Volume 2 (2010) of Studies in the Bible and Antiquity promises to be a significant contribution to the ongoing Latter-day Saint scholarly conversation on the Dead Sea Scrolls. This volume features essays from Donald W. Parry, Dana M. Pike, and Andrew C. Skinner, all of whom have served on the international team of editors of the Dead Sea Scrolls and have helped produce several of the 40 volumes in the Discoveries in the Judaean Desert series.
In "The Dead Sea Scrolls Bible: Overview and Significance," Donald W. Parry introduces readers to the scrolls as they relate to the Hebrew Bible, nonbiblical texts, and the sectarian documents. He explores particularly the significance of the scrolls for our understanding of scribal transmission, variant readings between the Dead Sea Scrolls and the Masoretic text of the Hebrew Bible, and how the Dead Sea Scrolls sectarians understood scripture. Parry's article provides an important discussion of these topics from an LDS scholarly perspective.
One of the challenges for Latter-day Saints curious about the Dead Sea Scrolls is finding accurate information. In "The Dead Sea Scrolls and Latter-day Saints: Where Do We Go from Here?" Dana M. Pike argues that too many Latter-day Saints rely on outdated information and flawed methodologies. Pike gives several suggestions for countering misinformation and keeping up to date. He also proposes a framework for approaching the Dead Sea Scrolls within their proper historical, textual, and religious contexts.
Andrew C. Skinner sheds light on the connection between the Dead Sea Scrolls and first-century Christianity in "The Dead Sea Scrolls and the World of Jesus." Skinner takes a measured and cautious approach in exploring certain parallels between the scrolls and the earliest Christian texts, such as similar terminology and phrasing, temple ideology, and messianic expectations.
Also included is a reprint of Hugh Nibley's "From the Dead Sea Scrolls (1QS)," which first appeared in 1975 as appendix 1 to The Message of the Joseph Smith Papyri. Nibley's article provides a good example of how Latter-day Saints have found the scrolls compelling for their resonances with our own religious tradition. Stephen D. Ricks supplies a new introduction to this reprint.
Finally, this volume of Studies contains an updated select bibliography of publications by Latter-day Saint scholars on the Dead Sea Scrolls.
In conjunction with the publication of this volume, a Dead Sea Scrolls conference was held on January 12, 2011, at BYU, at which Parry, Pike, and Skinner presented their papers.
Studies in the Bible and Antiquity is available for purchase at the BYU Bookstore (click here).