Reviews Of Books -- By: Anonymous

Journal: Westminster Theological Journal
Volume: WTJ 67:1 (Spring 2005)
Article: Reviews Of Books
Author: Anonymous

Reviews Of Books

David L. Washburn, A Catalog of Biblical Passages in the Dead Sea Scrolls. Society of Biblical Literature Text-Critical Studies 2. Leiden: Brill, 2003. Pp. 160. $29.95, paper.

This handy tool is based on Washburn’s 1983 master’s thesis at Denver Seminary. It contains an “Introduction” (pp. 1-4) in which the author provides a brief description of his work and the sources used (p. 1), a short story of the “Dead Sea Scrolls Phenomonen” (p. 2), a brief profile of “Some Scroll Peculiarities” (p. 3), and concludes with a summary of “Format” (p. 4).

The Catalog also contains a brief glossary of “Terms Used in the Catalog” (pp. 5-6), a list of “Abbreviations” (pp. 7-9), and the “The Catalog” proper (pp. 11-156). It is intended to be a “comprehensive listing of biblical passages contained in all the Dead Sea Scrolls that have been published to date” (p. 1). Though excluding the documents from the Cairo Geniza, Washburn includes texts from Khirbet Qumran, Wadi Murabbacat, Nahal Hever, and some other sites.

Formatted with four columns per page, the Catalog references in their canonical order biblical passages that occur in both biblical and non-biblical scrolls. These columns include: “Reference” to the biblical passage; “Scroll”—the DSS reference with the name (e.g., 4QJob a) and the number (e.g., 4Q99); ‘Location —information on publication of the scroll in question, with references to plates where possible (here Washburn normally gives references to volume and pages in DJD or other principal edition texts); and “Comments” about the citation, such as words omitted, closeness to the MT, affinities with the Samaritan Pentateuch, and so forth. That Washburn thought to include the location of the texts and comments makes his work all the more useful.

The Catalog is quite easy to use. For example, one working in Exod 7:1–4 will find reference to this text as found in Qumran (21); identification of the scroll in which it is found (2Q2); its location in a standard published edition (DJD 3:50); and a comment noting that the Qumran reading is “fragmentary” and “identical to MT.” The Catalog is complete through DJD 35, and the author hopes to release new editions, perhaps electronic in form, as further DJD volumes and other principal editions become available. This small volume contains a “Selected Bibliography” (pp. 157-61) (though one will find a complete reference list at the end of each article in L. H. Schiffman and J. C. VanderKam, eds., Encyclopedia of the Dead Sea Scrolls [2 vols.; Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000]).

Washburn’s Ca...

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