Location of Cave 1 at Qumran


Directory to the Dead Sea Scrolls Collection:

Introduction: The Story of the Scrolls
Texts from the Dead Sea Scrolls
Timetable of Dead Sea Scroll Scholarship
Resources for Further Study
Recommended Books


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Available in the Bookstore:

The Dead Sea Scrolls, in several different editions

The Dead Sea Scrolls  by M. Wise


The Dead Sea Scrolls Translated  by F. Martinez


The Complete Dead Sea Scrolls,  by G. Vermes

The Gnostic Society Library

A segment of The Copper Scroll -- containing a list of buried treasures, perhaps from the Temple in Jerusalem.


The following sites represent the best available internet resources offering information on the Dead Sea Scrolls (abbreviated as DSS). They are listed in order of relevance for someone beginning study of the material. All of the sites contain links to further materials, in sum covering just about everything of value related to DSS studies available on the internet. (Before surfing through these links, it may be useful to read our introductory essay, The Story of the Scrolls, which gives a quick orientation to the general history of the DSS discovery and the debates surrounding the Scrolls.)

Unfortunately, resources on the internet often disappear or change location without notice. For this reason, we attempt to keep major reference sources in our own permanent and very stable archive.

General Introductory Materials

The Digital Dead Sea Scrolls: Israel Museum, Jerusalem. This excellent resource became available in September 2011. Complete digital reproductions of five principal scrolls from the Dead Sea are provided online; these are accompanied by several introductory video presentations. The following Scrolls are featured in the exhibit:

Scrolls from the Dead Sea: The Ancient Library of Qumran & Modern Scholarship (Exhibit from the Library of Congress -- Another online edition of the same material is available in a format that is easier to navigate and read, and includes an outline.)   A brief introduction to the scrolls, with several excellent high-resolution color images of scroll fragments, along with translations of the pictured texts, and images of various associated artifacts.  This 1993-94 travelling exhibit, first displayed at the Library of Congress, was accompanied by commentary and a catalog almost exclusively reflecting the standard "Qumran hypothesis" on origin of the scrolls -- much to the objection of some critics of that viewpoint who felt it was an unbalanced presentation of current understandings. (See the introductory essay presented on this site for an explanation of the debate.  Also read Dr. Norman Golb's critique of the exhibit to get a glimpse of the issues in debate.) 

The Dead Sea Scrolls (Mahlon H. Smith, Associate Professor, Rutgers University) An excellent timetable reviewing developments in DSS scholarship, with a series of imbedded links to amplifying materials.  Dr. Smith reviews development of the conflicting viewpoints over the "Qumran Hypothesis". Dr. Smith seems sympathetic to revisionist views on origins of the DSS.

Orion Center for the Study of the Dead Sea Scrolls (Hebrew U) -- This is the "home" of traditional DSS study, and continues to emphasize a traditional view about origins of the DSS in a Qumran community. The most important resource at this site is a bibliography of recent scholarship & papers from annual international symposium on the DSS. One of the interesting features on this site is a virtual tour of the Qumran caves.

West Semitic Research Project: Dead Sea Scrolls (USC) A site specializing in the photographic analysis of ancient texts relating to the bible, including texts from the DSS collection. After viewing the previous resources, the material here will seem relatively limited. Images of the discovery site and images of several scrolls along with a brief commentary are posted on the site, including the messianic testimonia, rule of the messianic congregation, and copper scroll. An extensive catalog of high resolution images of other scrolls is available to aid scholarly research.

Dead Sea Scrolls & Qumran (As of 2011, this site has disappeared from the internet) -- Assembled by an avid reader and amateur scholar, the site presents a fine and detailed introduction to the Dead Sea Scrolls.  Beyond the excellent introductory essays, useful resources presented include an inventory of manuscripts from Qumran, a timeline of discoveries & profiles of persons who have been connected to the scroll saga, a bibliography and glossary. The site's design is a bit chaotic, but packed with content.

