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The Religious Worldviews Reflected in the Dead Sea Scrolls

Proceedings of the Fourteenth International Symposium of the Orion Center for the Study of the Dead Sea Scrolls and Associated Literature, 28–30 May, 2013

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Edited by Ruth A. Clements, Menahem Kister and Michael Segal

The Dead Sea Scrolls offer a window onto the rich theological landscape of Judaism in the Second Temple period. Through careful textual analysis, the authors of these twelve studies explore such topics as dualism and determinism, esoteric knowledge, eschatology and covenant, the nature of heaven and / or the divine, moral agency, and more; as well as connections between concepts expressed in the Qumran corpus and in later Jewish and Christian literature. The religious worldviews reflected in the Scrolls constitute part of the ideological environment of Second Temple Judaism; the analysis of these texts is essential for the reconstruction of that milieu. Taken together, these studies indicate the breadth and depth of theological reflection in the Second Temple period.

The Authority of Law in the Hebrew Bible and Early Judaism

Tracing the Origins of Legal Obligation from Ezra to Qumran

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Jonathan Vroom

In The Authority of Law in the Hebrew Bible and Early Judaism, Vroom identifies a development in the authority of written law that took place in early Judaism. Ever since Assyriologists began to recognize that the Mesopotamian law collections did not function as law codes do today—as a source of binding obligation—scholars have grappled with the question of when the Pentateuchal legal corpora came to be treated as legally binding. Vroom draws from legal theory to provide a theoretical framework for understanding the nature of legal authority, and develops a methodology for identifying instances in which legal texts were treated as binding law by ancient interpreters. This method is applied to a selection of legal-interpretive texts: Ezra-Nehemiah, Temple Scroll, the Qumran rule texts, and the Samaritan Pentateuch.

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Matthew S. Goldstone

In The Dangerous Duty of Rebuke Matthew Goldstone explores the ways in which religious leaders within early Jewish and Christian communities conceived of the obligation to rebuke their fellows based upon the biblical verse: “Rebuke your fellow but do not incur sin” (Leviticus 19:17). Analyzing texts from the Bible through the Talmud and late Midrashim as well as early Christian monastic writings, he exposes a shift from asking how to rebuke in the Second Temple and early Christian period, to whether one can rebuke in early rabbinic texts, to whether one should rebuke in later rabbinic and monastic sources. Mapping these observations onto shifting sociological concerns, this work offers a new perspective on the nature of interpersonal responsibility in antiquity.

The Dead Sea Scrolls and the Study of the Humanities

Method, Theory, Meaning: Proceedings of the Eighth Meeting of the International Organization for Qumran Studies (Munich, 4–7 August, 2013)

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Edited by Pieter B. Hartog, Alison Schofield and Samuel I. Thomas

The Dead Sea Scrolls and the Study of the Humanities explores the use of methods, theories, and approaches from the humanities in the study of the Dead Sea Scrolls. The volume contains ten essays on topics ranging from New Philology and socio-linguistics to post-colonial thinking and theories of myth.

The Prophetic Voice at Qumran

The Leonardo Museum Conference on the Dead Sea Scrolls, 11–12 April 2014 

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Edited by Donald W. Parry, Stephen D. Ricks and Andrew C. Skinner

Contrary to the generally held view, the Second Temple Era was not a time of prophetic dormancy, but of genuine activity, though of a different character than that of the pre-exilic age. The conference on The Prophetic Voice at Qumran, held 11–12 April 2014 at the Leonardo Museum in Salt Lake City, provided a venue for lively discussions of many of the issues connected with the question of prophecy and prophetic writings in the Dead Sea Scrolls and Second Temple texts. Three of the scholars—Emanuel Tov, Eugene Ulrich, and James C. VanderKam—were featured as keynote speakers, and an even dozen scholars made presentations at the conference, of which nine are published in the present volume.

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Edited by Ariel Feldman, Maria Cioată and Charlotte Hempel

This volume is offered as a tribute to George Brooke to mark his sixty-fifth birthday. It has been conceived as a coherent contribution to the question of textuality in the Dead Sea Scrolls explored from a wide range of perspectives. These include material aspects of the texts, performance, reception, classification, scribal culture, composition, reworking, form and genre, and the issue of the extent to which any of the texts relate (to) social realities in the Second Temple period. Almost every contribution engages with Brooke’s own remarkably wide-ranging, incisive, and innovative research on the Scrolls. The twenty-eight contributors are colleagues and students of the honouree and include leading scholars alongside promising new voices from across the field.

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Paul D. Mandel

In The Origins of Midrash : From Teaching to Text, Paul Mandel presents a comprehensive study of the words darash and midrash from the Bible until the early rabbinic periods (3rd century CE). In contrast to current understandings in which the words are identified with modes of analysis of the biblical text, Mandel claims that they refer to instruction in law and not to an interpretation of text.
Mandel traces the use of these words as they are associated with the scribe ( sofer), the doresh ha-torah in the Dead Sea scrolls, the “exegetes of the laws” in the writings of Josephus and the rabbinic “sage” ( ḥakham), showing the development of the uses of midrash as a form of instruction throughout these periods.

The Caves of Qumran

Proceedings of the International Conference, Lugano 2014

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Edited by Marcello Fidanzio

In Qumran studies, the attention of scholars has largely been focused on the Dead Sea Scrolls, while archaeology has concentrated above all on the settlement. This volume presents the proceedings of an international conference (Lugano 2014) dedicated entirely to the caves of Qumran. The papers deal with both archaeological and textual issues, comparing the caves in the vicinity of Qumran between themselves and their contents with the other finds in the Dead Sea region. The relationships between the caves and the settlement of Qumran are re-examined and their connections with the regional context are investigated. The original inventory of the materials excavated from the caves by Roland de Vaux is published for the first time in appendix to the volume.

Sibyls, Scriptures, and Scrolls

John Collins at Seventy

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Edited by Joel Baden, Hindy Najman and Eibert J.C. Tigchelaar

This volume, a tribute to John J. Collins by his friends, colleagues, and students, includes essays on the wide range of interests that have occupied John Collins’s distinguished career. Topics range from the ancient Near East and the Hebrew Bible to the Dead Sea Scrolls and Second Temple Judaism and beyond into early Christianity and rabbinic Judaism. The contributions deal with issues of text and interpretation, history and historiography, philology and archaeology, and more. The breadth of the volume is matched only by the breadth of John Collins’s own work.

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Edited by Dan Batovici and Kristin de Troyer

Reception history has emerged over the last decades as a rapidly growing domain of research, entertaining a notable methodological diversity. Authoritative Texts and Reception History samples that diversity, offering a collection of essay that discuss various reception-historical issues, from a plurality of perspectives, across several fields: Hebrew Bible/Old Testament, Pseudepigrapha and the Dead Sea Scrolls, New Testament, early and late-antique Christianity. While furthering specific discussions in their specific fields, the contributions included here—authored by both established and emerging scholars—illustrate just how wide the umbrella of ‘reception history’ can be, and the varied range of topics, concerns and approaches it can accommodate.