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Understanding Databases

A guide to help you navigate online databases.


       The Dead Sea Scrolls Electronic Library presents a complete Hebrew transcription and English translation of the Biblical texts, together with high-resolution images. The contents of this online publication is identical to that of the Dead Sea Scrolls Electronic Library Biblical Texts CD-ROM, published by Brill and Brigham Young University but its interface is adapted to Brill's online platform for reference works.

The contents consists of:

  1. the Hebrew Biblical texts in the Dead Sea Scrolls
  2. an English translation, based not on individual fragments but on all extant fragments that form a particular Masoretic book (or part thereof); it is equally based on the Masoretic text for those parts that are missing in the Dead Sea Scrolls
  3. the Hebrew text from the oldest extant manuscript of the Masorah, the Codex Leningradensis

In addition, there are:

  1. a general introduction to the Dead Sea Scrolls Biblical Texts
  2. an introduction to the translation, followed by further explanations and a bibliography
  3. a large inventory of pertinent information, such as photographs and provenance, for each fragment
  4. an index of manuscripts and an index of images

From the Dead Sea Scrolls Electronic Library Biblical Texts User Guide

Navigating the Platform


Users can navigate from one entry to the next (or the previous) by clicking on the navigation arrows at the top and bottom of every entry. The upward arrow leads to the list of entries. This is either the list of Dead Sea Scrolls Biblical Texts ordered by cave and text number, in the case of the entries with the diplomatic edition, translation and Codex Leningrad text, or the list of Dead Sea Scrolls Biblical Texts ordered by the books of the Hebrew Bible.

Both lists can also be found under the tabs Cave Order and Masoretic Text Order on the homepage. 


At the top of every page on BrillOnline Reference Works, there is a search field. This searches both content (full text) and metadata.

The search results are ordered by relevance (as determined by the search algorithms). Re-ordering from old to new or vice-versa is possible. Click on a search result to open the entry. Use back space to return to your search results, or navigate to the next (or previous) result using the arrows at the very top of the entry.

Blue Text

All entries contain hyperlinks (blue text). Such links can be found in the entry table of contents, for navigation to other parts of the entry. There are also hyperlinks to other entries. Entries with text and translation will often refer to entries with text copies, and vice-versa.

Sometimes a blue text will not be a hyperlink; instead, clicking on such a blue term brings up a list of search results, all entries contains that terms. This is useful, for example, to get a complete overview of all Dead Sea Scrolls texts that contain a certain Hebrew Bible passage, or an overview of all PAM photographs of a certain fragment.


Personal Tools

There is no sign-in required to access this database as access is provided through the University. However, If you wish to use the personal tools on the side panel i.e. highlighting, saving searched etc. you can register for free. 

From the Dead Sea Scrolls Electronic Library Biblical Texts User Guide