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The Bible and the Dead Sea Scrolls

Volume 2, The Dead Sea Scrolls and the Qumran Community

James H. Charlesworth, editor

Publication Year: 2006

The recovery of 800 documents in the eleven caves on the northwest shores of the Dead Sea is one of the most sensational archeological discoveries in the Holy Land to date. These three volumes, the very best of critical scholarship, demonstrate in detail how the scrolls have revolutionized our knowledge of the text of the Bible, the character of Second Temple Judaism, and the Jewish beginnings of Christianity.

Published by: Baylor University Press

Front Cover

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Title Page

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1. DIGITAL MIRACLES

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pp. 1-16

Since their discovery in 1947, the Dead Sea Scrolls have been recorded and studied using photographic imaging techniques. Although much has been learned from the study of these photographs in the last five decades,there is a limit to what a magnifying glass can reveal. In the commercial world, great strides have been made in the last ten years in the capture,...

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2. ANOTHER STAB AT THE WICKED PRIEST

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pp. 17-24

Attempts to identify the Wicked Priest have been numerous, with proposals ranging roughly from Jason to Jesus. There is one candidate, however, who has not received much attention, yet whose tenure as High Priest corresponds to the time period described by the Dead Sea Scrolls...

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3. WHAT’S IN A CALENDAR?

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pp. 25-58

I chose to break this discussion into four parts: 1. The essay begins with a necessarily compressed introduction concerning issues of method in the study of the yahad; 2. Following the introduction, I supply illustrations of the divisive impact of calendar nonconformity on socioreligious entities and of the importance...

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4. THE COVENANT IN QUMRAN

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pp. 59-70

The Rule of the Community, which contains the rules and legal structures of the Qumran community, opens with the theme of the covenant, since the covenant served as the basis of the Qumran sect and its ideology. The opening chapter of the Manual deals indeed with the ceremony of entering the covenant. The covenantal ceremony is actually a procession in...

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5. WHAT WAS DISTINCTIVE ABOUT MESSIANIC EXPECTATION AT QUMRAN?

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pp. 71-92

In an article published in 1979, James Charlesworth surveyed the references to “the messiah” in the Jewish Pseudepigrapha from the period around theturn of the era. Although much of this literature is concerned with eschatology, or the expectation of an end to the present order and a utopian future, he found only five texts that anticipated a messiah. Only one of these,...

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6. THE LAW AND SPIRIT OF PURITY AT QUMRAN

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pp. 93-106

Half a century marks a prominent milepost in the saga of the Dead Sea Scrolls, but for some of us, contemporaries of the generation of Mohammed ed Dhib, it is also the natural time to evaluate what we have accomplished and seriously consider the benefits of retirement. In fact according to CD 10 our continued participation in deliberations on the...

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7. EXCERPTED MANUSCRIPTS AT QUMRAN

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pp. 107-168

The phenomenon of excerption—or extraction as it is sometimes called— is a fairly widespread and well-known practice in antiquity. A. Kirk Grayson, for instance, argued that the Assyrian and Babylonian chronicles are, in large part, extracted from longer astronomical texts. If he is...

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8. THE TWO SPIRITS IN QUMRAN THEOLOGY

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pp. 169-194

Nearly two columns of the Rule of the Community (1QS) are devoted to the Master’s responsibility “to instruct and teach all the Sons of Light concerning the nature of all the sons of man.” These are among the most defining and significant portions of instruction in the entirety of the scrolls, yet the content of this teaching is baffling. Its opaqueness, which...

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9. DUALISM IN THE ESSENE COMMUNITIES

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pp. 195-202

Typical of the Dead Sea Scrolls is the dualistic division of mankind into righteous and wicked. The former share the lot of God, while the latter are consigned to Belial (or Mastema). This concept is explicitly stated in e.g., 1QS 3.20–25:...

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10. THE QUMRAN CONCEPT OF TIME

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pp. 203-234

The concept of “time” provides us with a heuristic category to coordinate several different aspects of the Qumran community’s thought and theology. These aspects include the calendar, halakot, predetermination of history, cosmology, angelology, and the “latter days” (so-called eschatology). Scholars have long recognized that the collection of documents found...

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11. PREDESTINATION IN THE BIBLE ANDTHE DEAD SEA SCROLLS

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pp. 235-246

The study of the Dead Sea scrolls started with the right foot forward—the seven Scrolls discovered in 1947 were quite well preserved and among the most important of the 900 manuscripts unearthed in the decade 1947–1956. It is frightening to think what would have been the state of the research had it started with the shabby 15,000 fragments of Cave 4. It is no secret...

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12. RESURRECTION

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pp. 247-282

In every age, man has asked himself about the meaning of his existence, of the universality and inexorableness of death which strikes unexpectedly. To this basic question he does his best to find answers which, inevitably, reflect his cultural environment and his general immersion inhuman history. Embedded in the civilizations of the ancient Near East,...

