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The Dead Sea Scrolls: The Untold Story [Paperback]

By Kenneth Hanson (Author)
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Item description for The Dead Sea Scrolls: The Untold Story by Kenneth Hanson...

In Dead Sea Scrolls: The Untold Story, Hebrew scholar Kenneth Hanson captures all the mystery and excitement of the rediscovery of the scrolls, the half-century of intrigue that followed, and the ancient Hebrew sect that wrote, preserved, and died defending these treasured works.

Citations And Professional Reviews
The Dead Sea Scrolls: The Untold Story by Kenneth Hanson has been reviewed by professional book reviewers and journalists at the following establishments -
  • Publishers Weekly - 04/28/1997 page 69
  • Library Journal - 06/01/1997 page 104

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Item Specifications...

Format: Illustrated
Studio: Council Oak Books
Pages   223
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 7.97" Width: 5.2" Height: 0.7"
Weight:   0.6 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   May 1, 1997
Publisher   Council Oak Books
ISBN  1571780300  
ISBN13  9781571780300  

Availability  0 units.

More About Kenneth Hanson

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Kenneth Hanson, PhD, is an associate professor in the University of Central Florida Judaic studies program. He is the author of "Blood Kin of Jesus," """Kabbalah: Three Thousand Years of Mystic Tradition," "Secrets from the Lost Bible," and "Words of Light: Spiritual Wisdom from the Dead Sea Scrolls.""

Kenneth Hanson currently resides in the state of Florida. Kenneth Hanson was born in 1953.

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Church History > Dead Sea Scrolls
2Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Reference > Criticism & Interpretation > General
3Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Reference > Criticism & Interpretation > Old Testament
5Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Judaism > General
6Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Religious Studies > History

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Reviews - What do customers think about The Dead Sea Scrolls: The Untold Story?

Informative, and attempting to argue a point, a noble venture  May 22, 2007
I have taken Dr. Hanson for two classes and he is one of the better teachers I have ever had. One of the reviewers says he writes this book from a Christian point of view. I don't see this. He never once mentions he is Christian, or follows any religiion, as he did in class. We know he is not Jewish, or is he. He refuses ever to say. His philosophy is to write a book or teach a class from a "Scholarly point of view."
In fact this book seems to side on Atheism. Why this book works is because it is excellent gold nuggets of information about the Dead Sea Scrolls like the scrolls are written 900 years earlier than any other account of the old testement. Why it seems atheist, is Hanson tries to argue the Scrolls written by a sect of Judaism called the Essenes, were virtually stolen by the Christians to intensify almost the entire New Testament. If you are a Christian religious zeolot you probably will find this book bad and leave a bad review. The point of this book is a scholarly argument that this Jewish sect in particular (SPECIAL) with Paul being an Essene himself has written the New Testament as predicted in the Dead Sea Scrolls. If you want a scholarly look at the Dead Sea Scrolls, I doubt there is a better and more entertaining one out there. He does seem to have a bias toward the Jewish Religion as though it may be his religious faith.
An Enjoyable Read on the Subject  May 31, 2005
This is the first book re: the dead sea scrolls that interested me enough to finish it. It is jam packed with great historical info. re: the sect who created the dead sea scrolls, as well as the various other sects of that time. It also describes the historical finding of the scrolls, and how they were quite close to being lost to us forever.

On another note, this book shows that ancient civilizations dealt with many of the same problems as we do today - violence, prejudice, closed-mindedness, war, etc... An important point for us to remember.

Overall, I would recommend this book to anyone interested in the dead sea scrolls, as well as those interested in ancient civilizations. It's an excellent, thought provoking read.
Unwrapping the Adventures of the Lost Scrolls...  Feb 18, 2004
Our understanding of Scripture is built upon the inspired texts themselves. They are the bedrock of our faith. Over the past 2000 years, a significant body of scholarship, commentary and proclamation has been constructed above holy writ, forming what we generally think of when we consider a story or saying from God's written word.

We may not know whether it was Augustine, Calvin or Barclay who elucidated a passage in such a way as to help us "own" it; nonetheless, we all depend on the faithful, dedicated witnesses who have preceded us to understand what we read between Genesis 1 and Revelation 22. Great literature has depended upon these insights; as has many of the social advances of the Christian era.

It is most likely that when, in our mind's ear, we "hear" Scripture, we do so in the language of the English renaissance-the beautiful cadences of the Authorized (or King James) Version. However, remarkable discoveries have occurred since that beloved translation of the 1600s; discoveries that shed new light upon our edifice of faith. From time to time, older, more reliable copies of this or that book or collection of books from the Bible have been found-in out of the way monasteries and ancient libraries. Yet none of these have been as amazing as that day in 1947 when a Bedouin shepherd boy uncovered an entire cache of ancient scrolls that had remained in a desert cave near the Dead Sea for nearly 2000 years. What his toss of a rock revealed was one of the greatest treasures of all time.

In this book, Kenneth Hanson recounts the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls, relates the adventure of tracking many down (and losing some forevermore!), and offers the reader a first-hand account of the people who wrote and hid them.

