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In Johannine Social Identity Formation after the Fall of the Jerusalem Temple Christopher Porter reads the Fourth Gospel through the lens of social identity theory as means of reconciling the social dislocation and trauma of the destruction of the Jerusalem temple. Analysing the Fourth Gospel in conversation with other temple-removed texts of Qumran, Philo, and Josephus the gospel’s intent to renegotiate cultic life without the temple can be seen. Through this analysis it is argued that the Fourth Gospel primarily functions as an intra-mural Jewish text, attempting to negotiate the formation of a Jesus-follower social identity in direct continuity with earlier Jewish shared social narratives. Finally, this work reviews the Johannine Community as an outcome of the Gospel identity formation.
Religion, Ethnicity, and the Shaping of Jesus-Oriented Jewishness in the Fourth Gospel
In John within Judaism, Wally V. Cirafesi offers a reading of the Gospel of John as an expression of the fluid and flexible nature of Jewish identity in Greco-Roman antiquity. While many have noted John’s general Jewishness, few have given it a seat at the ideologically congested table of ancient Jewish practice and belief.
By interrogating the concept of “Judaism” in relation to the complex categories of “religion” and “ethnicity,” Cirafesi argues that John negotiates Jewishness using strategies of ethnic identity formation paralleled in other Jewish sources from the Second Temple and early rabbinic periods. In this process of negotiation, including its use of “high christology” and critique of Ioudaioi, John coalesces with other expressions of ancient Jewish identity and, thus, can be read “within Judaism.”
Author: Meike Christian
This study challenges the common classification of 1/4QInstruction and the Treatise of the Two Spirits (1QS III,13–IV,26) as “pre-sectarian”. The analysis refrains from the distinction between “sectarian-” and “non-sectarian-texts” and supplies detailed comparisons as well as a redaction-critical investigation without any presuppositions about the historical setting of 1/4QInstruction and the Treatise. This way it re-evaluates the formation of the two compositions and brings to light connections and developments that have been concealed so far.

Die vorliegende Studie stellt die verbreitete Klassifizierung von 1/4QInstruction und der Zwei-Geister-Lehre als „pre-sectarian-texts“ in Frage. Anstatt von übergeordneten Kategorien auszugehen, vermeidet diese Untersuchung historische Vorannahmen und richtet den Blick aufs Detail, indem sie anhand von Textvergleichen sowie einer redaktionskritischen Analyse eine Neueinordnung der beiden Werke vornimmt. Auf diese Weise werden bisher verborgende gedankliche Entwicklungen und literarische Abhängigkeitsverhältnisse aufgedeckt, sodass die beiden Werke in einem neuen Licht erscheinen.
Volume Editors: Beate Kowalski and Susan Docherty
The account of the exodus of the Israelite slaves from Egypt under Moses has shaped the theology and community identity of both Jews and Christians across the centuries. Its reception in later scriptures and religious writings, as well as in art and music, continues to inspire liberation movements across the globe. This volume brings together an international group of scholars to explore the re-use of the exodus narratives across a wide range of early Jewish and Christian literature including the Apocrypha and the New Testament. The contributors engage with wider questions of methodology and the impact of social and cultural context on biblical interpretation.
Studies on the Texts of the Desert of Judah Online is the electronic version of the renowned book series Studies on the Texts of the Desert of Judah.

Since 1957 this series publishes monographs and collections of articles dealing primarily with the Dead Sea Scrolls, both the texts from Qumran and those from other locations in the Judaean Desert. The series contains scholarly translation and evaluation of Biblical texts from the papyri and manuscripts of Wadi Qumran and the Dead Sea Scrolls, and related bibliographic, linguistic, cultural and historical aspects of ancient Judaism and early Christianity.
Comparisons with Pseudepigrapha, the Qumran Scrolls, and Rabbinic Literature
This Handbook provides any commentator — whose purposes might include writing a consecutive treatment of a Gospel, or engaging with episodic themes or passages, or preparing a particular section of the Gospel for study, teaching, or preaching — with resources from the Gospels’ Judaic environment that appear useful for understanding the texts themselves. Translation, presentation, comparison with Judaica, and occasional comments are all designed with that end in view. Materials are included from the Pseudepigrapha (together with Philo and Josephus), discoveries related to Qumran, and Rabbinic Literature (inclusive of the Targumim). As in a previous volume that dealt with Mark’s Gospel, this Comparative Handbook targets the issue of comparison more than analysis or commentary.

Abstract

This article examines Hartmut Stegemann’s preliminary proposal that the remains of the beginning handle sheet of 1QH a have survived and provide useful data for reconstructing the scroll. According to Stegemann, this handle sheet supplies critical material evidence that three columns existed before 1QH a 4, the first substantially extant column in the manuscript. The handle sheet was recovered from one of three scrolls, 1QM, 1QIsab, and 1QH a. Each of these possibilities is considered, and a new proposal that the handle sheet belongs to the end of 1QIsab is advanced. The article offers a tentative reconstruction of the handle sheet as part of 1QIsab to demonstrate its material continuity with col. 28 of 1QIsab.

In: Dead Sea Discoveries
Author: Michael R. Jost

Abstract

Since the discoveries of the first Dead Sea Scrolls, the motif of a communion with the angels has been repeatedly emphasized and discussed as a characteristic of the self-understanding of the community behind these writings. Of particular interest in this discussion are the Songs of the Sabbath Sacrifice (4Q400–407; 11Q17; and Mas1k ShirShabb). However, the origin of the so-called Angelic Liturgy is still an unresolved question in scholarship. In this article we will try to figure out the relationship of the Songs of the Sabbath Sacrifice to the sectarian literature by analyzing the communion with the angels described therein. I will demonstrate that this composition has the most explicit connections to the liturgical communion with the angels that is uniquely found in undisputed sectarian texts. The Angelic Liturgy is then not so much the source, but much more an example of the liturgical development inside the yaḥad.

Open Access
In: Dead Sea Discoveries
Author: Yonatan Adler

Abstract

Approximately thirty tefillin cases were discovered in the Judean Desert. The publishers of these finds distinguished between single-compartment cases, which they identified as “arm-tefillin,” and four-compartment cases, which they identified as “head-tefillin.” Here I present a further typological distinction between two subtypes among the four-compartment tefillin cases: (1) the “simple-type,” in which a single line of stitching separates the compartments from one another, and (2) the “split-type,” in which the compartments are separated by incisions in the leather and each compartment is stitched closed individually. It seems likely that some kind of ritual issue is at stake, and an allusion to these two types as competing halakhic practices may be found in the tannaitic literature—with the rabbis ultimately rejecting the “split-type.” The Judean Desert finds may represent a synchronic debate between competing groups, a diachronic development, or perhaps practices followed contemporaneously by members of one and the same group.

In: Dead Sea Discoveries
11Q19, 11Q20, 11Q21, 4Q524, 5Q21 with 4Q365a
In this volume, Schiffman and Gross present a new edition of all of the manuscript evidence for the Temple Scroll from Qumran. It includes innumerable new readings and restorations of all of the manuscripts as well as a detailed critical apparatus comparing the manuscripts of the Temple Scroll as well as Qumran biblical manuscripts and the ancient versions. Each manuscript is provided with a new translation, and a commentary is presented for the main text. Also included are a general introduction, bibliography of published works on the text, catalog of photographic evidence, and concordance including all vocables in all the manuscripts and their restorations. This work promises to move research on the Temple Scroll to a new level.