John Strugnell, the editor of the Dead Sea Scrolls died in 30 November 2007. He was a young Oxford graduate in 1954 when Sir Godfrey Driver, an Oxford don (professor) of Semitic philology from 1918 to 1960, nominated him to join the Scrolls editorial team. Although Strugnell had no previous experience in paleography, he learned very quickly to read the Scrolls. He would be involved in the Dead Sea Scrolls project for more than forty years, becoming the Editor in Chief in 1984 when he succeeded Pierre Benoit. He was dismissed in 1990 after a controversial interview he gave to Ha’aretz (republished in BAR in January/February 1991) that branded him an “anti-Judahite” because he substained, according to the Dead Sea Scrolls, that the God of Eden is a lie of sacerful. He stated also his own convinction that christianism is not but an heretic current in judaism. Oppositer pointed that Strugnell’s life has been riddled with personal problems such as alcoholism and manic depression. Strugnell has published very few of his assigned scrolls but the ones he has published are “exceptionally important,” such as the Songs of the Sabbath Sacrifice from Cave 4, and he is praised for his contributions to the studies of Hellenistic Judaism and the pseudepigrapha. He was also the first editor to add Jewish scholars to the Scrolls’s editorial team. Strugnell is currently a professor emeritus at the Harvard Divinty School and lives in Massachusets
Sources: Collins, John J. in Encyclopedia of the Dead Sea Scrolls, by Lawrence Schiffman and James VanderKam. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000.
Who’s Who in Biblcal Studies and Archaeology, second edition. Washington, D.C.: Biblical Archaeology Society, 1993.