Studies in Qumran Law and Thought


The study of the laws of the Dead Sea Scrolls in the light of ancient rabbinic law, and vice versa, by a master of both corpora, sheds light on their interpretation, their history, and the spiritual stances they bespeak. The thirty-two studies united in this volume, a selection of Joseph M. Baumgarten’s work in the three decades that followed the appearance of his Studies in Qumran Law (Brill, 1977), focus on legal concerns, both general and detailed, shared by the Qumran sectarians and the ancient rabbis—concerns that elicited responses that were sometimes similar, sometimes different, even to the extent of arousing polemics. An introductory essay by Lawrence H. Schiffman contextualizes the studies and points out the broader themes to which they relate.

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Joseph M. Baumgarten (1928–2008), Ph.D. 1954, Johns Hopkins University, a rabbi and scholar in Baltimore, edited numerous Dead Sea Scrolls and was one of the world’s foremost specialists in the study of Qumran law. The present volume complements his Studies in Qumran Law (Brill, 1977).
Ruth A. Clements, Th.D. (1997), Harvard Divinity School, is head of publications at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem’s Orion Center for the Study of the Dead Sea Scrolls and Associated Literature. She coedited The Religious Worldviews Reflected in the Dead Sea Scrolls (Brill, 2018).
Daniel R. Schwartz, Ph.D. (1980), The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, is the Herbst Family Professor of Judaic Studies at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. He has published on Josephus and the Books of Maccabees and is the author of Judeans and Jews: Four Faces of Dichotomy in Ancient Jewish History (Univ. of Toronto, 2014).
Scholars of the Dead Sea Scrolls and Jewish law in the Second Temple and early rabbinic periods; academic libraries, including theological seminaries and rabbinical schools.
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