About Sidnie White Crawford

Sidnie White Crawford

Sidnie White Crawford is Willa Cather Professor of Hebrew Bible and Second Temple Judaism emerita at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and a Visiting Professor at Princeton Theological Seminary. She is an internationally recognized scholar in the areas of the Dead Sea Scrolls and the Textual Criticism of the Hebrew Bible. Her latest book is Scribes and Scrolls at Qumran (Wm. B. Eerdmans, 2019), the winner of the Frank Moore Cross Award from the American Schools of Oriental Research. She has recently edited, with Cecilia Wassen, Apocalyptic Thinking in Early Judaism, (Brill, 2018). She is a general editor (Hebrew Bible, Deuterocanon) for the 30-year review of the New Revised Standard Version of the Bible being undertaken by the National Council of Churches, as well as being Co-Editor-in-Chief for the Society of Biblical Literature series The Hebrew Bible: A Critical Edition, for which she also serves as the book editor for Deuteronomy. Sidnie currently is a member of the Society of Biblical Literature Council, is Chair of the Old Testament Editorial Board for Hermeneia: A Commentary Series (Fortress Press), and is Board Chair Emerita of the W. F. Albright Institute of Archaeological Research in Jerusalem. She lives in Stroudsburg, PA with her husband Dan and her cat Mollie.


Presenter at

Bible & Archaeology Fest XXIII, October 24 – 25, 2020
Caves and Scrolls: The Story of Qumran

The scrolls found in the eleven caves in the vicinity of Khirbet Qumran are both ancient religious texts and archaeological artifacts. Taking into consideration both archaeological and textual evidence, this lecture will give the history of the settlement at Khirbet Qumran, discussing the Qumran caves, the buildings, and the scrolls. We will ask the question: Who owned the scrolls, and why were they put into caves? Join us for an exciting journey into the world of Qumran!


Bible & Archaeology Fest XXI, November 16 – 18, 2018
Scribes and Scrolls at Qumran: A New Synthesis

Since the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls in the 1940s and 1950s and the excavation of the site of Qumran in the 1950s scholars have tried to put together the puzzle of the relationship of the scrolls found in the caves to the site of Qumran. Dr. Crawford’s presentation will combine the textual evidence of the scrolls and the archaeology of the caves and the site into a new synthesis, arguing that Qumran was founded by the Essenes to function as their main library and scroll collection location. Qumran was inhabited by scribes and their support staff from the early first century BCE until the site’s destruction by the Romans in 68 CE. The scrolls that were at first stored and finally abandoned in the nearby caves constitute the remnants of an Essene scribal library.


Bible & Archaeology Fest XIV, November 18 – 20, 2011
Plenary Session The Fluidity of Scripture and the Process of Canon in Second Temple Judaism

The Dead Sea Scrolls have revolutionized our understanding of how the Bible came to be. Although previous generations of scholars were able to draw a sharp distinction between “Biblical” and “non-Biblical” Jewish writings—and attempt to recover the “original text” of scripture—we now know that to be impossible. This presentation will examine the new evidence from the Scrolls for how the text of the Biblical books reached its present form, using examples from the Dead Sea Scrolls. It will also guide us through the process of the canonization of Jewish scripture, explaining how the books that make up the Jewish Bible (the Christian Old Testament) were chosen.


Bible & Archaeology Fest XIII, November 19 – 21, 2010
Scripture and Canon in Second Temple Judaism: The Evidence of the Dead Sea Scrolls

The Dead Sea Scrolls have presented scholars with a wealth of information regarding the Jewish Bible (Christian Old Testament), its text, and the process of its canonization. This presentation will discuss the shape of the Scriptures in the Second Temple period and the various scribal approaches to the text of Scriptures, as well as the historical processes that led to the canonization of the books we now call “the Bible.” In addition, we will discuss the evidence in the Qumran Biblical scrolls for relations among various Jewish or related groups in the Second Temple period, such as the Essenes and its subset at Qumran, the priests and scribes controlling the Temple and the Samaritans.