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Episode 153 The Dead Sea Scrolls, Part 2 with Timothy Lim


Episode 153 The Dead Sea Scrolls (Part 2) with Timothy Lim

Recently, David Capes was in Edinburgh, Scotland, and had the chance to sit down and talk with Dr. Timothy Lim about the Dead Sea Scrolls. 

This discovery was one of the most important archaeological discoveries of the 20th century.

Who Is Timothy Lim?

Timothy Lim is Professor of Hebrew Bible and Second Temple Judaism at the University of Edinburgh.  Born in Canada, Timothy and his family made their home in Scotland during his illustrious career. 

He is recognized as one of the world’s leading authorities on the Dead Sea Scrolls.

He loves running, playing tennis, working out, AND he is good guitar player.

What Do the Dead Sea Scrolls Tell Us About the Shape of the Cannon?

One of the many contributions the Dead Sea Scrolls have made is that they give us some insight into the books that made up authoritative scripture.

We’d probably like to think of the Bible as containing the same books, in the same order, and using all the same words for all time.

In fact, the Dead Sea Scrolls demonstrate the fluidity of the biblical text at the time of the turn of the millennium from BC to AD, or if you prefer BCE to CE.

It may be good to remember that the Dead Sea Scrolls were the library of a Jewish community contemporaneous to the time of John the Baptizer, Jesus, Peter and Paul.

What Do the Dead Sea Scrolls Tell Us About Biblical Interpretation?

The people of the scrolls had a particular view of the world and that came out in the way they interpreted their biblical books.

Among the books recovered have been biblical commentaries that go by the title pesharim (Hebrew plural). Dr. Lim has done a great deal to illuminate this kind of commentary (pesher is the Hebrew singular). 

It is both a method or approach to Scripture and the results of that method. We find a number of places in the New Testament where writers employed a similar method (though not altogether the same).

Books by Dr. Timothy Lim

Among his many books are:

The Dead Sea Scrolls: A Very Short Introduction, 2nd edition (Oxford University Press, 2017)

The Formation of the Jewish Canon (Yale University Press, 2012)

The Oxford Handbook of the Dead Sea Scrolls (with John Collins, Oxford University Press, 2012)

For a transcript of this podcast, click here.

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