Oct 01

Odd Pieces in the Dead Sea Scrolls

Seymour Rossel

The majority of what we found (and we found an enormous trove that equals a library) is copies of biblical books, writings of a sect about their rules and regulations, and maybe an attempt to rewrite pieces of the Bible.

But among the rest were some extremely interesting items. A few help us understand what kind of Messiah the Jews were expecting just before (and just after) the time of Jesus. Also, there is a kind of “Proto-Esther,” a book that somewhat resembles Esther (and somewhat does not).

There is a fascinating connection with explorations of the middle ages in a fragment that recounts some rules of the community. We call this “the Damascus Document” and the reason it takes on this name is also fascinating.

And there is a very adult document called “The Seductress” which is a very long poem. And there is reason to believe that some of us adults might find it very much fun to examine. Rossel will give you a few more oddities along the way and you will be more than usually interesting at your dinner tables for a day or two, at least.


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