4QInstruction: Divisions and Hierarchies


In 4QInstruction: Divisions and Hierarchies, Benjamin Wold challenges the interpretation of 4QInstruction as a deterministic and dualistic composition. In a re-examination of key fragments he offers new reconstructions and translations that indicate 4QInstruction envisaged wisdom available to all humanity, divisions among humankind and communities as the result of individual adherence to wisdom, and a hierarchy of authority as a result of individual merit.

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Benjamin Wold, Ph.D. (2004), is Assistant Professor of Ancient Judaism and Christianity at Trinity College Dublin, Ireland. He has published several books and multiple articles, including Women, Men, and Angels: The Qumran Wisdom Document Musar leMevin and Its Allusions to Genesis Creation Traditions (Mohr Siebeck, 2005).
"This very important work is to be shelved next to the major commentaries, translations, and text editions of Instruction. No study of Instruction is complete without treating both its proposed readings and its hypotheses." Jonathan Kampen, Dead Sea Discoveries, 2021.

"Wold is to be commended for a meticulous and careful analysis of 4QInstruction. This is a significant contribution to Qumran studies that is both thought‐provoking and replete with fresh insights." The Journal of Theological Studies, Seulgi L. Byun, 2020.

"With a close textual reading and some comparative contexts in Second Temple and early Christian texts, Wold questions a reading of 4QInstruction as deterministic, (consistently) dualistic, apocalyptic and elitist. In fact, 4QInstruction proclaims the universal challenge of actualizing and maintaining wisdom in life.…Wold yields findings significant for both early Jewish and Christian studies." Lindsey A. Askin, Journal for the Study of the Old Testament, 2019.

"Wold hat eine erfrischende, anregende und dabei sehr sorgfältig argumentierte Studie vorgelegt, deren Thesen man eine entsprechende Verbreitung wünscht... In jedem Falle illustriert das Werk gewinnbringend die große Bedeutung der Weisheit für das Verständnis der Schriften und den theologischen Ort der Qumrangemeinschaft." Peter Porzig, Zeitschrift für die Alttestamentliche Wissenschaft, 2019.

"Di proficua lettura per chi desideri approfondire l’antropologia dell’antico Israele, la ridefinizione di «Israele» tra le nazioni, o si interessi alla prima recezione di taluni scritti della Bibbia ebraica." Marco Settembrini, Gregorianum, 2019.
Acknowledgments Preface
1 Maskîl and Mēvîn  1 First Person Speech  2 Occurrences of משכיל in 4QInstruction  3 Maśkîl in Qumran Discoveries  4 Addressee as Maskîl in 4Q418 81 + 81a Lines 1–14  5 Conclusions
2 Spirit and Flesh  1 “Spirit” and “Flesh”  2 “Spirit” in 4QInstruction  3 Conclusions
3 Torah and Mysteries  1 Evoking Torah? “By the Hand of Moses” in 4Q418 184 and 4Q423 11  2 Allusions to “Torah”  3 Mosaic Torah in Early Jewish Literature  4 Re-written Torah  5 Conclusions
Concluding Remarks
Bibliography Plate Section Index
Anyone interested in 4QInstruction, ancient Jewish and Christian wisdom literature, revealed wisdom, and textual analysis of Qumran discoveries generally.
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