John C. Trever

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John C. Trever (November 26, 1916 - April 29, 2006, California) was a biblical scholar and archaeologist, who was involved in the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls.

Trever received a degree (B.D.) from Yale Divinity School and a Ph.D. in Old Testament studies from Yale Graduate School. He did post-doctoral studies in archaeology through the American School of Oriental Research in Jerusalem.

He became the first American scholar to see fragments of the Dead Sea Scrolls in the Spring of 1948. At the time Trever was filling in for Millar Burrows, the director at the American Schools of Oriental Research. He was contacted by a representative of Mar Samuel of St. Mark's Assyrian Orthodox Monastery who desired to authenticate three scrolls that we now know had been purchased from Kando, a Syrian-Christian antiquities dealer in Bethlehem. Trever, an experienced photographer, photographed the scrolls, 1QIsaiahA, 1QpHabukkuk, and 1QS, and immediately sent copies to Near East scholar William F. Albright, who recognized them as the "greatest MS discovery of modern times!” (Trever's photographs are now considered of historical importance and the negatives are housed at the Ancient Biblical Manuscript Center, in Claremont, California.[1])

Trever is the author of "The Untold Story of Qumran" (1965) and "The Dead Sea Scrolls: A Personal Account" (2003). He taught at several colleges: Baldwin-Wallace College in Ohio, Morris Harvey College in West Virginia (the University of Charleston), and Claremont School of Theology in California.

The original negatives are in the collection of the Ancient Biblical Manuscript Center of the Claremont School of Theology in California.

  1. ^ VanderKam, James, and Flint, Peter, The Meaning of the Dead Sea Scrolls (HarperSanfrancisco, 2002), p.70.


  • Abegg, Martin. "John C. Trever." Biblical Archaeology Review, September/October, 2006.
  • Shanks, Hershel. Mystery and Meaning of the Dead Sea Scrolls (New York: Vintage Books, 1998).
  • Trever, John C., The Untold Story of Qumran (Westwood: Fleming H. Revell Company, 1965).

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