Dr. James VanderKam of the University of Notre Dame will present “The Dead Sea Scrolls and the Old Testament” as the 2013 Danforth Lecture at Hope College on Wednesday, Feb. 20, at 4 p.m. in the Maas Center auditorium.

The public is invited.  Admission is free.

VanderKam is the John A. O’Brien Professor of Hebrew Scriptures in the Department of Theology at the University of Notre Dame.  His areas of scholarly interest are the history and literature of Early Judaism and the Hebrew Scriptures.

His research in the last 20 years has focused on the Dead Sea Scrolls and related literature, and he is a member of the editorial committee that prepared the scrolls for publication.  He has edited 13 volumes in the official series “Discoveries in the Judaean Desert,” and he is one of the two editors-in-chief of the “Encyclopedia of the Dead Sea Scrolls” (2000).  His prize-winning book, “The Dead Sea Scrolls Today” (1994), has been translated into six languages and came out in a second edition in 2010.

VanderKam’s more recent books are a collection of his essays, “From Revelation to Canon: Studies in the Hebrew Bible and Second Temple Literature” (2000), “An Introduction to Early Judaism” (2001), “The Meaning of the Dead Sea Scrolls” (2002), “From Joshua to Caiaphas: High Priests after the Exile” (2004), “1 Enoch 2” (2012), and “The Dead Sea Scrolls and the Bible” (2012).  He has also published numerous essays in journals and books.

He served for six years as the editor of the “Journal of Biblical Literature” and sits on the editorial boards of “Dead Sea Discoveries” and several series.  He has delivered papers at many national and international conferences, and has offered invited lectures in a variety of places.

VanderKam received his B.A. from Calvin College in 1968, his B.D. from Calvin Theological Seminary in 1971 and his Ph.D. from Harvard University in 1976.

The Danforth Lecture is sponsored by the Hope College department of religion with support from an endowment established by the Danforth Foundation of St. Louis, Mo. The program was established by the foundation “to deepen and enlarge the religious dimension of the campus family through speakers who can reflect on the broad, interdenominational and yet positive sense of the Judaeo-Christian perspectives of life and existence.”

Some of the many distinguished scholars who have visited the campus through the program in the past include theologian Dr. Martin E. Marty of the University of Chicago Divinity School; Dr. Phyllis Trible of Union Theological Seminary; Dr. Jon D. Levenson of Harvard University; Dr. Daniel Maguire of Marquette University; Dr. Allen Verhey of the Divinity School at Duke University; and John Webster of the School of Divinity, History and Philosophy of King’s College of the University of Aberdeen; Dr. John L. Esposito of Georgetown University; and Dr. David Nirenberg of the University of Chicago.

The Maas Center is located at 264 Columbia Ave., on Columbia Avenue at 11th Street.