Summer Program Application

Please note: This program has not been scheduled for 2021 yet. We will update this page once the new dates are finalized.

Program Overview

The Dead Sea Scrolls are the most important discovery in the history and archeology of the Holy Land and ancient Judaism. They changed everything we thought we knew about our past.

However, the ongoing publication of more than 900 texts leaves many of us confused about their contents and significance.

This online course, taught in English by Prof. Eyal Regev from Bar-Ilan’s Land of Israel Studies and Archaeology Department, introduces a thorough and up-to-date review of the different kinds of scrolls found at Qumran, pointing to their significance for our understanding of ancient Judaism and early Christianity.

The archeology of the fascinating site at Khirbet Qumran, where many assume that the so-called Dead Sea Sect or Essenes dwelt, is studied in an online tour with Prof. Regev. Special attention is given to the history and ideology of the Qumran movement, and its laws in comparison to contemporary Jewish Halacha (Law).

The content of the course includes several films (10 short filmed lectures and a filmed tour to Khirbet Qumran), published articles, and special chapters written by the late Prof. Hanan Eshel, one of the leading experts in the field. As well as discussion of the Bible in the scrolls and extra-biblical scrolls such as 1 Enoch, Jubilees, and the apocryphal Psalms. (See more details below.)

As everything is pre-recorded, students move at their own pace, but will still have contact with Prof. Regev via email and the forums.

Current Bar-Ilan students can take this course as part of the requirements for Basic Jewish Studies courses in Jewish history or as a general course.

The Dead Sea Scrolls online course is open to anyone who is interested in learning about The Dead Sea Scrolls, including Bar-Ilan students, students from other universities in Israel and internationally, and the general public.

Please note: This program has not been scheduled for 2021 yet. We will update this page once the new dates are finalized.

If you have questions regarding the course material, please email Prof. Eyal Regev on or call +972-3-531-8350.

General Information

Dates:                                      To be confirmed.
Cost:                                        To be confirmed.
Credits                                     2
Academic requirements:     None. Open to all.
Course number:                    1625901


Final assignment: 80%

Participation in online forums/discussion groups: 20%

Students who take the course for credit should submit two posts in the course’s online forums, in addition to a final exam or a short final assignment (online).

Register now. Click here.

If you have questions regarding the course material, please email Prof. Eyal Regev on or call +972-3-531-8350.

Course Content

The course contains 7 basic written units (comprising the initial part of the course; this is a translation of the original Hebrew unit on which the current internet Hebrew course [מגילות [מדבר יהודה Basic Jewish Studies is based), articles and a filmed tour in Khirbet Qumran, and open discussions with the lecturer.

Unit 1: The Discovery of the Scrolls

Online video: A tour in Khirbet Qumran and the caves with Eyal Regev.

Article: Regev, E. “The Archaeology of Sectarianism: Ritual, Resistance and Hierarchy in Kh. Qumran,” Revue de Qumran 24/94 (2009), pp. 175-214.

Unit 2: The History of the Qumran Sect and the Historical Details in the Scrolls

Article: Regev, E. “Abominated Temple and A Holy Community: The Formation of the Concepts of Purity and Impurity in Qumran”, Dead Sea Discoveries 10.2 (2003), pp. 243-278.

Unit 3: The Bible at Qumran 

Unit 4: The Apocryphal and Pseudepigraphal Literature Discovered at Qumran

Article: Najman, H. “Reconsidering Jubilees: Prophecy and Exemplarity,” in Past Renewals: Interpretative Authority, Renewed Revelation, and the Quest for Perfection in Jewish Antiquity, Leiden 2010, pp. 189-205.

Unit 5: The Apocryphal Psalms Discovered at Qumran

Article: Regev, E. “Sin, Atonement and Israelite Identity in the Words of the Luminaries in Relation to 1 Enoch’s Animal Apocalypse,” Hebrew Union College Annual 84-85 (2013-14), pp. 1-24.

Unit 6: The Halakhah in the Qumran Scrolls

Article: Regev, E. “Chercher les femmes: Were the Yahad Celibates?” Dead Sea Discoveries 15.2  (2008), pp. 253-284.

Unit 7: The Contribution of the Qumran Inhabitants to Judaism and Christianity

Articles: Regev, E. “Temple and Righteousness in Qumran and Early Christianity: Tracing the Social Differences between the Two Movements”, in Daniel R. Schwartz and Ruth A. Clements (eds.), Text, Thought, and Practice in Qumran and Early Christianity. Proceedings of the Ninth International Symposium of the Orion Center for the Study of the Dead Sea Scrolls and Associated Literature, January 11-13, 2004. Studies on the Texts of the Desert of Judah. (Leiden: Brill 2009), pp. 87-112.

Schiffman, L.H. “The Dead Sea Scrolls and the History of Judaism,” Near Eastern Archaeology 63.3 (2000): 155-159.

Stuckenbruck, L. “The Dead Sea Scrolls and the New Testament,” in N. David and A. Lange (eds.), Qumran and the Bible: Studying the Jewish Scriptures in Light of the Dead Sea Scrolls, Leuven 2010, pp. 131-170.

Texts from the scrolls will be available online for the assignments.

General bibliography for assignments

Collins, J.J. Beyond the Qumran Community: The Sectarian Movement of the Dead Sea Scrolls, Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2010.

García Martínez, F. and Tigchelaar, J.C. The Dead Sea Scroll Study Edition, 2 vols. Leiden, Grand Rapids and Cambridge 2000.

Eshel, H. The Dead Sea Scrolls and the Hasmonean State, Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2008.

Regev, E. Sectarianism in Qumran: A Cross-Cultural Perspective, Religion and Society Series 45, Berlin, Walter de Gruyter 2007.


For additional details contact:
International School
Bar-Ilan University
Ramat-Gan, Israel 5290002

Tel: +972- 3-738-4245


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