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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.

In: Dead Sea Discoveries
The Function of the Book of the Twelve Prophets in Acts
How Luke uses and interprets Scripture continues to captivate many. In his new work The Prophets Agree, a title inspired by James’ words at the Jerusalem Council, Aaron W. White turns over one rock that has remained unturned. Interpretation of the four quotations of the Minor Prophets in Acts frequently isolates each citation from the other. However, this full-length study of the place of the Minor Prophets in Acts asks what difference it makes to regard these four quotations as a singular contribution to Acts from a unified source.
By an in-depth study of each quotation, an innovative method of intertextuality, and an eye to the overall agenda of Acts, White proves the importance of reading the Twelve Prophets in unity when it is quoted in Acts, and the integral role it plays in the redemptive-historical plot line of Acts.
In Psalm 91 and Demonic Menace Gerrit Vreugdenhil offers a thorough analysis of the text, structure and genre of Psalm 91. Already in its earliest interpretations, Psalm 91 has been associated with the demonic realm. The use of this psalm on ancient amulets and in magic texts calls for an explanation. Examining the psalms images of threat from a cognitive science perspective, Vreugdenhil shows that many of these terms carry associations with sorcery and magic, incantations and curses, diseases and demonic threat. The psalm takes demonic threat seriously, but also draws attention to the protection offered by JHWH. Finally, the author proposes an outline of the situational context in which Psalm 91 might have functioned.
This volume contains a collection of the author’s life-long study (along with some new research written specifically for this book) of the text of 1-2 Kings, some of them translated into English for the first time. Julio Trebolle’s career has focused on the history of these biblical books from the triple angle of a combined textual, literary and source-compositional criticism. His usage of the Septuagint and its secondary versions like the Old Latin as a basis for the reconstruction of the history of the text is an invaluable contribution to the panorama of textual pluralism in the Bible during the Second Temple period which has emerged after the discoveries of the Dead Sea.
Composition, Reception, and Interpretation
In the last two decades, research on the Book of the Twelve has shown that this corpus is not just a collection of twelve prophetic books. It is rather a coherent work with a common history of formation and, based upon this, with an overall message and intention. The individual books of the Book of the Twelve are thus part of a larger whole in which they can be interpreted in a fruitful manner. The volume The Book of the Twelve: Composition, Reception, and Interpretation features 30 articles, written by renowned scholars, that explore different aspects regarding the formation, interpretation, and reception of the Book of the Twelve as a literary unity.

Abstract

Pentateuchal source criticism has shown that the primordial narrative in Genesis 1–3 is a redactional juxtaposition of Priestly (Gen 1:1–2:3) and non-Priestly (Gen 2:4b–3:24) accounts. A wide variety of Second Temple literature appears to have detected this disunity, telescoping the two accounts into unified retellings. This essay argues that 1QS 3:13–4:26 (the “Treatise on the Two Spirits”) can be more fully understood within this pattern of ancient exegetical engagement with Genesis 1–3. The Treatise addresses the place of evil in the cosmos by framing the non-Priestly account of humanity’s lapse in terms of the Priestly emphasis on divine order in Gen 1:1–2:3 and other Priestly texts. It claims that the opposition of good and evil, manifest in the children of light and darkness, is part of God’s perfect creation. This exegetical approach has implications for the mutual relevance of Qumran studies and the study of pentateuchal composition.

In: Dead Sea Discoveries
Comparing Aramaic and Greek Versions from Jewish Antiquity
In Septuagint, Targum and Beyond leading experts in the fields of biblical textual criticism and reception history explore the relationship between the two major Jewish translation traditions of the Hebrew Bible. In comparing these Greek and Aramaic versions from Jewish antiquity the essays collected here not only tackle the questions of mutual influence and common exegetical traditions, but also move beyond questions of direct dependence, applying insights from modern translation studies and comparing corpora beyond the Old Greek and Targum, including, for instance, Greek and Aramaic translations found at Qumran, the Samareitikon, and later Greek versions.
Essays from the Copenhagen Symposium, 14-15 August, 2017
The Aramaic Dead Sea Scrolls from Qumran have attracted increasing interest in recent years. These texts predate the “sectarian” Dead Sea scrolls, and they are contemporary with the youngest parts of the Hebrew Bible. They offer a unique glimpse into the situation before the biblical canons were closed. Their highly creative Jewish authors reshaped and rewrote biblical traditions to cope with the concerns of their own time. The essays in this volume examine this fascinating ancient literature from a variety of different perspectives. The book grew out of an international symposium held at the University of Copenhagen in August 2017.

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.

In: Dead Sea Discoveries

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.

In: Dead Sea Discoveries