The discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls in the Judaean desert between 1947 and 1956 transformed our understanding of the Hebrew Bible, early Judaism and the origins of Christianity. These manuscripts appear to have been hidden in the caves at Qumran by members of the Essene community, a Jewish sect in existence before and during the time of Jesus.
Some 50 years after the Scrolls' first discovery and following the release of all the scroll texts to scholars in 1991, this revised and much expanded edition crowns a lifetime of research by the great Qumran scholar Geza Vermes.
As well as superb translations of the non-biblical texts sufficiently well preserved to be rendered into English, a number of previously unpublished texts are included. Among them are important documents relating to the Essene community's liturgical calendar, its rules and observances, further sections of the Genesis Apocryphon, much Wisdom literature and, even the controversial inscription recently discovered among the Qumran ruins.