Offering the first comprehensive English translation of the non-biblical Qumran scrolls, The Dead Sea Scrolls Translated presents the largest collection of Qumran texts ever published in this language. Two-hundred of the total 625 manuscripts discovered can be found in this volume. (Those manuscripts omitted are either in such a fragmentary condition that translation would be meaningless, or are sufficiently modest in size that translation of them would add very little.) Thanks to the official publication, in 1993, of all the photographs of the Dead Sea Scrolls (The Dead Sea Scrolls on Microfiche by E.J. Brill, Leiden and the Israel Antiquity Authority), it is now possible for the public to enjoy the same material available to the specialists.
The 200 Dead Sea Scrolls translated here are a marked increase on the 62 previously published in the third edition of Geza Vermez's The Dead Sea Scrolls in English. This increase is mainly possible due to the introduction of the fascinating 'new' texts, some of which, for example 4QMMT, are still awaiting official publication.
The Dead Sea Scrolls Translated comprises an extensive preface outlining the origin of the manuscripts and the aims of the translation. This is followed by an introduction offering a survey of the discoveries and their publication, a brief sketch of the characteristics of the Qumran library, and several interesting remarks on the sect's identity, origins and history. The translation of the manuscripts is organized into nine chapters, each with one or two pages of introduction. It concludes with an exhaustive list of all manuscripts discovered at Qumran. This list has a double function. Firstly, it provides the reader with accurate information of all the existing texts, biblical and non-biblical, published an not yet published. Secondly, it offers basic bibliographical references for the textual editions already available and for the publications which provide information on the texts not yet published. This list is a very useful reference tool and forms a scientific publication in its own right.
Originally published in Spanish (1992) the present authorized translation has been prepared by Wilfred G.E. Watson of the University of Newcastle, a renowned scholar of Biblical Hebrew poetry.
Florentino García Martínez, a pre-eminent specialist of Qumran Studies, is professor at the University of Groningen, the Netherlands, where he heads the Qumran Institute. He is a member of the International Team of Editors of the Dead Sea Scrolls and editorial secretary of the Revue de Qumran and the Journal for the Study of Judaism. García Martínez has written numerous books and articles on the Dead Sea Scrolls, most recently Qumran and Apocalyptic. Studies on the Aramaic Texts of Qumran (Brill, 1992).
'The Dead Sea Scrolls Translated is the most complete and authoritative English translation of the non-biblical Dead Sea Scrolls available. With this book, which includes many fascinating recently released texts, readers can find out what the scrolls really say. García Martínez brings years of scrolls research and scholarship to the translations and his wide grasp of the texts is evident throughout.'
Lawrence H. Schiffman, New York University.
'García Martínez deserves our gratitude for having compiled the most comprehensive one-volume edition of the Dead Seas Scrolls ever attempted. Drawing on his vast knowledge of and firsthand acquaintance with the texts, he has prepared a careful rendering into English of everything worth translating, including the full texts of the multiple copies of works such as the Community Rule and the Damascus Document. Especially helpful is the fact that line numbers are specified in the text so that the reader knows exactly where the words are found. The substantial introduction and the full list of Qumran manuscripts, with up-to-date bibliographical references, enhance the value of the volume even more.'
James C. VanderKam, University of Notre Dame.
'This is the most comprehensive translation of the Dead Sea Scrolls now available, and it should rapidly become a standard textbook. In addition to its comprehensiveness, it has one outstanding feature that sets it apart from all previous translations of the Scrolls. The different fragments of the same documents are translated seperately and in full. The present volume represents a herculean labor, and its author deserves the gratitude of everyone concerned with the Scrolls.'
John J. Collins, Journal of Biblical Literature, 1995.
'...he has done a great service in proffering the texts to a wider audience...the reader will find these texts valuable in bridging the gaps between the major writings of the Jewish Canon and the Talmud and the Jewish and the Christian traditions.'
Jeremy Rosen, Acta Comparanda VI.
'It is a monumental work - the most extensive piece of original research undertaken by any Scrolls scholar in the last decade.'
George J. Brooke, Biblical Archaeology Review, 1996.
'...very useful in everyday work on the scrolls. The quality of translation [...] is high...F. Garcia Martinez has once more proved the truth of the Latin sentence: bis dat qui cito dat. In fact he has given us a new Qumran bestseller. Congratulations!’
Zdzislaw J. Kapera, The Qumran Chronicle, 1994.
'...the translation of this vast corpus of Qumran materials is a veritable tour de force, one that certainly will become useful in classrooms...Martinez has undertaken this monumental project with sensitivity and expertise. The public now can join the scholarly world in fascination of these most intriguing documents.'
Scott B. Noegel, Digest of Middle East Studies, 1995.
'This is certainly the collection of choice for any devotee of Qumran studies, and will quickly become the standard text for use in seminaries and graduate programs.'
David A. de Silva, Ashland Theological Journal, 1997.
'This will certainly be the standard for English translations of these documents for the foreseeable future. It is complete, accurate, and accessible.'
Edgar Krentz, Currents in Theology & Mission, 1997.
Scholars and research students of the Dead Sea Scrolls, Biblical Studies, Jewish Studies, Early Christian Studies, and Archaeology. Libraries with research collections in any of the fields mentioned.