So I realize that I am a little late in covering this, but I've got to post on this news story here. . . Azusa Pacific University has purchased five Dead Sea Scroll fragments!
Of course, it's big news whenever a university makes such a purchase. The story I link to below states--and I believe it's correct--that there are only three American universities that own any of the Dead Sea Scrolls. That one of them would be in Southern California is huge.
That one of them would be my alma mater is especially exciting!
I completed my undergraduate degrees in Theology and Philosophy at Azusa Pacific, minoring in New Testament Greek. I had an excellent experience there and look back at my time there fondly. APU is sort of a small school and so it doesn't really get the attention it deserves. You don't find reactionaries or second rate thinkers there but honest, thoughtful, faith-filled professors who really know how to inspire students. Of course, as a Catholic I had my share of theological differences with professors and fellow students. Nonetheless, we had far more in common than we had in disagreement. Indeed, APU was instrumental in helping me learn the value of authentic ecumenism. While I sometimes had theological disagreements with certain things I may have heard from professors and students I never found them to be disagreeable. In fact, I can honestly say that the school's faculty and students were models of Christian virtue and charity. And, of course, I learned a lot from them too!
I treasure my memories of APU. Hopefully the purchase of these scrolls will help raise the school's profile--it deserves it!
For more, see the story in the LA Times here. Bob Cargill also had a good post on this that deserves mention.