André Dupont-Sommer

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André Dupont-Sommer (23 December 1900 – 14 May 1983) was a French semitologist. He specialized in the history of Judaism around the beginning of the Common Era, and especially the Dead Sea Scrolls. He was a graduate of the Sorbonne and he taught at various institutions in France including the Collége de France (1963-1971) where he held the chair of Hebrew and Aramaic.

Dupont-Sommer became interested in the Dead Sea scrolls not long after they were discovered. His first article on them was published in 1949. Writing in French he soon published an overview of the scrolls, Aperçus préliminaires sur les manuscrits de la Mar Morte, which was translated into English in 1952. He was a strong advocate of the Essene connection with the Dead Sea scrolls and in this work he argued for the Essene origin of Christianity. Although his ideas about Christianity were not taken up by the scholarly community, his writings contributed to a better understanding of the scrolls.


  • Die essenischen Schriftem vom Toten Meer. Unter Zugrundelegung der Originaltexte übers. von Walter W. Müller. Tübingen, Mohr, 1960.


  • A. Caquot, André Dupont-Sommer 1900-1983
  • Jacques Briend, in Encyclopedia of the Dead Sea Scrolls Vol.1, Edd. Schiffman, Lawrence H., VanderKam, James C. (Oxford: OUP, 2000) p. 220-221.