Trinity Western University Dead Sea Scrolls Institute

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(Left to right) Peter Flint, Ph.D., Andrew Perrin, Ph.D., and Martin Abegg, Ph.D. 050-andrew-perrin-dssi-full 0.jpg
(Left to right) Peter Flint, Ph.D., Andrew Perrin, Ph.D., and Martin Abegg, Ph.D.

Founded in 1995, the Trinity Western University Dead Sea Scrolls Institute is the only center in North America dedicated to the manuscript discoveries in the Judean Desert and material finds of the Qumran community. [1] With strengths in the textual and philological interpretations of both biblical and non-biblical texts, the Institute provides support and resources graduate and faculty research, events, and publications on the Qumran finds. [2]

Trinity Western University

Trinity Western University (TWU) is a private Christian liberal arts university in Langley, British Columbia, Canada. It is a member of Universities Canada.

Dead Sea Scrolls Ancient Jewish religious manuscripts found in the Qumran Caves in the West Bank] near the Dead Sea

The Dead Sea Scrolls are ancient Jewish religious manuscripts found in the Qumran Caves in the West Bank near the Dead Sea. Scholarly consensus dates these scrolls from the last three centuries BCE and the first century CE. The texts have great historical, religious, and linguistic significance because they include the second-oldest known surviving manuscripts of works later included in the Hebrew Bible canon, along with deuterocanonical and extra-biblical manuscripts which preserve evidence of the diversity of religious thought in late Second Temple Judaism. Almost all of the Dead Sea Scrolls collection is currently under the ownership of the Government of the state of Israel, and housed in the Shrine of the Book on the grounds of the Israel Museum.

Qumran archeological place

Qumran is an archaeological site in the West Bank managed by Israel's Qumran National Park. It is located on a dry marl plateau about 1.5 km (1 mi) from the northwestern shore of the Dead Sea, near the Israeli settlement and kibbutz of Kalya. The Hellenistic period settlement was constructed during the reign of John Hyrcanus (134–104 BCE) or somewhat later, and was occupied most of the time until it was destroyed by the Romans in 68 CE or shortly after. It is best known as the settlement nearest to the Qumran Caves where the Dead Sea Scrolls were hidden, caves in the sheer desert cliffs and beneath, in the marl terrace. The principal excavations at Qumran were conducted by Roland de Vaux in the 1950s, though several later unearthings at the site have since been carried out.


Founders and Directors

The Trinity Western University Dead Sea Scrolls institute was founded by Craig Evans in 1995. [3] From 1995-2015, the Institute was co-directed by Martin Abegg and Peter Flint. Following the retirement of Martin Abegg in 2015, Andrew Perrin stepped into the role of co-director alongside Peter Flint. [4] The Institute has been home of the Ben Zion Wacholder Chair and Canada Research Chair in Dead Sea Scrolls Studies.

Martin Abegg

Martin G. Abegg, Jr. is a notable Dead Sea Scrolls scholar, researcher, and professor. Abegg is responsible for reconstructing the full text of the Dead Sea Scrolls from the Dead Sea Scrolls concordance, a project that broke the lengthy publication monopoly held on the scrolls. He went on to co-direct the Dead Sea Scrolls Institute at Trinity Western University from 1995 to 2015. Here, Abegg held the Ben Zion Wacholder Professorship. Because Abegg is an influential Dead Sea Scrolls scholar, he has been honoured with a collection of essays written by his peers and students. Abegg currently resides in Abbotsford, British Columbia with his wife, Susan. Together they have two daughters.

Peter W. Flint was involved in research of the Dead Sea Scrolls for over 20 years. He was one of the 70 official members of the Dead Sea Scrolls editors worldwide. As the controversy of publishing of the Dead Sea Scrolls escalated, in 1987 he moved from South Africa to the University of Notre Dame in Indiana where he took a doctoral fellowship and began to study under Eugene Ulrich, the chief editor of the biblical Dead Sea Scrolls and one of the central figures of the controversy. In 1997, Flint finished publishing the Psalms Scrolls: the second largest portion of the biblical Dead Sea Scrolls. This publication is full of discoveries providing insights for Bible translations, Bible study and biblical scholarship. Flint was an editor of the largest intact scroll: The Great Isaiah Scroll. He served at Trinity Western University as a Professor of Religious Studies, the Canada Research Chair in Dead Sea Scrolls Studies, and a director of the Dead Sea Scrolls Institute. He died on November 3, 2016.

Events and Initiatives

The Institute has a heritage of hosting public and academic events related to the Dead Sea Scrolls [5] and will launch an open-access initiative for research and reviews on the Qumran finds, entitled Maskilim. [6] Open access resources in the form of public lectures and introductory course content for the Dead Sea Scrolls are also archived on the Institute's YouTube channel. [7] Launched by alumni in 2015, the Dead Sea Scrolls Legacy Scholarship supports graduate students who are entering into the Masters of Arts in Biblical Studies program and display a strong interest in researching topics surrounding the Dead Sea Scrolls. [8]

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Lawrence Schiffman American historian

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John C. Trever was a Biblical scholar and archaeologist, who was involved in the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls.

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Discoveries in the Judaean Desert is the official, 40-volume, publication series that serves as the editio princeps for the Dead Sea Scrolls. It is published by Oxford University Press.

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The Isaiah Scroll, designated 1Qlsaa and also known as the Great Isaiah Scroll, is one of the seven Dead Sea Scrolls that were first recovered by Bedouin shepherds in 1947 from Qumran Cave 1. The scroll is written in Hebrew and contains the entire Book of Isaiah from beginning to end, apart from a few small damaged portions. It is the oldest complete copy of the Book of Isaiah, being approximately 1000 years older than the oldest Hebrew manuscripts known before the scrolls' discovery. 1QIsaa is also notable in being the only scroll from the Qumran Caves to be preserved almost in its entirety.

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Qumran Caves Caves in the West Bank

Qumran Caves are a series of caves, some natural, some artificial, found around the archaeological site of Qumran in the Judaean Desert of the West Bank. It is in these caves that the Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered. The caves are recognized in Israel as a National Heritage Site, despite the caves being in occupied Palestinian territories; as such, the designation has drawn criticism.


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