The Story of the Scrolls : The Miraculous Discovery and True Significance of the Dead Sea Scrolls, Paperback

The Story of the Scrolls : The Miraculous Discovery and True Significance of the Dead Sea Scrolls Paperback

3 out of 5 (2 ratings)


From the world's leading "Dead Sea Scrolls" scholar, Geza Vermes' "The Story of the Scrolls: The Miraculous Discovery and True Significance of the Dead Sea Scrolls" is an ideal introduction to understanding these ancient documents.

The discovery of the "Dead Sea Scrolls" in Qumran, between 1947 and 1956, was one of the greatest archaeological finds of all time.

Written in Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek, and hidden in caves by an ancient Jewish sect, these mysterious manuscripts revolutionized our understanding of the Bible, of Judaism and the early Christian world.

Geza Vermes' English translations brought these extraordinary documents to thousands, and his life has been inextricably interwoven with the scrolls for over sixty years.

In "The Story of the Scrolls", Vermes relates the controversial story of their discovery and publication around the world, revealing cover-ups, blunders and academic in-fighting, but also the passion and dedication of many of those involved. He shares what he has learned about the scrolls and, evaluating passages from them, gives his views on their true significance and what they can teach us, as well as those areas where scholarly consensus has not yet been reached. "The world's leading Gospel scholar". ("The Times"). "Vermes has the rare gift of wearing his immense scholarship lightly". (David Goldberg, "Independent"). Geza Vermes is director of the Forum for Qumran Research at the Oxford Centre for Hebrew and Jewish Studies.

His books, published by Penguin, include "The Complete Dead Sea Scrolls in English" and "The Changing Faces of Jesus" as well as the 'Jesus' trilogy: "Nativity", "Passion" and "Resurrection".


  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 272 pages, maps
  • Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: History of religion
  • ISBN: 9780141046150



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Showing 1 - 2 of 2 reviews.

Review by

The author has been working with the Dead Sea scrolls since their discovery in the 1940s, so as you'd expect this book is filled with a lot of detail backed up by first-hand accounts.Given the amount of detail in the book, it's surprisingly readable. I still found it a bit dry, but that's really my fault rather than the book's because I was expecting a lighter read.The author gives an independent view of the many controversies, and shows a remarkable ability to avoid demonising people for their failings. Given the number of failures and wacky theories connected with the scrolls, that can't have been an easy task.

Review by

I read this as an amateur student of religious history. The Dead Sea Scrolls have been studied for over 50 years now and although they do not "change" much of what we know about the bible itself, they do offer much insight into the background of the origin of Judeo-Christian texts. Author Vermes was in his 80's when this was written, and as one of the original experts allowed access to the scrolls, his insights and comments are very interesting. Recommended for students of biblical history.