andrew lawler has written a new article for smithsonian magazine entitled, ‘who wrote the dead sea scrolls?’ it is a survey of the modern state of the qumran archaeological debate. it is fair, and represents everyone evenly, yet demonstrates how many different ways the site of qumran can be interpreted.
i’ve got a brief mention and quote towards the end, taking my usual place as one trying to make peace between the two sides. i am quoted as saying that qumran was a settlement, ‘that wanted to be self-reliant—the question is just how jewish and just how devout they were.’ the answer, of course, is that they were definitely jewish, and that their devotion was at least great enough to build a few miqva’ot (jewish ritual baths) at the site (and who knows, maybe copy a scroll or two…)
it’s a solid article, and i recommend it to everyone. kudos to andrew.