trinity Western University to publish them. Southwestern’s biblical fragments appear to contain a number of interesting readings, and the editorial team will present their preliminary findings at the November 2011 Annual Meeting of the Society of Biblical Literature in San Francisco. The team hopes that preliminary editions of the fragments will be in print no later than 2012.

    Israel Museum Online Scrolls Exhibit The Israel Museum caused a sensation in September when it unveiled its new website, The Digital Dead Sea Scrolls. Photographer Ardon bar-Hama has created ultra-highresolution digital photographs of five of the most important scrolls in the Museum collection, now available online: the Great Isaiah Scroll, the Temple Scroll, the War Scroll, the Community Rule, and the Pesher on Habakkuk. Go here to view and learn more:

    Dead Sea Scrolls on Tour 2011-2012
    October 28 - April 13
    Discovery Times Square (New York City)
    "The Dead Sea Scrolls: Life and Faith in Biblical Times"
    In May 2012, the exhibition will travel to Philadelphia's Franklin Institute:

    July 2012 to January 2013 MacGorman Performing Arts Center
    (Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary)
    "Dead Sea Scrolls and the Bible: Ancient Artifacts,Timeless Treasures"
    The exhibit will include scrolls on loan from the Hebrew University, the Kingdom of Jordan, and other outside venues as well as items from the Seminary’s Tandy Museum.
    For information on upcoming exhibitions, please visit: shtml;;