The Great Isaiah Scroll And The Original Bible: An Interview With Dr. Peter Flint -- By: John D. Barry

Journal: Bible and Spade (Second Run)
Volume: BSPADE 23:4 (Fall 2010)
Article: The Great Isaiah Scroll And The Original Bible: An Interview With Dr. Peter Flint
Author: John D. Barry

The Great Isaiah Scroll And The Original Bible:
An Interview With Dr. Peter Flint

John D. Barry

For over forty years, the Great Isaiah Scroll was under lock and key, deep underground in Jerusalem. In 2008, for the 60th anniversary of the Dead Sea Scrolls discovery, the Israel Antiquities Authority displayed the scroll.

In 1987, as the Dead Sea Scrolls publishing controversy captured the world’s attention, a graduate student by the name of Peter Flint moved from South Africa to the United States. He took a doctoral fellowship at the University of Notre Dame and began to study under one of the figures at the center of the controversy, Eugene Ulrich, the chief editor of the biblical Dead Sea Scrolls.

By 1997, Dr. Peter Flint had published the second largest portion of the biblical Dead Sea Scrolls: the Psalms Scrolls. This publication was full of discoveries that soon changed Bibles, Bible study, and biblical scholarship. Today, Flint is an editor of the largest intact Dead Sea Scroll: The Great Isaiah Scroll.

Since the Great Isaiah Scroll’s discovery in late 1946, an Indiana Jones-like story followed it. The scroll has journeyed through the heart of war-torn Israel, Palestine and Jordan, through the hands of Bedouins, priests and scholars.

The definitive publication of the scroll is slated to be published in the critically acclaimed Discoveries of the Judean Desert series by the end of 2008. The findings published so far hint that this forthcoming publication will have a massive impact on the way we think of the Bible.

The Great Isaiah Scroll tells the story of how we got our Bible. Because of this, nations and individuals alike have felt connected to the scroll, but very few people have felt as connected to this ancient artifact as Dr. Peter Flint.

Flint took the time to answer some questions for Bible Study Magazine ( about the Great Isaiah Scroll’s impact on Bible study, and what we know about the original Bible.

BSM: What type of work do you do?

FLINT: I’m involved in publishing and researching the Dead Sea Scrolls. But I have a second calling—to take the Dead Sea Scrolls and demonstrate the importance of them to our lives and the Christian faith.

BSM: Why are the Dead Sea Scrolls important to the Christian faith?

FLINT: The Dead Sea Scrolls are the greatest find of our time. They affect our understanding of the Bible and they confirm the accuracy of Scripture. They enhance our understanding of Jesus and help us interpret the New Testament.

The past can be confusin...

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