Hershel Shanks

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Hershel Shanks (born March 8, 1930, in Sharon, Pennsylvania, U.S.) is the American founder of the Biblical Archaeology Society and the Editor Emeritus of the Biblical Archaeology Review. He has written and edited numerous works on Biblical archaeology including the Dead Sea Scrolls.

For more than forty years, Shanks has communicated the world of biblical archaeology to general readers through magazines, books, and conferences. Hershel Shanks is "probably the world's most influential amateur Biblical archaeologist," wrote New York Times book critic Richard Bernstein.[1]

In a famous legal case before the Israeli Supreme Court in 1993 Shanks and others were successfully sued by leading Dead Sea Scrolls scholar Elisha Qimron for breach of copyright when Shanks published material written by Qimron in A Facsimile Edition of the Dead Sea Scrolls without Qimron's permission. In 2000 Shanks' appeal against the earlier decision was dismissed.[citation needed]

Shanks was the editor of Moment Magazine for fifteen years, beginning in 1987.[2]

Shanks' television appearances include Who Wrote the Bible? (1996), The Naked Archaeologist (2005) and 'Mysteries of the Bible.[3]

He used the pseudonym "Adam Mikaya" for a few articles published in the Biblical Archaeology Review.[4]


  • Hershel Shanks, The City of David: A guide to Biblical Jerusalem, Bazak 1973
  • Hershel Shanks and Benjamin Mazar, Recent Archaeology in the Land of Israel, Biblical Archaeology Society 1985, ISBN 0-9613089-2-3
  • Hershel Shanks, Ancient Israel: A Short History from Abraham to the Roman Destruction of the Temple, Prentice Hall College Div 1988, ISBN 0-13-036435-5
  • Hershel Shanks, editor, Early Israel, Biblical Archaeology Society 1990, ISBN 0-685-45487-8
  • Hershel Shanks, editor, Christianity and Rabbinic Judaism: A Parallel History of Their Origins and Early Development, Biblical Archaeology Society 1992, ISBN 1-880317-08-7
  • Hershel Shanks, In the Temple of Solomon and the Tomb of Caiaphas, Biblical Archaeology Society 1993, ISBN 1-880317-11-7
  • Hershel Shanks, editor, Understanding the Dead Sea Scrolls: A Reader From the Biblical Archaeology Review, Vintage Press reprint 1993, ISBN 0-679-74445-2
  • Hershel Shanks and Suzanne F. Singer, editors, Cancel My Subscription: The Best of Queries and Comments from Letters to Biblical Archaeology Review, Biblical Archaeology Society 1995, ISBN 1-880317-44-3
  • Hershel Shanks, Jerusalem: : An Archaeological Biography, Random House 1995, ISBN 0-679-44526-9
  • Hershel Shanks, The Mystery and Meaning of the Dead Sea Scrolls, Vintage Press 1999, ISBN 0-679-78089-0
  • Hershel Shanks, Dave Clark (illustrator), 101 Best Jewish Jokes, Biblical Archaeology Society 1999, ISBN 0-9671632-1-8
  • Hershel Shanks, editor, Abraham & Family: New Insights into the Patriarchal Narratives, Biblical Archaeology Society 2000, ISBN 1-880317-57-5
  • Hershel Shanks and Ben Witherington III, The Brother of Jesus : The Dramatic Story & Meaning of the First Archaeological Link to Jesus & His Family, HarperSanFrancisco 2003, ISBN 0-06-055660-9
  • Hershel Shanks, editor, City of David: Revisiting Early Excavations, English translations of Reports by Raymond Weill and Louis-Hugues Vincent, Notes and Comments by Ronny Reich, Biblical Archaeology Society 2004, ISBN 1-880317-70-2


  • Freeing the Dead Sea Scrolls and Other Adventures of an Archaeology Outsider, ISBN 978-1-4411-5217-6, Continuum Books, 2010.


  1. ^ Bernstein, Richard (April 1, 1998). "Looking for Jesus and Jews in the Dead Sea Scrolls". The New York Times. Retrieved December 23, 2008. 
  2. ^ "Shanks, Hershel". Jewishvirtuallibrary.org. Retrieved 2015-05-15. 
  3. ^ imdb.com Shanks on the Internet Movie Database
  4. ^ "David Noel Freedman (1922–2008)". Archived from the original on 5 July 2010. Retrieved 30 May 2010. 

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