Charlotte Hempel is Professor of Hebrew Bible and Second Temple Judaism and an expert on the Dead Sea Scrolls, a collection of ancient Jewish religious, mostly Hebrew, manuscripts found in caves close to the site of Khirbet Qumran on the north western shore of the Dead Sea.
In front of a live studio audience, the panel discussed whether women are holding themselves back, and if evidence is a problem for religions. Professor Hempel was particularly prominent in the latter discussion, where her expertise on the Dead Sea Scrolls was brought to the fore. She explained that some of the manuscripts found at Qumran contain copies of the Hebrew Bible/Old Testament that are over 1,000 years older than the earliest complete copies previously available.
The discussion on ‘Is evidence a problem for religions?’ starts at 37:45 on the BBC iPlayer website (Professor Hempel first appears at 44:20 in this discussion).
BBC One’s The Big Questions, hosted by Nicky Campbell, is a series of moral, ethical and religious debates. The programme was aired on Sunday 4 February 2018 at 10:00.