The Dead Sea Scrolls (Ian Hutchesson)  [Unfortunately the site has disappeared from the web as of September 2006].The site presents a very succinct "non-Essene" introduction to the scrolls, along with a collection of concise introductory essays and a few more specialize papers. Useful resources include a non-Essenes introduction to the scrolls, a beginners' guide to common assumptions about the DSS, an introduction to the Copper Scroll, and a table listing the frequencies different copies of specific scrolls were found in the DSS collection (the Qumran "greatest hits" collection). The site has an attractive, very readable design.

Online Lectures
and Interviews

The Dead Sea Scrolls with Rachel Kohn -- (This site has disappeared from the internet, but we have archived a transcript of the lectures.) Read the lecture transcript of a 2000 seminar hosted by Australian Broadcasting, with Geza Vermes, Lawrence Schiffman and Emanuel Tov -- principal representatives of the traditional Qumran-Essene story of the Scrolls. Six scroll fragments are specifically discuss: 4Q22 (Exodus 6:25-7:19), 11Q5 (41 Biblical & Apocryphal psalms), 4Q169 (Nahum Commentary), 4Q260 (Community Rule), 4Q394 (Acts of Torah), 11Q14 (War Rule) -- all these are in our Scrolls collection.

Interview with Geza Vermes: The transcript of an interview by Rachel Kohn with Geza Vermes discussing his life work. The interview came on occasion of the publication of Geza Verme's Autobiography, Providential Accidents (1998).

Fifty Years of the Dead Sea Scrolls [Unfortunately, as of 2010 these following resources have apparently disappeared from the internet:] (From Lehrhaus Judaica in San Francisco) A superb on-line course with five illustrated lectures by Jehon Grist.  It provides background on key persons involved in the controversy surrounding the discovery and the struggle to publish the scrolls, the debate over the character of the settlement at Qumran, and fine introductions to major scrolls in the DSS collection, including the Temple Scroll, Copper Scroll, War Rule, Community Rule, Damascus Covenant, Torah Precepts and Messiah Apocalypse.  This is one of the more useful DSS resources on the internet. The lectures also give an excellent overview of Jewish history around the time of the Scrolls. Dr. Grist seems to accept general concepts of the Qumran-Essene hypothesis regarding origins of the DSS.

Detailed Commentary on Specific Scrolls

Great Isaiah Scroll (Fred Miller) -- This site presents the most impressive internet presentation of a complete scroll from the DSS. While the site offers little of interest to a casual reader, it gives glimpses into the issues involved in the analysis and translation of a scroll. It includes black & white plates of each column of The Great Isaiah Scroll (one of the first seven scrolls found in Cave 1, and the oldest extant Hebrew biblical manuscript), along with detailed notes on the physical condition of the manuscript and comparison of its orthography and  wording with the standard Masoretic text. The technical discussions of the site are obviously intended for scholars familiar with Hebrew.

Fragments of the Book of Enoch from Qumran Cave (Ernest Muro - archived pdf file) Again, a document of limited general interest.  It is dedicated to the detailed analysis of a tiny scroll fragment in Greek, once  argued (inaccurately, it appears) to be from a New Testament text. (Of course, the presence of a Christian text in the DSS find would have supported the original efforts to link the Qumran texts with Christian history; this tiny fragment of Greek text therefore became a focus of debate.) This site illustrates the complex task of reconstructing, identifying and then interpreting DSS fragments. It includes photos of the fragment with transcription and translation, as well as two articles (by E. Muro & E. Puech refuting claims that these are fragments of New Testament texts. (We have here archived a copy of the files which are not longer available on the internet.)


High-Resolution Images of Two Complete Major Scrolls

Great Isaiah Scroll -- Exhibition at the Israel Museum Jerusalem (The Dorot Foundation Dead Sea Scrolls Information and Study Center) with a detailed reproduction of the scoll.

The Temple Scroll -- Exhibition at the Israel Museum Jerusalem (The Dorot Foundation Dead Sea Scrolls Information and Study Center) with a detailed reproduction of the scoll and further detailed information on the scroll.



The Dead Sea Scrolls Collection at The Gnostic Society Library

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