The Oldest Known Bible Translated for the First Time into English
The discovery of the Dead Sea scrolls in 1947 heralded a new era in the understanding of the Old Testament. For much of the past half century, however, the significance of the scrolls for the Bible has been obscure to the public. Recent popular translations of the Old Testament cite the different readings found in the scrolls, but only occasionally; for example, reference is made to the scrolls in the notes to the ESV (30 times), NIV (36 times), and the NRSV (87 times).
Thus the appearance in 1999 of The Dead Sea Scrolls Bible: The Oldest Known Bible Translated for the First Time into English by Martin Abegg, Jr., Peter Flint, and Eugene Ulrich (HarperSanFrancisco) was a major event, making available to the public an authoritative, accessible, and affordable translation of the biblical manuscripts and fragments found among the scrolls.
Introductory articles to the volume as well as for each book provide overviews of the place of the biblical scrolls in context as well as provide synopses of the characteristics of individual books. The copious footnotes (for example, numbering nearly 1,500 to Isaiah and nearly 600 to the Psalms!) clearly present the similarities and differences between the scrolls and the other major witnesses to the Old Testament, namely, the Masoretic Text (MT), the Samaritan Pentateuch (SP), and the Septuagint (LXX). The amount of labor that these notes represent will not be lost on scholars!
The Accordance module of this valuable Bible translation (DSSB-E) and notes (DSSB-E Notes) embodies all of these characteristics and adds the power and flexibility that is a hallmark of Accordance modules:
You can search, highlight, and annotate the DSSB-E like any other Bible module:
You can compare texts!
You can search the reference tool DSSB-E Notes by field. For example, you can search for all places where the Scrolls and the Septuagint agree and read differently from the Masoretic Text:
You can also search for every occurrence of a particular scroll manuscript:
Want to know more about a particular scroll manuscript? Amplify to the very handy Qumran Index, and get details on what biblical passages are included and where to find the primary publications of the scroll (attention, scholars: the Qumran Index by itself can save you hours of research time in the library!).
The DSSB-E presents a treasure trove of information that will be extremely useful to both laypersons and scholars.
- See this page for a number of Reviews of the Dead Sea Scrolls Bible.
- See this page for a list of all the Dead Sea Scrolls Resources currently available in Accordance.
Dead Sea Scrolls Bible
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Article Author: J.P. Kang, Ph.D.