The Dead Sea Genesis Apocryphon

A New Text and Translation with Introduction and Special Treatment of Columns 13-17


The so-called Genesis Apocryphon (1Q20) from Qumran Cave 1 has suffered from decades of neglect, due in large part to its poor state of preservation. As part of a resurgent scholarly interest in the Apocryphon, and its prominent position among the Aramaic Dead Sea Scrolls, this volume presents a fresh transcription, translation, and exstenive textual notes drawing on close study of the original manuscript, all available photographs, and previous publications. In addition, a detailed analysis of columns 13-15 and their relation to the oft-cited parallel in the Book of Jubilees reveals a number of ways in which the two works differ, thereby highlighting several distinctive features of the Genesis Apocryphon. The result is a reliable text edition and a fuller understanding of the message conveyed by this fragmentary but fascinating retelling of Genesis.

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Daniel A. Machiela received his Ph.D. from the University of Notre Dame in 2006. He is currently Assistant Professor of Religious Studies (Early Judaism) at McMaster University in Ontario, Canada.
'Machiela provides a new edition of the Genesis Apocryphon from Qumran Cave 1, together with an English translation and textual notes. The edition is supplemented by photographs of the scroll (145–254) as well as an Aramaic concordance (255–306). Machiela furthermore analyzes the division of the earth among Noah’s sons and grandsons in cols. XVI–XVII and their relationship to the parallel account in Jub. 8:11–9:15. The two texts depend on a common map or map tradition drawing on the Ionian world map. Both adaptations of the underlying map reflect a geography advocating the Jewish rights to the land of Israel. Machiela concludes that the scroll as a whole was written as a “companion to Genesis” (142) in the first half of the second cent. B. C. E'.

' Auf jeden Fall stellt dieses Buch eine hervorragende Arbeitsgrundlage dar für jeden, der sich wissenschaftlich mit dem Genesis-Apokryphon beschäftigen will, und einen Meilenstein bei der Erklärung der Kolumnen (13–15 und) 16–17.'
Benjamin Ziemer, RBL February 2011

This volume is a well-edited version of Machiela's dissertation ... and is a joy to read and to use. ... M. is to be congratulated for producing an indispensable volume on the Genesis Apocryphon.
Donald R. Vance, Oral Roberts University
This book will appeal to those interested in the religious and intellectual history of Judaism in antiquity, especially those working in the areas of Second Temple Judaism, Aramaic, and the Dead Sea Scrolls.