About the Presenters

Dr. Michael O. Wise
Scholar-in-Residence, Professor of Hebrew Bible and Ancient Languages Department Chair

Department of Biblical and Theological Studies

Northwestern College


Dr. Michael Wise is an internationally recognized expert on the Dead Sea Scrolls. Dr. Wise and his work have been profiled in Time magazine, Vanity Fair, National Geographic, The New York Times, Chicago Tribune and the Times of London, and on the old MacNeil/Lehrer News Hour, the BBC, A&E’s "Mysteries of the Bible," and in many other media outlets in the United States and abroad. His book, The Dead Sea Scrolls Uncovered (1992) was an international bestseller, residing on the bestseller list in Germany for more than nine months, and has sold more than 300,000 copies worldwide. It has been translated into seven foreign languages (German, Italian, Danish, French, Portuguese, Swedish and Dutch). Another work intended for general audiences, The Dead Sea Scrolls: A New Translation, appeared in 1996 and has been translated into numerous foreign languages. A substantially augmented second edition of this book appeared in 2005 and is the most comprehensive, non-technical introduction to and translation of the scrolls. Dr. Wise has produced seven books and more than 100 scholarly articles and book reviews and frequently lectures on the Dead Sea Scrolls in various venues across the country.


Dr. Wise is Scholar-in-Residence, Professor of Hebrew Bible and Ancient Languages and Department Chair of Biblical & Theological Studies at Northwestern College in St. Paul, Minnesota. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in Classical Languages and History from the University of Minnesota. He received a Master of Divinity (M.Div.) from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School and a Ph.D. from the Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago. He is completing work on a second Ph.D. in the field of Classics (ancient Greek and Latin literature) at the  University of Minnesota.


Read more about Dr. Wise and his work here 



Dr. Andrea M. Berlin

Morse-Alumni Distinguished Teaching Professor of Archaeology

Department of Classical and Near Eastern Studies

University of Minnesota


Dr. Andrea Berlin is an archaeologist specializing in the Near East in the millennium between the Achaemenid Persian empire and the Moslem conquests (c. 500 BCE – 640 CE). She currently co-directs the excavations at Tel Kedesh, in Israel's upper Galilee as well as consult on projects in Cyprus and Turkey. Dr. Berlin is especially interested in the nitty-gritty of daily life, and has focused much of her research on pottery. Pottery is a bellwether of people’s horizons and the character of their lives; it encodes information on local markets and long-distance trading, modes of entertaining, even the embrace of specific cuisines. Her current project is a book on the pottery and culture of the Hellenistic eastern Mediterranean and Near East, in which she combines “field-guides” to the pottery from sites throughout the region with discussions on how that pottery can be read for evidence of when and how peoples’ lives changed.

Dr. Berlin has received numerous fellowships, including a Fulbright-Hays fellowship to Greece and a Samuel H. Kress fellowship to the Albright Institute of Archaeological Research in Jerusalem. Recent books include Gamla I: The Pottery of the Second Temple Period (Jerusalem 2006) and The First Jewish Revolt: Archaeology, History, and Ideology (Routledge 2002).


Learn more about Dr. Berlin here


Dr. Calvin J. Roetzel

Sundet Professor of New Testament and Christian Studies

Department of Classical and Near Eastern Studies

University of Minnesota


Before coming to the University of Minnesota in 2004 as the Sundet Chair of New Testament and Christian Studies, Professor Roetzel was the Lowe Chair of Religious Studies at Macalester College for 35 years.  His writings on Paul and the environment of early Christianity have gained international attention.  His Letters of Paul: Conversations in Context now in its fifth edition has been called the best introduction to Paul's letters available today. His Paul: The Man and the Myth received an award as the "New Testament Book of the Year" in 1999. A sampling of his scholarly articles include: "Sex and the Single God: Celibacy as Social Deviancy in the Roman Period" (2000); "A Note on a Footnote: Nomos (Law) in the Messianic Age in Paul" (forthcoming); "Ioudaioi [Judeans] and Paul" (2006); "No Race of Israel in Paul" (2001); and "Paul as Organic Intellectual: The Shaper of Apocalyptic Myths" (1998); and most recently, "The Language of War (2 Cor. 10:1-16) and the Language of Weakness (2 Cor. 11:21b-13:10)" (2009).  Most recently Professor Roetzel has authored a commentary on 2 Corinthians (Abingdon, 2007), and co-edited a volume entitled Violence, Scripture, and Textual Practice in Early Judaism and Christianity (Brill, 2009). Professor Roetzel’s statue as one of the generation’s greatest scholars on Paul is matched by his unparalleled devotion to excellence in teaching, as evinced by one recent student evaluation: "This is a man of considerable stature as a scholar and as a human being. His rendering of the [biblical narrative] makes it accessible and inspirational to the contemporary mind and life.  It has been a privilege and honor to study with and to know him."  
Learn more about Dr. Roetzel here


