The Damascus texts by Charlotte Hempel

By Charlotte Hempel

The Damascus rfile is without doubt one of the most crucial texts from the Qumran caves. half one in every of this spouse deals a lucid and updated advent to all of the manuscripts, together with the 8 lately released from Qumran Cave four. It additionally offers a overview of the main parts of scholarly learn in this very important Qumran textual content. half is dedicated to the lately released textual content 4QMiscellaneous ideas (4Q265; olim Serekh Damascus). this article has already develop into the topic of extreme curiosity between scholars of the lifeless Sea Scrolls as a result of its targeted dating to either the neighborhood Rule and the Damascus Document.

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3-18) condemning the ruling class of Judah for its lack of support of the Essene movement. This document was written in the first half of the second century BCE by the teacher of righteousness or one of his followers. In its present context as part of the Admonition it has been adapted to its new function of addressing community members whose loyalty to the cause was waning. 4. e. 8B-13, 17b-22b). This Grundschriftwas written after the death of the teacher of righteousness (cf. 1) with the intention of winning back the growing number of disaffected community members.

Stegemann's position is unusual in that he advocates understanding the Essenes as the largest group of conservative Jews at the time (Stegemann 1998a: 139-210). Something of a methodological problem arises from reading the primary texts, that is the Dead Sea Scrolls themselves, in the light of the overall framework established by external sources, particularly Josephus's descrip- 56 The Damascus Texts tion of the Essenes. It is, of course, entirely legitimate to draw on external sources such as the classical authors, but such an undertaking should not prevent us from analysing the primary evidence in its own right first without being led by a frame of reference derived from the study of external evidence.

J. 17b-19 as such a reworking in the Damascus Document (1987: 51-55). 2-5) This fourth account of the origins of a movement is again closely linked to the time of the exile. At the core of this account lies a midrashic interpretation of Num. 18 in which the well of the Numbers passage is identified as the law. 9 preface the citation of Num. 18 with the introductory formula 'as Moses said'. This section is customarily referred to as 'the Well midrash'. Those who dig the well are identified with 'the converts (or returnees) of Israel who went out from the land of Judah and sojourned in the land of Damascus'.

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