November 9, 2012


Video available of John Kampen's Dead Sea Scrolls lecture

The Scrolls scholar delves into their discovery and impact

Dead Sea Scrolls scholar John Kampen has recorded a one-hour video presentation of his Oct. 29 faculty lecture, "Modern Research on Ancient Texts: The Story of the Dead Sea Scrolls."

Kampen, MTSO's Van Bogard Dunn Professor of Biblical Interpretation, presents the lecture as the Cincinnati Museum Center prepares to open a major Dead Sea Scrolls exhibit.

The video also is available on MTSO's YouTube channel. In conjunction with this lecture, Kampen is hosting three online Q&A sessions at the following times: 2-3 p.m. Dec. 6, 2-3 p.m. Feb. 7 and 7-8 p.m. Feb. 12. For information on participating in one of these sessions, email Associate Academic Dean Lisa Withrow at and mention which date you prefer.

Kampen's lecture describes and illustrates briefly the archaeological context of the site of Qumran and the caves where the scrolls were first discovered in 1947. He outlines the different type of texts that are part of this collection, which includes fragments of almost 1,000 manuscripts, and outlines the significance of some of them for our understanding of the Jewish history of that time period.

This offers insights into our understanding of Christian origins and the development of Rabbinic Judaism. Kampen gives particular attention to those texts that became widely available only after 1991, including those that will be part of the exhibit that opens in Cincinnati Nov. 16.

Kampen is most recently the author of Wisdom Literature, a commentary on the remarkable collection of wisdom compositions that have been the subject of intense study in the past decade and a half. He served a six-year term as co-chair of the Qumran Studies section of the Society of Biblical Literature.

Kampen, a graduate of the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in Cincinnati, is engaged in continuing research on the relationship of the Qumran texts to the Gospel of Matthew.

Prior to his current appointment, he served as academic dean of Payne Theological Seminary, Bluffton University and MTSO. He has published articles in related areas of concern such as African-Americans and the Bible, the New Testament and anti-Semitism, non-violence, and issues of Mennonite identity.

The exhibit "Dead Sea Scrolls: Life and Faith in Ancient Times" runs from Nov. 16 through mid-April at the Cincinnati Museum Center. It features the most comprehensive collection of ancient artifacts from Israel ever organized, including one of the largest collections of the priceless 2,000-year-old Dead Sea Scrolls.

Methodist Theological School in Ohio prepares transformational leaders of many faith traditions for service to the church and the world. MTSO offers master's degrees in divinity, counseling ministries, theological studies and practical theology, as well as a Doctor of Ministry degree. For more information, visit

Danny Russell, director of communications, 740-362-3322

Professor John Kampen, 740-362-3364