Neal A. Maxwell Institute for Religious Scholarship

Studies in the Bible and Antiquity


Donald W. Parry


This paper examines various significant aspects of what may be designated the Dead Sea Scrolls Bible: its contents and description, scribal conventions, variant readings, use by modern English Bible translations, as well as parabiblical texts and their possible affiliation with the DSS Bible, canonicity, scriptural commentaries, tefillin, and mezuzot. An examination of the DSS biblical texts, which date to nearly a thousand years earlier than previously known texts of the Hebrew Bible, demonstrates a high degree of accuracy in the transmission of our Bible texts. Most variants offer only minor corrections to our biblical texts. Thus the scribe's professionalism overall should give us, as modern readers, confidence that biblical scripture has come down to us in excellent order.