Congregation Ohav Shalom

Building Community Celebrating Tradition

113 New Krumkill Road, Albany, NY 12208 / (518) 489-4706 / Email Us /

The Archaeology and Meaning of the Dead Sea Scrolls: The Most Important Archaeological Discovery of the 20th Century?

Posted on December 13, 2013

Beginning on Thursday, January 9, 2014 and continuing on Thursdays through February 27, lecturer Steven Stark-Riemer will present “The Archaeology and Meaning of the Dead Sea Scrolls at Congregation Ohav Shalom, 113 New Krumkill Road, Albany.  The program runs from  7 pm – 8:30 pm.

The Dead Sea Scrolls are the most important collection of Jewish texts from the Second Temple Period and have been described as the most significant archaeological discovery of the twentieth century. Early on, the Scrolls were hailed as a primary source for studying the development of Christianity. Recently, however, scholars recognize that it is only by understanding what they teach about the history of Judaism that it is possible to learn what the Scrolls impart about the history of Christianity—which came into being only after these texts were composed and copied.

The first session considers the history of the discovery of the Scrolls—the library of the Qumran sect—and the scandal surrounding the nearly fifty years it took to see them fully published. The course will address the various ‘Judaism’s’ or sects of the Second Temple Period; the founding and later development of the Qumran sect; the archaeology of the settlement at Qumran and nearby caves; the character of the Qumran community; women in the Dead Sea Scrolls; the theology and beliefs of the sect; and messianism in the Scrolls and its influence on Judaism and Christianity.

An attorney by profession, Steven Stark-Riemer studied anthropology and archaeology at City College of New York and conducted fieldwork in Israel at the Tel Gezer excavations. He continues to pursue his interest in the archaeology, history, and religion of the Ancient Near East.

For course fee and additional information, please contact Nancy Pandolfo at Ohav Shalom: 518.489.4894 x 10 or

Congregation Ohav Shalom, led by Rabbi Daniel Ornstein and Rabbi Rena Kieval, is a Conservative/Egalitarian Synagogue affiliated with The United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism.