Among the Dead Sea Scrolls found at Qumran are sixteen of the earliest known biblical commentaries, the "Pesharim." Since their discovery, researchers have been in intense debate about their true nature. In this fascinating volume James Charlesworth introduces the Pesharim to general readers and makes a signal contribution to our understanding of these invaluable ancient documents.
Ought these Jewish writings be viewed as historiography in the guise of biblical commentary, or are they simply examples of the way the Qumran community read and interpreted the Hebrew scripture? Charlesworth takes the middle path in this debate, demonstrating that there are indeed important historical allusions in the Pesharim. In the course of the book, he provides a summary of the interpretive methods used in the Pesharim, isolates the historical allusions in them, and relates these allusions to a synopsis of Qumran history. The volume also includes appendixes by Lidija Novakovic (Bethel College) that explain exegetical terminology and cite scriptural quotations.
Completely up-to-date, reliable, and highly readable, this book is an important addition to the literature on the Dead Sea Scrolls.