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Alison Schofield

Abstract

After the publication of the Cave 4 copies, reconstructing the textual history of the Community Rule (Serekh ha-Yahad or S) was further complicated. Because of both the divergences and the continuities between these versions, their relationship could no longer be explained by a simple chronological line of development. This paper offers a new, chronological-spatial model that better accounts for the textual history of S. In doing so, it asks larger methodological questions about the study of this text, and by extension, how we unnecessarily read Qumran into S. Using this broader model, we can better resolve yet unexplained dilemmas concerning the relationship between 1QS and the Cave 4 copies.

Alison Schofield

Abstract

Scholars have long equated the Yahad with the inhabitants at Qumran, thereby establishing an unwieldy two-community model of those behind The Rule of the Community (S) and others of the Damascus Document (D), or Qumranite, bounded, and peripheral versus integrated and “normal.” Yet this two-fold paradigm does not account for both the shared and divergent material between S and D, and other Rule material now available. This article offers a new socio-anthropological model for understanding sectarian community formation, one that accounts for a dynamic relationship between both the Jewish codifying center at Jerusalem and the sectarian movement at large, as well as on a micro-level within the Yahad itself. For as the Yahad created its own, new authoritative center at Qumran, it generated new, divergent traditions, but ones which never developed in isolation. This “radial-dialogic” model of development proposes that communities, and their traditions, diversified in continuing conversation with their authoritative center(s).

From Qumran to the Yaḥad

A New Paradigm of Textual Development for The Community Rule

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Alison Schofield

Since the discovery of the Cave 4 versions of The Community Rule (Serekh ha-Yaḥad or S), scholars have been perplexed about its complex textual history. This important charter material for the Dead Sea Scrolls’ authors appears in alternate versions—ones with contradictory legal prescriptions and opposing self-references—but exhibits no clear order of chronological development. Benefitting from the entire Qumran library now available to us, this book offers a new, broader model for reading S that better accounts for the long and diverse history behind the text. The resulting paradigm challenges the Qumrancentric lens through which many read the “sectarian texts” and offers a fresh way of thinking about sectarian community formation among the authors of the Scrolls.

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.

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Edited by Eric F. Mason, Samuel I. Thomas, Alison Schofield and Eugene Ulrich

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Edited by Eric F. Mason, Samuel I. Thomas, Alison Schofield and Eugene Ulrich

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Edited by Eric F. Mason, Samuel I. Thomas, Alison Schofield and Eugene Ulrich