LONDON (Jan. 1)
A British team of archeologists, led by Dr. John Allegro of Manchester University has begun a search for more Dead Sea scrolls in the Qumran area of Jordan where the first scrolls were found, it was reported today from Amman.
Dr. Allegro was a member of the international team of authcrities who edited the first scrolls found by a Bedouin boy in a cave in the Judean desert in 1947. The Manchester professor of Semitic languages was reported as being hopeful that the new excavations, taking place west of the Dead Sea, would find documents written soon after the death of Christ when Jewish Christians fled to the wilderness from Jerusalem. The new excavations are expected to last a month.
(Dr. Samuel Sandmel, president of the Society of Biblical Literature and Exegesis and proveost of the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, the American Reform rabbinical seminary, said in his presidential address to the Society that the scrolls represented “the greatest exaggeration in the history of Biblical scholarship.” While agreeing that the scrolls were historically useful, Dr. Sandmel said he would deny “the high importance originally attached to them and the specific connection seen by some scholars between the scrolls and early Christianity.”)