NPR has recently interviewed John J. Collins, Professor of Old Testament at Yale University on his latest book, The Dead Sea Scrolls: A Biography. The interview is approximately 30 minutes long and an enjoyable listen. Click here for the article on NPR’s website. Click here to listen to the interview.

Qumran and The Dead Sea Scrolls Thus far we have explored the attitude towards sacrifice and atonement according to the Essenes via Josephus and Philo, and according to the Damascus Community via CD. Turning specifically to those Dead Sea Scrolls which are generally agreed to be composed at Qumran (i.e., excluding analysis of document not […]

The picture painted in Josephus, specifically with regard to the Essenes being excluded from the temple because of their distinctive sacrificial practices, comes into sharper focus when the Damascus Document (CD hereafter) is brought into the conversation. Although CD does not explicitly state that it is of Essene origin, there is affinity enough to suggest […]

Josephus Josephus’ account of the Essenes in Antiquities parallels Philo’s account to such an extent that they, in the least, both probably derived their information from a common source (though it is possible Josephus drew directly upon Philo). As for Josephus’ characterization of the Essenes’ attitude toward sacrifice, he writes, εἰς δὲ τὸ ἱερὸν ἀναθήματα στέλλοντες […]

An online textual commentary of the New Testament Gospels, authored and given free public access by Wieland Willker, has been added to the Resources page.

A portion of a paper I am writing concerns sacrifice and atonement, and so I’ve been reading a bit of Philo, Josephus, CD, and the DSS. I’d like to post portions of my assessments here in a mini series: Any treatment on atonement in ancient Judaism in communities who do not participate in the temple […]

Here’s an informational video about the Leon Levy Dead Sea Scrolls Digital Library.

The Leon Levy Dead Sea Scrolls Digital Library is now live and running online. Here’s an excerpt from the press release:  The Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA) is very proud to present the Leon Levy Dead Sea Scrolls Digital Library, a free online digitized virtual library of the Dead Sea Scrolls. Hundreds of manuscripts made up […]

This blog is dedicated to my musings on anything pertaining to Judaism and Christianity in Antiquity, in particular the Second Temple Period, from about 520 BCE – 70CE (Although, related topics dating just before the rebuilding of the second temple in c. 516 BCE and  just after the temple’s destruction in 70 CE  are fair game). Your insights, […]


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