As a doctorial student, Dr. Erik Larson was chosen to work on a once in a lifetime project. He was one of 70 scholars selected to translate the Dead Sea Scrolls.
“When you study ancient texts, it’s like a voice coming from the past and I try not to over romanticize it too much but there’s something that’s very alluring and appealing to the fact that you can hear a voice of someone who was living 2,000 years ago,” Dr. Larson said.
According to Dr. Larson, people who work in this field don’t do it for the money; they do it because they love it.
“It was very rewarding for me to be able to work in this field and just the love that I have for learning ancient text and learning what other people have thought through the centuries, was a great source of joy and satisfaction,” Dr. Larson said.
Dr. Larson is also the chair of the department of religious studies at Florida International University.
“He is able to teach classes specifically on the Dead Sea Scrolls and enhance our experience with new information on the studies before they are published,” said Ivanessa Arostegui, FIU instructor.
Scholars differ in opinion when it comes to discussing who wrote the Dead Sea Scrolls. According to a FOX News article, a discovery of textiles or cloths found with the texts, is the source of more debate between scholars on the authorship of the Dead Sea Scrolls.
“We have a picture of the past that that’s not complete, we don’t have all the documents that existed but we use what we have to try to come up with the best answers we can,” Dr. Larson said. “If tomorrow we find something different, that’s great but for now this was a really nice study that was done recently and it seems to support the idea that the Dead Sea Scroll people were the Essenes.”
To hear about how Dr. Larson became involved with the Dead Sea Scrolls, listen to the podcast below.