Understanding the Text of the Bible 65 Years after the Discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls

Emanuel Tov 1
  • 1 Hebrew University of Jerusalem


The focus of this study is the biblical Dead Sea Scrolls, 65 years after their discovery near the Dead Sea, with the purpose of improving our understanding of the text of Hebrew Scripture. The Qumran finds (more than 200 fragmentary scrolls) reflect textual plurality, and all the biblical texts were probably considered authoritative. At the same time, the 25 Scripture scrolls from sites in the Judean Desert outside Qumran are virtually identical to the medieval MT.

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  • Magness, J. The Archeology of Qumran and the Dead Sea Scrolls. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2002.

  • Tov, E. Revised Lists of the Texts from the Judaean Desert. Leiden/Boston: Brill, 2010.

  • Tov, E. Textual Criticism of the Hebrew Bible. 3rd ed., revised and expanded. Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2012.


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Open Theology is an international Open Access, peer-reviewed academic journal that welcomes contributions written in English addressing religion in its various forms and aspects: historical, theological, sociological, psychological, and other.