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A New Paradigm of Textual Development for The Community Rule
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.
In: The Dead Sea Scrolls and the Study of the Humanities
In: Israel in the Wilderness

Jodi Magness’ proposal that an altar existed at Qumran leaves some unanswered questions; nevertheless, her conclusions are worthy of consideration. This study examines her claim that the residents at Qumran had an altar, modeled off of the Wilderness Tabernacle, through the lens of critical spatial theory. The conceptual spaces of some of the Dead Sea Scrolls, such as The Damascus Document and The Community Rule, as well as the spatial practices of the site of Qumran do not rule out – and even support – the idea that Qumran itself was highly delimited and therefore its spaces hierarchized in such a way that it could have supported a central cultic site.

In: Journal of Ancient Judaism
In: A Teacher for All Generations (2 vols.)

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.

In: Dead Sea Discoveries

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).

In: Dead Sea Discoveries
Method, Theory, Meaning: Proceedings of the Eighth Meeting of the International Organization for Qumran Studies (Munich, 4–7 August, 2013)
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.
In: A Teacher for All Generations (2 vols.)
In: A Teacher for All Generations (2 vols.)