Browse results

Robert Jones

Abstract

This paper evaluates the attitudes toward the contemporary Jerusalem priesthood and cult on evidence in the Visions of Amram. To the extent that this issue has been treated, scholars have generally argued that the Visions of Amram originated among groups that were hostile to the Aaronid priesthood. Such treatments, however, have left some of the most germane fragments unexamined, several of which deal directly with matters pertaining to the cult, Aaron, and his offspring (4Q547 5 1–3; 8 2–4; 9 5–7; 4Q545 4 16–19). My study incorporates these fragments into the larger discussion, and in so doing demonstrates that many of the views expressed in the secondary literature require revision. My analysis shows that, though the social location of the Visions of Amram is difficult to determine, we should not be too quick to dismiss the possibility that the writer was a supporter of the contemporary status quo in the temple, given the elevated status afforded to both Aaron and his eternal posterity throughout the text.

Ari Mermelstein

Abstract

This paper considers the sectarian construction of masculinity as it pertains to the emotion of anger. The hegemonic masculinity in antiquity reserves legitimate expressions of anger for men. Sectarian anger, which is a hierarchical emotion bound up in power relations, likewise reflects the sectarian conception of masculinity.

The sect’s view of anger approximates Aristotle’s insistence that anger should be limited to certain circumstances and in relation to certain people. Intra-sectarian anger is inappropriate because it endangers the spirit of love or respect for high-status members that should characterize sectarian relations. Anger toward outsiders, however, is not only permitted but expected. The sect’s awareness of the coming “day of vengeance” demands that they align themselves with God by passing judgment on the sinner. By properly calibrating their manliness through the emotion of anger, the sect navigates a fine line between assertions of power and an acknowledgement that their power ultimately is attributable to God.

Philip F. Esler

Abstract

The Babatha archive contains thirty-five legal papyri dating from 94 to 132 CE. They belonged to a Judean woman Babatha, from Maoza on the south-eastern shore of the Dead Sea, where date cultivation was a valuable cash crop. The Salome Komaïse archive, also concerning a family of date farmers from Maoza, consists of six papyri dated from 29 January 125 to 7 August 131. Both archives were deposited by their owners in the same cave in Wadi Ḥever at the end of the Bar Kokhba revolt. Maoza formed part of Nabatea until the kingdom became the Roman province of Arabia in 106. These papyri provide a rich array of evidence relating to the life of Babatha, Salome Komaïse and her mother Salome Grapte, and of other women, Judean and Nabatean, in this context. Particularly noteworthy is that women possessed considerable wealth, in cash and real property, and regularly acted as business-women, including by loans to their husbands. The papyri also reveal seizure of assets and frequent recourse to litigation by these women in defence of their rights. Although this was a patrilineal and patrilocal culture, the papyri provide striking examples of potent female agency, as women deployed and protected their wealth by every legal means.

Katie Edwards and Johanna Stiebert

Abstract

This article provides background and context for the ensuing contributions in this special journal edition, the focus of which is gender studies and the Dead Sea Scrolls. While the discovery and study of the Scrolls has certainly revolutionized Biblical Studies, the study of the Scrolls is nevertheless often perceived and treated as a subsidiary, even marginalized, field of Biblical Studies, rather than as either an integral part thereof, or as a discipline in its own right. This article aims to highlight how gender has been studied with reference to the Bible. Subsequent contributions demonstrate how gender is shaping interpretations of the Scrolls.

Jessica M. Keady

Abstract

To understand purity from both the male and the female perspective within the Qumran ‎communities, this article will be using 4QTohorot A (4Q274) as a case study to: review the formation and function of gender within the manuscript; permit a broadening of the critique of purity to include a range of gender ‎issues; enable a discussion of the position of women in relation to ‎female purification laws; and permit exploration of the male perspective and ‎experience from a masculinist perspective. ‎By concentrating on the ‎functionality of this particular scroll, further insights will be gained to understand the gendered ‎and identity politics at play behind such strict purity regulations in order to discern—and to ‎imagine—what it actually meant to be a constant threat of potential pollution within ‎communities where purity ruled all aspects of everyday life, and how such regulations worked on a gendered ‎level.

Jutta Jokiranta and Jessica M. Keady

Eileen M. Schuller and Cecilia Wassén

Maxine L. Grossman

Abstract

Dead Sea Scrolls scholarship has historically emphasized a binary between the celibate yaḥad of the Community Rule and the marrying edah of the Damascus Document and Rule of the Congregation. An early focus on celibacy has given way in recent years to arguments for the near ubiquity of marriage in the scrolls movement. In place of dichotomies of marriage and celibacy, the complexities of sexuality in the scrolls are best understood in terms of a sexually-limiting sectarian marital practice. This marital practice is grounded in a theology of perfection and is best understood in light of sociological approaches to the evidence in the scrolls. In addition to better explaining the evidence for sexuality in the scrolls, a reading from this perspective may, potentially, shed light on the perennial question of whether the movement began with marriage or celibacy as its prevailing social norm.

Anders Klostergaard Petersen

Abstract

The first section describes the major progress in the study of Second Temple Judaism during the past fifty years, since A.S. van der Woude founded the Journal for the Study of Judaism. This part—the whence—comprises the main bulk of the argument. It also paves the way for the conclusion—the wither. There, I present some ideas potentially leading to new advances in the field. I call for an engagement with the social and natural sciences based on a gene-culture coevolutionary paradigm. In particular, adopting a biocultural evolutionary perspective makes it possible to situate the field and its empirical focus in a much larger context. Thereby, we shall be able to tackle some of the pivotal questions with which our scholarly predecessors wrestled. Finally, I discuss emotional studies that may help us to get a better grasp on a traditionally moot question in the texts we study.

John J. Collins

Abstract

There has been an explosion of interest in Second Temple Judaism over the last fifty years. In the first half of the period under review, the Pseudepigrapha were at the cutting edge. This period culminated in the publication of the new enlarged edition of the Old Testament Pseudepigrapha, edited by James H. Charlesworth. Beginning in the 1980s, interest shifted to the Dead Sea Scrolls, culminating in the rapid publication of the corpus under the editorship of Emanuel Tov. At the same time, new discoveries shed light on the encounter of Judaism with Hellenism, both in Judea in the Maccabean period and in the Egyptian diaspora. Few scholars would now defend an idea of “normative Judaism” in this period, but that idea still casts a shadow on the ongoing debates.