Dr. Lawrence H. Schiffman
Ethel and Irvin A. Edelman Professor of Hebrew and Judaic Studies
Department Chair
Skirball Department of Hebrew and Judaic Studies

New York University  


Professor Schiffman received his B.A., M.A., and Ph.D. degrees from the Department of Near Eastern and Judaic Studies at Brandeis University.  He is a specialist in the Dead Sea Scrolls, Judaism in Late Antiquity, the history of Jewish law, and Talmudic literature.  His publications include The Halakhah at Qumran (E. J. Brill, 1975); Sectarian Law in the Dead Sea Scrolls: Courts, Testimony, and the Penal Code (Scholars Press, 1983); Who Was a Jew? Rabbinic Perspectives on the Jewish-Christian Schism (Ktav, 1985); From Text to Tradition: A History of Second Temple and Rabbinic Judaism (Ktav, 1991); a Hebrew book entitled Halakhah, Halikhah u-Meshihiyut be-Khat Midbar Yehudah (Law, Custom, and Messianism in the Dead Sea Sect) (Merkaz Shazar, 1993); the jointly authored monograph, Hebrew and Aramaic Magical Texts from the Cairo Genizah (Sheffield, 1992); Reclaiming the Dead Sea Scrolls (Jewish Publication Society, 1994; Doubleday paperback, in the Anchor Research Library, 1995); Texts and Traditions: A Source Reader for the Study of Second Temple and Rabbinic Judaism (Ktav, 1998), Understanding Second Temple and Rabbinic Judaism (Ktav, 2003) and some 200 articles on the Dead Sea Scrolls and Rabbinic Judaism. His most recent book is The Courtyards of the House of the Lord:  Studies on the Temple Scroll (Brill, 2008).


Dr. Schiffman is also a member of New York University’s Center for Ancient Studies and Center for Near Eastern Studies.  He currently serves as vice-chair of the International Jewish Committee on Interfaith Consultations. He is a past president of the Association for Jewish Studies.   During the academic year 1989/90 he was a Fellow of the Institute for Advanced Studies of the Hebrew University in Jerusalem as part of a research group dealing with the Dead Sea Scrolls.  He was featured in the PBS Nova series documentary, “Secrets of the Dead Sea Scrolls,” as well as in four BBC documentaries on the scrolls, the McNeil-Lehrer program, and a Discovery special.  He appears regularly in the popular educational series, “Mysteries of the Bible,” which appears on Arts and Entertainment (A&E), and more recently, in the four-part series “Kingdom of David” on PBS.  In 1992/3 he was a fellow of the Annenberg Research Institute in Philadelphia where he was part of a research team working on the unpublished scrolls.  Together with a colleague, he served as editor-in-chief of the Oxford Encyclopedia of the Dead Sea Scrolls (2000).  In 1991, he was appointed to the team publishing the scrolls in the Oxford series, Discoveries in the Judean Desert.  He edited the journal Dead Sea Discoveries for ten years.  He currently serves as Editor-in-Chief of the Center for Online Judaic Studies in New York.  


Professor Schiffman served as director of New York University’s program at the archaeological excavations at Dor, Israel, from 1980-82.  He has served as visiting professor at Yale University, Ben Gurion University of the Negev, Duke University, Shier Visiting Distinguished Professor in Judaic Studies at the University of Toronto, the Johns Hopkins University, the Russian State University for the Humanities in Moscow, the Luce Visiting Professor at the University of Hartford and the Hartford Seminary, the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome, Queens College and Yeshiva University. He was a member of the academic committee for the Summer, 1997 celebration of the fiftieth anniversary of the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls and the 2008 sixtieth anniversary conference, both held in Jerusalem.  Dr. Schiffman is a fellow of the American Academy for Jewish Research and a corresponding fellow of the Rennert Center for Jerusalem Studies at Bar-Ilan University.  He has been chairman of the Columbia University Seminar for the Study of the Hebrew Bible. He is a member of the board of the World Union for Jewish Studies.


Learn more about Dr. Schiffman here