Dead Sea Scrolls Experts at it again

Since the November 2002 launch of "The Meaning of the Dead Sea Scrolls", the book has generated great interest in the Holy Land discovery. Ranked at the time of writing as number three on Chapters' best selling-list (out of 110 Dead Sea Scrolls books) and staying on Amazon's top 10 list for its category (out of 290 books), the book continues to help average readers better understand the 2000 year old Old Testament manuscripts and their message.

Abbotsford resident, Peter Flint, PhD., has been quite busy ever since the book launch. As co-author of the book, as well as Co-Director of the Dead Sea Scrolls Institute at TWU, Flint has attended several author appearances across North America, and recently taken part in Toronto's “Annual Meeting of the Society of Biblical Literature,” the world's largest meeting of scholars of religion, with almost 9,000 in attendance.

In mid-February, he switched gears, conducting a one-week Dead Sea Scrolls seminar with a twist—giving the lectures aboard a high-end Caribean cruise. (Flint comments: “Well, someone had to do it. So I did my duty!”) At the end of February, Flint will participate in the Dead Sea Scrolls exhibit in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

"It’s without doubt the big Dead Sea Scrolls event of 2003," says Flint. "Several of the original Dead Sea Scrolls are on display, after being flown over from Israel in several unmarked planes, shrouded in secrecy.”

The Scrolls, along with other finds from the past, have generated such interest that even Disney World is getting on board. The infamous theme park is in the process of setting up a Bible Land exhibit in which copies of the Dead Sea Scrolls and replicas of the Caves and jars will be displayed. Though Flint does not expect to be conducting seminars at theme parks, he can understand why such a fascination with the scrolls exists.

"We are the first generation to have full access to this ancient material that had been lost for two thousand years," he says. "For anyone who is interested in the Scriptures, the Dead Sea Scrolls are a goldmine of new information that will help us to better understand the Bible, its accuracy, how it came about, and it will even help with some of the difficult readings in the Bible."

Even with a busy traveling schedule and TWU students to teach, Flint will resume writing—however he will be taking a sabbatical. Under contract for Eerdmans Press, Flint will be writing a book on the Bible and the Dead Sea Scrolls. It will be the first publication able to take into account all the Dead Sea Scrolls, as they were only available in part to previous authors. Flint will also be writing for Oxford University Press’s series, “Discoveries in the Judaean Desert.”

Flint's colleague, Martin Abegg, PhD, Director of the MA in Biblical Studies at TWU, and Co-Director of the Dead Sea Scrolls Institute at TWU is co-author of The Dead Sea Scrolls Bible, printed in paperback this past November. Abegg, another Abbotsford resident, has also resumed writing and is currently completing the assignment of writing the official concordance for the Dead Sea Scrolls.

”This is an amazing invitation," says Flint, who very is proud of his colleague, “because everyone knows that this book will be of great value to the academic community. Imagine trying to find biblical references without a concordance; Martin Abegg will provide the world with the first proper concordance of the Dead Sea Scrolls.”

Even with large volumes of writing and researching, these professors still find time to teach. In fact, according to the stats, students in their programs are doing exceptionally well. TWU students graduating with an MA in Biblical Studies are being offered prestigious and costly “full ride” scholarships at graduate and doctoral schools around the world.

"Two of our MA graduates (Sam Park and Taylor Kim) have received full scholarships with stipends at the university of Notre Dame,” says Flint. “Last year, Dorothy Peters, another one of our Abbotsford students received a full scholarship to Oxford University’s Graduate Studies which is very rare for a British University. This year, Aaron Brunell is a finalist for full scholarships for the PhD programmes at both the University of Michigan and the University of Notre Dame. These scholarships are incredibly difficult to achieve and are every graduate student’s dream," adds Flint, as he explains that, with all factors added together, students are being granted $200,000 dollars US (five years at about $40,000).

Trinity Western University, located in Langley, B.C., is a not-for-profit Christian liberal arts university enrolling over 3,200 students this year. With a broad based, liberal arts and sciences curriculum, the University offers undergraduate degrees in 38 major areas of study ranging from business, education and computer science to biology and nursing, and 12 other graduate degrees including counseling psychology, theology and administrative leadership.

-30-

Last Updated: 2015-07-13
Author: Keela Keeping