View Full Version : Dead Sea Scrolls module

Ben Spackman
02-17-2005, 09:37 AM
Have there been any updates to this or the glosses that come with it?

Any user comments?

I have a DSS class next quarter, and I'm trying to decide if I should lobby the "appropriations committee" (ie. my wife) for the module.

02-17-2005, 09:35 PM
Have there been any updates to this or the glosses that come with it? Any user comments? I have a DSS class next quarter, and I'm trying to decide if I should lobby the "appropriations committee" (ie. my wife) for the module.Surely you're not suggesting that the "appropriations committee" would fail to see the value of another toy! Oops! I mean "tool!" :)

I have not had the chance to delve too deeply into the scrolls, but I have had the chance to compare BW's interface with others. Of course, no program can match BW in speed when it comes to complex searches, and there is no exception with the QSM/QST. On the negative side, BW does not currently have a translation available in English...perhaps that will change one day...

I've fiddled with Accordance's version of the Qumran Scrolls, and it has the same searchability as BW, but it also has the English translation produced by Abegg and Wise. They offer an index to the Qumran Scrolls that is intended to offer info on whatever scroll you are reading. It would be wonderful if a similar resource could be added to BW. Of course the drawback for Accordance is the price. For the resources mentioned above it would cost $150.

Brill has also produced a stand alone product that houses Garcia-Martinez' & Tigchelaar's English translation and text. This used to be one of the only electronic means of accessing the scrolls. One of its perks included "zoomable" photos of some of the main scrolls. Unfortunately, the search interface was less than user-friendly. The price is prohibitive well at $279.

Next on the market is Logos' Dead Sea Scrolls Study Edition [DSSSE], which contains the entire text of Garcia-Martinez' & Tigchelaar's critical edition (both Heb. texts and Eng. trans.). Of course it offers the same integration that one would expect with Libronix libraries. In addition it can be sync'd with the same morphologically tagged text that BibleWorks & Accordance uses (Abegg's Qumran Sectarian Manuscripts [QSM]). This allows one to perform morphological searches on the corpus (a task not possible using the DSSSE alone-without the addition of the QSM). Libronix' speed can't compare, in my humble opinion, to either BibleWorks or Accordance, but that is perhaps balanced by the ability to integrate all of Libronix' other resources with the scrolls. The DSSSE costs $89 direct from the website and the QSM costs $80.

Now, I'm a diehard BibleWorks fan, but I figured it may be useful to put all of the options out there for folks to see. In essence, if one wants an English translation, one is forced to purchase a database on another platform. For those who have the ability and experience to "sight read" the Hebrew of the DSS, this is not a problem, but for the average seminary student who is struggling to understand the organization of the scrolls (let alone the Hebrew) an English translation is usually a must. Of course, one could simply use a paper text for the translation, and leave the searching to BW. The cost for the QSM alone is the same for BW, Libronix and for Accordance ($80), so the availability of an English translation that "syncs" with the Hebrew may just be the deciding factor for even die hard BibleWorks fans.

As far as DSS databases go, I am still waiting to see one that includes the canonical scrolls. It will be wonderful to be able to quickly compare and correlate the various biblical scrolls with the Masoretic Text, and sometimes I wonder why this has not yet been done...perhaps someone "in the know" could enlighten me...

Well, that's it for now.

02-18-2005, 07:26 AM
I have found that the DSSSE is a usable module. The search via Libronix has been good. But remember that DSSSE, like most of the others, only include non-Biblical material. The Biblical material has not been published in book form for this series. Also unlike the full Oxford version by Lim, which BTW has almost everything: non-Bib. and Bib., these modules do not have pictures of the scrolls/frag. So DSSSE is just O.K. for the time being.