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In The Cave 3 Copper Scroll: A Symbolic Journey, Jesper Høgenhavn presents a reading of the Copper Scroll as a literary text. For more than 60 years, scholars have debated whether or not the treasures recorded here reflect historical realities. This study argues that the dichotomy between “facts” and “fiction” is inadequate for a proper understanding of the Copper Scroll. The document was designed to convey specific images to its readers, thus staying true to the format of an instruction for retrieving hidden treasures. Yet, the evoked landscape is dense with symbolical associations, and the journey through it reflects deliberate narrative patterns. The scroll was written against the background of the social and political turmoil of Jewish Palestine in the 1st century CE, and reflects contemporary concerns and interests.
Proceedings of the International Conference Held at the John Paul II Catholic University of Lublin, 24–26 October 2017
Editor: Henryk Drawnel
The essays in Sacred Texts and Disparate Interpretations cover an array of core themes from various areas of Qumran studies, including textual criticism of the Hebrew Bible, Second Temple history, philology, paleography, Wisdom and religious poetry.
Contributors to this volume generally consider these themes from a historical perspective, trying to find new solutions to old questions and entering in constructive dialogue with the opinions of other scholars. Paleographic investigations, textual criticism as well as literary and philological approaches make this volume a valuable contribution to the variegated and often highly specialized directions of inquiry into the contents and historical background of the Dead Sea Scrolls.
Author: 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.

In: Dead Sea Discoveries
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.
Author: Nadav Sharon

Abstract

The “Four Empires” scheme appears in literature from around the ancient Near East, as well as in the biblical book of Daniel. Daniel’s scheme was adopted in subsequent Jewish literature as a basic division of world history. In addition, the book of Daniel appears to have had a prominent place in the Qumran library. Scholars have identified, or suggested, the existence of the “Four Empires” scheme in two texts found among the Qumran scrolls, the “New Jerusalem” text (4Q554), and, especially, in the so-called “Four Kingdoms”(!) text (4Q552–553). This paper will examine these texts, will argue that the “four empires” scheme is not attested in the Qumran scrolls (apart from Daniel), and will suggest alternative understandings of those two texts.

In: Dead Sea Discoveries
In: Dead Sea Discoveries