‘the fortress at qumran: a history of interpretation’ now available at bible and interpretation

The Reconstructed Tower at Qumran, facing southeast

The Reconstructed Tower at Qumran, facing southeast

i recently had an article published in the may 2009 edition of bible and interpretation entitled, “the fortress at qumran: a history of interpretation.” in the article, i describe the history of interpretation of qumran as a fort, both before and after the discovery of the dead sea scrolls.

here is the abstract:

Recent research into the archaeology of Khirbet Qumran, the site associated with the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls, has generated new debate about the origin of the settlement. Many scholars now question the conclusions of the site’s excavator, Roland de Vaux, who argued that the settlement was initially established as a sectarian settlement. Renewed examination of Qumran points to the origin of the settlement as a fortress dating to the Hasmonean period. This article examines the history of the interpretation of Qumran as a fortress, the sudden rejection of this interpretation with the discovery of the scrolls, and the slow and contentious return to this original interpretation. The article demonstrates that it is not necessary to reject the idea that the settlement at Qumran was a fortress in order to argue that later sectarians present at the site were responsible for the Dead Sea Scrolls.

to read the entire article on the bible and interpretation website, click here.

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