Józef Milik

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Józef Tadeusz Milik (Seroczyn, Poland, 24 March 1922 – Paris, 6 January 2006) was a Polish biblical scholar and a Catholic priest, researcher of the Dead Sea Scrolls (DSS) through the deserts of Judea/Jordan, and translator and editor of the Book of Enoch in Aramaic (fragments).[1]

He was fluent in Russian, Italian, French, German, and English besides his native Polish, plus many ancient and dead languages including Hebrew, Greek, Latin, Aramaic, Syriac, Old Church Slavonic, Arabic, Georgian, Ugaritic, Akkadian, Sumerian, Egyptian, and Hittite.


He was born into a peasant family in a small village in central Poland. His father, despite being a farmer, was interested in science, educated himself and gathered a rich library. He influenced his son, who finished the gymnasium in Siedlce and later entered the theological college in Płock in 1939. When the college was closed by Germans after they invaded Poland, he moved to Warsaw. After the World War II, he studied at Catholic University of Lublin and in 1946 was ordained a priest.

Józef Milik deciphered hundreds of the texts of the Dead Sea Scrolls as a member of the publication team. He started translating and publishing them in the early 1950s while a student at the Pontifical Biblical Institute in Rome.[2]

Then he joined Roland de Vaux’s team and helped to discover Cave 3, excavated and unearthed hundreds of fragments from Cave 4, and took part in the discovery and excavations of Caves 5 and 6. He later became one of the most essential participants of the translation and publication team.


After moving to Paris, Milik worked as a researcher for the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique until his retirement in 1987.


  • Milik (1957). Dix ans de découverte dans le désert de Juda | Discoveries in the Judean Desert
  • Milik (1972). Milki-sedeq et Milki-resa dans les anciens écrits juifs et chrétiens.
  • Milik (1976). The Books of Enoch: Aramaic Fragments Qumran Cave 4 with the collaboration of Black M.[3]
  • Milik (1978). Écrits préesséniens de Qumran : d’Hénoch à Amram.
  • Martinez/Tigchelaar (1999). The Dead Sea Scrolls Edition [Hénoc au pays des aromates pp. 413, 425, 430]; Caves 1 to 11 & more, with Aramaic frag. and English translation.
  • Puech Emile (2000). “Milik, Jozef T.” in Enclyclopedia of the Dead Sea Scrolls edited by Lawrence Schiffman and James VanderKam. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000, I:552–554.
  • Robert Feather and Zdzislaw J. Kapera (2011). Jozef Milik, Doyen of The Dead Sea Scrolls, The Enigma Press, Krakow - Mogilany.


  1. ^ Martinez/Tigchelaar (1999). The Dead Sea Scrolls Study Edition
  2. ^ "Cast of Characters". 2012-04-16.
  3. ^ The Enoch Scroll from Qumran Library Cave 4 has provided parts in Aramaic among the Dead Sea Scrolls discovery between 1947 and 1956. Table of Contents: Aramaic Book of Enoch; Astronomical Book; Book of Watchers; Book of Dreams; Book of Giants; Enochic Writings.

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