Dead Sea Scrolls subject of spring Nebraska Lecture April 15 at UNL

Released on 03/25/2010, at 2:00 AM
Office of University Communications
University of Nebraska–Lincoln

WHEN: Thursday, Apr. 15, 2010

WHERE: Nebraska Union Auditorium, 1400 R Street

Lincoln, Neb., March 25th, 2010 —
Sidnie White Crawford
Sidnie White Crawford

Excitement, intensive research, rumor and controversy have surrounded the Dead Sea Scrolls since their discovery more than 60 years ago. The scrolls will be the focus of the spring Nebraska Lecture at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Sidnie White Crawford, Willa Cather professor and professor and chair of classics and religious studies, will discuss their discovery, study and publication, as well as controversies and rumors related to these manuscripts.

The free public lecture, "The Dead Sea Scrolls After 60 Years: What Have We Learned?" will be 3:30 p.m. April 15, in the Nebraska Union auditorium, 1400 R St. [map], with a reception following. The presentation is part of The Nebraska Lectures: Chancellor's Distinguished Lecture Series.

The Dead Sea Scrolls were the most important archaeological discovery in Old Testament studies during the 20th century. They have revealed much about biblical writings, Jewish life and thought, and the relationship between early Christianity and Judaism since their discovery in 1947 in caves near the Dead Sea, in what today is known as the West Bank. Scholars have dated the scrolls as early as second century B.C.

A well-known scholar of the scrolls, Crawford is part of an international Dead Sea Scrolls publication team and has edited 14 manuscripts from the collection. She has written extensively on various aspects of the scrolls, including the rewritten Bible texts and the role of women in the Qumran community.

"The Dead Sea Scrolls have changed everything we thought we knew about the history of the Bible and the history of Judaism right before the birth of Jesus of Nazareth," Crawford said. "They are proof that a whole field of study can be revolutionized by one chance discovery."

A UNL faculty member since 1997, Crawford also holds appointments in Women's Studies and Judaic Studies.

The Nebraska Lectures, which feature distinguished UNL faculty, are designed for general audiences and provide insights about some of the university's leading research, scholarly and creative activity. Crawford's lecture is sponsored by the Office of the Chancellor, the UNL Research Council, the Office of Research and Economic Development and the Nebraska Humanities Council.

WRITER: Ashley Washburn, Office of Research, (402) 472-3670

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