Dr. Robert Duke, noted Dead Sea Scrolls scholar, spoke before a crowd of students, alumni and faculty on Wednesday, January 15, on the Multnomah University campus. Duke, who graduated from MU in 1996, credits Multnomah with sparking the passion for biblical languages that led him to a career focused on analyzing ancient texts."Multnomah is a very special place to me," he said. "It was my springboard."
Duke, who has studied the Dead Sea Scrolls and researched non-biblical texts in the Qumran library for years, shared some of his findings at the event.
"I learned more about the importance of the Dead Sea Scrolls, as well as how they can help us think more inquisitively about the Biblical text," said Ruben Alvarado, an MDiv student, "It was fun to see images of Dead Sea scrolls he has worked with, and even more fun when he zoomed in on them and I realized that I could read some sections!"
The MU alum went on to encourage listeners to continue reading the Bible alone, but emphasized the need for believers to view God's Word as a community. "We need to be careful and very humble with how we handle the biblical text," Duke said. "We should ask: What did the original readers mean for it?"
After the lecture, Duke stayed to answer questions from the audience. “It was exciting to hear from an alumnus about how studying at MU developed his love for learning biblical languages,” said Alvarado. “As I study Hebrew and Greek at Multnomah, that same love grows in me.”
To learn more about Duke’s research, check out his book about the Aramaic Qumran text, The Social Location of the Visions of Amram.
Learn more about MU's Hebrew program.