This volume deals with one of the oldest midrashim, the Eschatological Midrash from Qumran Cave 4. 4QMidrEschat, previously unknown, is preserved in at least two copies (4QFlorilegium, 4QCatena A) found at Qumran.
A reconstruction of 4QFlorilegium and 4QCatena A is given in the first part of the book. The second part is a comparative analysis which shows that both manuscripts are copies of the same former work, 4QMidrEschat. The third part deals with the other exegetical Qumran texts, a definition of 4QMidrEschat's genre, its position among the Qumran literature, and its dating.
4QMidrEschat provides valuable information on Bible interpretation and eschatology among the Essenes in the first century BCE. 4QMidrEschat is of special significance because, according to recent studies, the Essenes are no longer to be regarded as a "sect", but as one of the most important Jewish groups of that time.
Annette Steudel Doctorate (1991) in Ev. Theology, University of Göttingen, teaches in the Theology Faculty at the University of Göttingen.
This is clearly an important study.'
Old Testament Abstracts, 1994.
The thesis is closely argued and is an important contribution to the research.'
Southwestern Journal of Theology, Vol. 37.
[The author] makes a very good case, and in any event has given us a first-class critical tool for the study of these manuscripts.'
Journal for the Study of the Old Testament, 1994.
...[the author] makes a strong case, and her work includes many valuable observations.'
Society for Old Testament Study, 1995.
...there is no doubt that Steudel has greatly advanced the discussion by her reconstruction of the text and her demonstration of the unity of the Floriliegium and the Catena. In this respect her work can stand as exemplary for the kind of revisionary work that can be done on texts that have long been in the public domain.'
John J. Collins,
Journal of Biblical Literature, 1995.
...[an] extremely valuable study...a thorough and competent piece of work which at last provides a textual basis for future work on these [...] intriguing and important manuscripts.'
Philip R. Davies,
Journal of Theological Studies, 1995.
It is an important piece of work...for its application of certain methodological insights, for its careful rereading of significant fragments, and for its attempt to locate the composition Steudel identifies within the development of traditions and the historical circumstances of the Qumran community.'
George J. Brooke,
Journal for the Study of Judaism, 1995.
Steudel has written a clear, attractive case...Steudel should be thanked for providing us with a wonderful new edition of 4Q174 + 177, with commentary.'
James C. VanderKam,
The Catholic Biblical Quarterly, 1995.
All those interested in the Second Temple Period, the Dead Sea Scrolls, the Bible, and the history of midrash, as well as those interested in the reconstruction of ancient manuscripts.