The Edmond Sun

June 17, 2013

OCU Hebrew students to study Dead Sea scrolls


Special to The Sun

OKLA. CITY — Students in a Biblical Hebrew class at Oklahoma City University will get a chance to study one of the Dead Sea Scrolls during the fall 2013 semester.

Religion professor Lisa Wolfe’s class, Readings in Biblical Hebrew, will participate in the project that is part of the Green Scholars Initiative, a program associated with the massive collection of biblical manuscripts and related artifacts that have recently been acquired by the Green family, owners of Hobby Lobby.

The program aims to pair artifacts from the collection with professors and students not only to shed light on the items, but also to give students the rare opportunity to study biblical manuscripts. Plans are in the works to build a museum on the mall in Washington, D.C., to house 40,000 artifacts.

Part of the Green collection was displayed as the “Passages” exhibit in 2011 at the Oklahoma City Museum of Art. The exhibit drew an estimated 63,000 people.

The students who will study the Dead Sea Scrolls artifact previously have taken Biblical Hebrew I and II with Professor Wolfe. As a class, they will work to determine what part of the Bible is represented in a particular item and investigate what other known scrolls might be closely related to it. They will visit the scroll in person, and then later use special photographic records in class to do their work.

Allison Bevers, one of Wolfe’s Hebrew students, received an award from the GSI program to study in Oxford this June. Wolfe will attend as her mentor. Prominent Oxford scholars will lecture for the event, titled “Logos in Oxford: A Summer Workshop on Biblical Texts, Vocation and the Christian Mind.” The program will last two weeks and each will receive $1,000.

Bevers is a religion major and a Bishop’s Scholar at OCU. She plans to attend seminary and prepare for ordained ministry in the United Methodist Church. She works as a youth ministry intern at Nichols Hills United Methodist Church.

In February, Southern Nazarene University professor Marty Michelson and his Biblical Hebrew class joined Wolfe’s class at OCU to try their hand at translating and analyzing one of the Dead Sea Scrolls with Robert Duke, professor at Azusa Pacific University in California. Duke will oversee both professors’ classes in their work on the artifact.