UJ Professor Invited to Norway to Present Research

Apr 7, 2020

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Dr. Stephen Reed

Dr. Stephen Reed, professor at University of Jamestown, recently traveled to Norway over the University’s spring break to deliver lectures about his work related to cataloguing the Dead Sea Scrolls and their provenance.

“I was contacted by Ӓrstein Justnes, professor of Biblical Studies at the University of Agder in Norway, who knew about my research related to the Dead Sea Scrolls,” explained Dr. Reed. “I did not know Ӓrstein personally although we both gave a paper at a seminar related to the “library at Qumran” at Amsterdam and both of our papers were published from that seminar.”

Dr. Reed’s lectures, which were given at the University of Agder, were entitled: “Texts as Artifacts: Back to the Fragments,” “Photographs of Fragments Excavated from Cave 4,” and “Back to the Caves.”

After presenting his first lecture, Dr. Reed, accompanied by other scholars, traveled to the University of Oslo to celebrate the retirement of Professor Torleif Elgvin, a prominent religion and theology professor. At the celebration, Dr. Reed gave a talk on his continuing work on the Dead Sea Scrolls.

While traveling the country, Dr. Reed had various opportunities to interact with the locals and tell them about life in and around North Dakota. “I told the people of Norway that there were many Scandinavian settlers in the northern plains of the United States,” he explained. “I told them about the Hjemkomst museum in Moorhead, Minnesota with the replica of a Viking ship and a replica of a Stave church. They were surprised at such interest.”

Dr. Reed’s trip was cut short due to mounting COVID-19 concerns. “I watched as flights were cancelled on the screen, held my breath, prayed a lot and tried to relax,” Dr. Reed said. He made it safely back to Fargo, ND on March 15.

Following his graduate work, Dr. Reed spent three years cataloging the Dead Sea Scrolls in both Jerusalem and the Ancient Biblical Manuscript Center at Claremont, California. He taught as senior lecturer in Old Testament at Africa University in Zimbabwe for four and a half years. He came to Jamestown in the Fall of 1997 and has taught in the Philosophy and Religion department since then. One of his research interests relates to the Dead Sea Scrolls and what they teach about the origins of the Bible.

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