'Southwestern News' gives glimpse of DSS exhibition

The spring issue of Southwestern News magazine presents a sneak peak into the upcoming Dead Sea Scrolls & the Bible exhibition as well as articles explaining the historical background of the Dead Sea Scrolls discovery, their significance to biblical studies, and the seminary’s research on its own scroll fragments. The Dead Sea Scrolls & the Bible exhibition, which will be housed in MacGorman Chapel, opens July 2, 2012 and will run through January 2013.

In the magazine, which was created by the seminary’s office of communications, readers can view historical photos of what has been called “the greatest manuscript discovery of modern times” along with images of present-day Qumran taken by the seminary’s own photographers. Several Internet links and QR codes also point readers to “online extras,” such as videos created by Southwestern’s videographers of Dr. Patterson at the mouths of the caves at Qumran, where the scrolls were found.

An article on the coming exhibition introduces readers to the many artifacts, displays and elements they will see, including pieces on loan from Israel and collections on loan from private individuals and organizations. A map gives a bird’s-eye view of the various stops along the exhibit that will transport people back in time to the Dead Sea as they make their own discovery of God’s sovereign hand in the transmission of Scripture through the ages. The article also provides information regarding the educational, interactive dig site, which will be located outside MacGorman Chapel and available to young and old alike.

Readers also get to explore the past as they read the history behind the Dead Sea Scrolls discovery and see how Southwestern’s collection made its journey from the Middle East to North Texas. A look at the region surrounding Qumran and the people who likely stored the scrolls in its desert caves rounds out the reader’s understanding of the scrolls’ rich history.

The magazine not only reconstructs the historical aspects of the Dead Sea Scrolls, but it also explains their significance to Christians today. The scrolls provide further confirmation of the reliability of scribal transmission over centuries, which re-enforces Christians’ trust in the reliability of Scripture. Additionally, the scrolls give further evidence of the messianic hope that pervaded the culture of first-century Israel. An article on Southwestern’s study and preservation of its collection shows seminary professors’ contribution to the ongoing scholarship related to the Dead Sea Scrolls.

The magazine also includes a profile of Gary and Stephanie Loveless, the presenting sponsors of the Dead Sea Scrolls & the Bible exhibition. Gary Loveless serves as a trustee at Southwestern and has been instrumental in the life of the seminary for many years. He and Stephanie provided the funds for Southwestern’s first acquisition of Dead Sea Scroll fragments and dedicated the Leta Phillips Library in MacGorman Chapel, which will preserve the scrolls after the exhibition is complete.

Copies of the spring issue of Southwestern News are available in newsstands around campus and in the Office of Communications (F103). An online version is viewable at swbts.edu/SWNewsDSS. To look at other issues of Southwestern News magazine, go to swbts.edu/SouthwesternNews.

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