Monday, August 6, 2012

Book Buying series, special edition: Dead Sea Scrolls

So just two days ago I received the first four volumes of Charlesworth DSS volumes, namely 1-4A (update: and later completed the set by a weird sale through WJK), and the graphic concordance to this series (I found one on Amazon for an exceptional price).  I was impressed that each volume from CBD was sealed in brown paper-wrap and stamped by that publisher with series and volume name (see the pictures).  I sort of had the feeling that I was receiving a special volume from some obscure desert monastery!

Receiving these leads me to post a special edition of the book buying series on the acquisition of DSS original source volumes for your own library.  This advice on DSS collecting will be a direct quotation from an email correspondence with a specialist, Professor David Chapman, which I found to be very helpful.

"On DSS [Dead Sea Scrolls], my practice in academic work is to compare texts across the major editions of any one document— always using the DJD (Discoveries it the Judean/Jordanian Desert) text, the Charlesworth text (when available), and any other major stand alone editions and commentaries.  For example, with the Damascus Document there is Charlesworth, and there are 4Q texts in DJD, and there are about a half dozen major text editions/commentaries devoted to the 1Q scroll."   
"This means it simply is not possible to acquire for one's own library all the editions necessary to do an adequate job at academic research/documentation in DSS.  My personal goal instead has been to have an excellent translation (Vermes and/or Garcia Martinez), some original language transcription of most all scrolls (the DSS Study edition by Garcia Martinez you mentioned being most cost effective), and then acquire other major resources when they are available at a sane price (such as these 4 Charlesworth volumes are finally!)."

Others Book buying posts:
Book buying series, Part 3b: Commentaries - Principles I Live by...

1 comment:

  1. Also, the two-volume OT Pseudepigrapha by Charlesworth is available at CBD for $40 in the US, which is a great deal.