Why do we care about a bunch of dusty old scrolls, and their fragments that are too fragile to touch? Because they add their even-older corroboration of many of the Bible passages we have come to know and love. They show how the community of faith treasured and used the texts we revere and read. And they give us a source of greater understanding of the meaning of difficult-to-translate passages that have puzzled Christians for centuries.

It is a fascinating, lively account of the importance of God's written word and the people and faith it shapes. And it points us toward the newer revisions of the King James Version (the best of which is the New Revised Standard Version)-translations that take into account the discoveries revealed in 1947.

If you have made up your mind that the scholar-archeology of the Indiana Jones type is a myth, then you might want to read this book; getting to know its author will be an eye-opening adventure.

Revisionist history  Jan 4, 2004
Disappointing. Promoted as scholarship, the inherent bias soon becomes apparent - Christian spin doctoring promoting the Scrolls as a prophetic precursor and validation of the Jesus story. The glaring and logical question, however, is; did the later writers of the narrative Gospels use available contents of the Dead Sea Scrolls to pen their accounts? How? As Christian revisionist history, don't expect this to be considered. An interesting story though, but don't expect an unbiased account or a scholar's insight.
Great overview of the DSS; some overstatements  Oct 31, 2002
I heard Dr. Hanson both times he has been on the well-known
(inter)national talk radio show, "Coast to Coast," though he was
never interviewed by the show's mainstay, Art Bell. Dr. Hanson is a
very competent and highly enthusiastic speaker. On the show and
certainly in "The Untold Story" he adds life to what could be a
"dead" subject. He is the rare Christian, not in that he accepts
Judaism as the undoubted precursor to Christianity (a point
fully proven by the Dead Sea Scrolls (DSS), according to him), but
he knows Hebrew fluently from years of study, and more importantly,
having lived in Israel for many years, and not always in the safest
places! You feel his deep love for religious studies in the book,
and his sincere, humble conviction for the religious path.

On the radio and in the Introduction of the book Dr. Hanson
promises to tell the DSS saga to non-scholars, without the verbose
and dry prose of the many scholarly but unfulfilling tomes that have
been produced since the remarkable discovery of the scrolls in 1947,
amazingly synchronistic with the founding of the modern state of Israel.
For the most part Dr. Hanson succeeds very well, giving a very clear,
thorough, lively, and from what I know, factual account of the finding,
history, and meaning of the DSS - all this in relatively few pages. I
think that even those (non-experts) who are familiar with the story will
find Dr. Hanson's account enjoyable reading.

Another aspect of the DSS that Dr. Hanson's covers admirably are
the many controversies surrouding the scrolls, and he explains why the
scholarly consensus is usually to him the most plausible. For example,
most scholars think that the authors and creators of the scrolls were
Essenes, but some feel that this is not the case. Dr. Hanson not
only shows why the philosophy and lifestyle(s) of the various Essene
sects point to the Essenes, but on p. 61 he cleverly speculates that
the Hebrew word Osin, which means "doers of God's will," could have
been "corrupted" to form "Essenes," who most certainly consider
themselves doers of God's will.

I much appreciated Dr. Hanson's extensive use of Josephus'
writings, for example discussing John the Baptist, as well as the
Romans account of the almost total annihilation of the Jews in Israel
by the Kittim (DSS term for "the dark forces") in the late 60's AD.
Finally, I also enjoyed Dr. Hanson's contention that Jesus himself
must have known about the DSS, and while he might have been the Messiah
the scrolls predicted, he constantly drew a distinction between their
extreme positions and disciplines and his more lenient, compassionate
teachings. (I will assume Jesus existed for this discussion).

Yet parts of the book were a little troublesome for me, and these
were always Dr. Hanson's commentaries (as opposed to his always
lucid accounts of the details of scrolls-related topics). Indeed
he quotes Josephus extensively for interesting historical context,
and even states that Josephus was a contemporary of Jesus, yet he
says not one word as to why there is maybe only 1 brief "legitimate"
reference in Josephus to Jesus, when according to the author, Jesus'
miracles, predicted by the DSS, were perhaps the most essential aspect
proving his being the Messiah! One would think that anyone who did
such things would be mentioned in detailed volumes in more than a
very passing way.

On p. 92 the cruel King Aristobolus dies after a short reign,
it is as if "divine judgement," but when there is a severe earthquake
in 31 B.C., that greatly affects the DSS community, there is no
"Godly" (my words) reason. Perhaps the Essenes and the author need
some background in science! And on p. 116 there is a paragraph
that stunned me given the quality of most of the book. Dr. Hanson
claims that through the Jewish ritual, the "Bar Mitzvah," the 13-year
old "son of the Most High," bypasses adolescence. Having gone through a
serious preparation of quite a bit of Hebrew and Torah reading myself
at that age, I can assure the author that the "High" was only very, very
temporary, and I went through my puberty like everyone else!

Whatever its faults, I still highly recommend "The Untold Story" for
a great overview and fine insights into the many aspects the Dead Sea


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