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Everyone has heard of the Dead Sea Scrolls, but amidst the conspiracies, the politics, and the sensational claims, it can be dificult to separate the myths from the reality. Timothy Lim here presents the true facts and leading theories behind the cultural and historical background of the scrolls, and examines their significance for our understanding of the Old Testament and the origins of Christianity and Judaism. He also tells the fascinating story of the scrolls since their discovery, explains the science behind their deciphering and dating, and does not omit the cast of characters, scandals, and controversies that have hastened the scrolls' rise to the status of cultural icon. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.