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13. QUMRAN COMMUNITY STRUCTURE AND TERMINOLOGY AS THEOLOGICAL STATEMENT

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pp. 283-300

The organizational terminology used in the Qumran writings is puzzling in its diversity. This diversity is apparent in all levels of the community structure: the community as a whole, the different groups of members, the community officials, and the organizational units. This article will attempt to answer a number of questions that I had laid out for future discussion in a previous article...

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14. DAILY AND FESTIVAL PRAYERS AT QUMRAN

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pp. 301-316

The hundreds of fragments of morning and evening prayers found at Qumran help to fill a large gap in our knowledge about the development of Jewish prayer and worship in the interim period between the final formation of the Hebrew Bible and the rise of rabbinic and early Christian practices of prayer and daily liturgy. Portions of morning and evening prayers from the...

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15. THE SOCIOLOGICAL AND LITURGICAL DIMENSIONS OF PSALM PESHER 1 (4QPPSa)

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pp. 317-350

Reflecting back on over fifty years of research on the Dead Sea Scrolls, it is patently obvious how significant Scripture was for the Qumranites. Their pneumatic and eschatological approach to Scripture and their hermeneutic of fulfillment reveals the raison d’être for their life in the wilderness. Interpreting...

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16. THE MOSES AT QUMRAN

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pp. 351-362

This note will focus on a revealing and parallel use of parental imagery in the Hodayota and in the book of Numbers, thus providing another reason for seeing the Righteous Teacher...

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17. ENOCH AND THE ARCHANGEL MICHAEL

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pp. 363-376

One of the most insignificant figures mentioned in the Hebrew Bible is the seventh descendant of Adam, a man called Enoch, the son of Yared, the father of Methuselah, the longest living man (Gen 5:22–24). Despite the short and enigmatic description in Genesis of the life and end of this man, he appears in postbiblical Jewish thought and literature, including the Dead Sea Scrolls, as well as in early Christian...

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18. QUMRAN AND THE DATING OF THE PARABLES OF ENOCH

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pp. 377-396

The central figure of the Book of Parables (also called the Book of Similitudes; hereafter abbreviated as BP) is a character with no name. He is identified with Enoch at the end of the book, in 71:14 according to the translation: “You are the Son of Man born for justice and justice has dwelt in you.” However, not all scholars interpret this passage in the same way. In any...

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19. THE DEAD SEA SCROLLS AND THE MEAL FORMULA IN JOSEPH AND ASENETH

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pp. 397-426

As important for the study of early Judaism as the previously unknowntexts recovered from the Judean Desert over the last fifty years is the reexamination of long-known texts in the light of those new discoveries. That all early Jewish literature should be scrutinized afresh in view of the startling finds at Qumran is natural and appropriate. Extensive primary...

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20. THE BIBLE, THE PSALMS OF SOLOMON, AND QUMRAN

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pp. 427-446

Prior to the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls, there were few Jewish writings that could be dated with some degree of certainty to the first century B.C.E. and, hence, could be used as witnesses to Judaism in the era just prior to the rise of Christianity. One such book was a collection of eighteen noncanonical psalms called the Psalms of Solomon...

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21. OLD TESTAMENT PSEUDEPIGRAPHA AT QUMRAN

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pp. 447-468

It has usually been the practice to describe the pseudepigraphic works found at the library of Qumran in terms of the Pseudepigrapha already known before the discovery of the scrolls. Fragmentary copies of books such as Enoch, the book of Jubilees, and the Aramaic Levi Document (related to the Greek Testament of Levi) emerging from the Qumran finds...

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22: THE APOCRYPHA AND PSEUDEPIGRAPHA AT QUMRAN

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pp. 469-491

The subject of this paper is the books from the traditional categories of the Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha that have been found in some form at Qumran. The purpose is not to deal with the adequacy or usefulness of the standard categories but simply to adduce the data from the scrolls and assess what the Qumran copies have contributed in this sense to...

Back Cover

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E-ISBN-13: 9781602580336
E-ISBN-10: 1602580332
Print-ISBN-13: 9781932792768
Print-ISBN-10: 1932792767

Page Count: 525
Illustrations: 4
Publication Year: 2006

Edition: 1st
Volume Title: The Dead Sea Scrolls and the Qumran Community

Research Areas

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Subject Headings

  • Dead Sea scrolls -- Relation to the Old Testament -- Congresses.
  • Bible -- Criticism, interpretation, etc. -- Congresses.
  • Qumran community -- Congresses.
  • Christianity -- Origin -- Congresses.
  • Dead Sea scrolls -- Relation to the New Testament -- Congresses.
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