The Dead Sea Scrolls presentation proficiently introduced attendees to a lot of ideas in the Dead Sea Scrolls and to the effects of the scrolls’ discovery. Dr. Roitman’s lecture provided a deeper understanding of the scrolls without overwhelming attendees, the department of religion chair, Dr. Richard Israel, said.
The presentation consisted of two sessions. The first focused on John the Baptist, Jesus, Paul and the Qumran community. The second session focused on the significance of the Dead Sea Scrolls for Judaism and Christianity.
Both events had great turnouts, Dr. Israel said. The first session became a standing room only with some attendees sitting on the floor. Israel said he was pleased to see the large number of people from the community outside of Vanguard in attendance along with the Vanguard family. “We tried to reach out to local churches, synagogues, pastors and friends in the area,” he said.
A partnership between Vanguard University’s Department of Religion and the Center for Holy Lands Studies (CHLS) provided the opportunity for Dr. Roitman to speak at Vanguard. CHLS Executive Director Marc Turnage contacted Dr. Israel and offered to invite Dr. Roitman to speak at Vanguard while on his tour. Dr. Israel jumped at the offer. He described Dr. Roitman as “very personable, very warm, humorous and engaging.”
Speaking about Dr. Roitman, Dr. Israel said: “He thought it was notable and important that he as a Jew could give a lecture on the Dead Sea Scrolls in a Chapel at a Christian University. He liked that.” Dr. Israel said hosting Dr. Roitman and having the presentation was a “real privilege.”
Dr. Israel said he hopes that attendees will consider participating in one of the study abroad programs that CHLS offers. They will have a chance to see the scrolls in person while Dr. Roitman gives a personal tour for part of a day. Then they will spend the other half of the day in Qumran at the site where the scrolls were discovered.
CHLS is sponsored by the Assemblies of God. According to the CHLS website, it provides programs that allow individuals to have “an educational and interactive encounter with the biblical worlds in the lands of the Bible.”
To learn more about CHLS, click here.