TWU Dead Sea Scrolls Expert lectures at the ROM in Toronto

Trinity Western University’s Dr. Martin Abegg, will be giving a public lecture on the Dead Sea Scrolls July 16th at the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto.

Trinity Western University is pleased to announce that Dr. Martin Abegg, the Ben Zion Wacholder Professor of Dead Sea Scroll Studies at TWU will be giving a public lecture on the evening of July 16th at the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) in Toronto.

Since June 27th the ROM, as it’s popularly known, has been hosting the exhibition on the scrolls called “Dead Sea Scrolls – Words that Changed the World.” Touted as one of the greatest archaeological finds of the 20th century – the Dead Sea Scrolls have fascinated people since their discovery in 1947 by a shepherd boy.

The scrolls, found in 11 caves along the northwest shoreline of the Dead Sea about 13 miles east of Jerusalem and 1300 feet below sea level, date from the third century B.C.E. to the first century C.E. and are written on animal skins, papyrus, and copper. The documents are thought to comprise the library of a Jewish sectarian group that lived in the area and are of particular importance to religious and scholarly communities because they include the oldest known copies of both the Christian Old Testament and non-biblical books on community living, wisdom literature, war conduct, hymns, and benedictions that shed light on how this early community livedAbegg_Martin and perceived themselves in relation to their neighbors.

Abegg’s lecture titled, The Stories of the Toronto Dead Sea Scrolls will, according to the ROM, provide listeners a “behind the scenes glimpse at the past intrigue surrounding the scrolls and what these texts tell us about the ancients that wrote, collected, copied and studied them. What were the scriptures of these ancient Jews? How did they project themselves into the biblical story? How did they think that the world was to end? And how did they then live in response to their understanding of these issues?”

Abegg found his passion for the Dead Sea Scrolls when he began his graduate work at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. Today, besides being an expert in Dead Sea Scrolls research, Abegg is Co-Director of the Dead Sea Scrolls Institute at Trinity Western University, a specialist in the Hebrew Bible and Syriac tradition, and is co-editor of The Dead Sea Scrolls Bible - the first publication representing all of the biblical materials from the Dead Sea Scrolls.

Says Abegg, “I think many people—Christian, Jewish, and certainly beyond these groups as well—find the scrolls fascinating due to our modern interest in “ancient wisdom” and “hidden treasure.” There is a good deal of overlap in interest in the scrolls with the series of Indiana Jones movies or the Da Vinci Code, all for the same reason. Of course, for Christians and Jews, there is the added “back to our roots” interest. And finally, of course, the Bible and the sense that people have that the scrolls are a verification of the text and truth.”

The Dead Sea Scrolls will be on exhibit at the Royal Ontario Museum until January 3, 2010.

More information on Dr. Martin Abegg can be found at

 Trinity Western University, in Langley, B.C., is an independent Christian liberal arts and sciences university enrolling approximately 4000 students. TWU offers 42 undergraduate majors, ranging from biotechnology, education, nursing, theatre and music, to psychology, communications and biblical studies. TWU's 16 graduate degree programs include counseling psychology, business, theology, linguistics, and leadership, and interdisciplinary degrees in English, philosophy and history. TWU holds Canada Research Chairs in Dead Sea Scroll Studies, Developmental Genetics and Disease, and Interpretation, Religion & Culture.



Last Updated: 2009-07-17
Author: Erin Mussolum