Books in Brief: The Damascus Document Reconsidered, Hershel Shanks, Biblical Archaeology Review (18:4) Jul/Aug 1992.


The Damascus Document Reconsidered

Magen Broshi, editor

(Jerusalem- Israel Exploration Society and Shrine of the Book, 1992) 83 pp., $20.00

This book is a harbinger of things to come. It illustrates the first-rate scholarship that is burgeoning in Dead Sea Scroll research. It also illustrates the cooperative efforts of top scholars working together to make these ancient texts accessible to all.

The subject is a document that has been characterized as “the first Dead Sea Scroll,”a a sobriquet adopted by Magen Broshi, curator of the Shrine of the Book in Jerusalem, in his graceful introduction. In fact, the document was not found in the Dead Sea caves. It was found in the genizah (storeroom) of a Cairo synagogue 50 years before the first Dead Sea Scroll was discovered. Today, it is called the Damascus Document. Two partial copies were found in the Cairo Genizah. Then at least eight fragmentary copies were discovered in the Qumran caves. That is why it is called “the first Dead Sea Scroll.” The fragments from the Dead Sea caves more than double the extant text of the document.

Read the rest of Books in Brief: The Damascus Document Reconsidered in the online Biblical Archaeology Society Library.

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