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A Journal of Current Research on the Scrolls and Related Literature
Dead Sea Discoveries is an international journal dedicated to the study of the Dead Sea Scrolls and associated literature. The journal is primarily devoted to the discussion of the significance of the finds in the Judean Desert for Biblical Studies, and the study of early Jewish and Christian history. Dead Sea Discoveries has established itself as an invaluable resource for the subject both in the private collections of professors and scholars as well as in the major research libraries of the world.

● Discussions on new discoveries from a wide variety of perspectives.
● Exchange of ideas among scholars from various disciplines.
● Thematic issues dedicated to particular texts or topics.

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Composition and Exegesis in the 4QReworked Pentateuch Manuscripts
Author: Molly M. Zahn
The Qumran discoveries have demonstrated that much of the earliest interpretation of Hebrew Scripture was accomplished through rewriting: production of revised editions of biblical books, or composition of new works drawing heavily upon Scripture for their organization and content. This study advances our understanding of the nature and purpose of such rewriting of Scripture by examining the compositional methods and interpretive goals of the five Reworked Pentateuch manuscripts from Qumran Cave 4 (4Q158, 364–367). This analysis, along with a comparison of the 4QReworked Pentateuch manuscripts to the Samaritan Pentateuch and the Temple Scroll, provides a clearer picture of how early Jewish communities read, transmitted, and transformed their sacred textual traditions.
In: Dead Sea Discoveries
Author: Molly M. Zahn


Considerable attention has been paid recently to the similarities between the composition and development of biblical texts, rewritten scripture-type texts, and the major Qumran rule scrolls. This study adds a new dimension to that work by comparing the authority claims of the Damascus Document (D) and the Community Rule (S) with those made by Deuteronomy, the Temple Scroll (TS), and Jubilees. While D and S lack the pseudepigraphic self-presentation of the others, they share with them a concern to present themselves as the most authentic expression of God’s revealed will. D and S resemble Deuteronomy in particular in their use of several specific literary techniques to claim authority by means of asserting a close relationship with existing authoritative revelation.

In: Dead Sea Discoveries
Author: Molly M. Zahn

The Samaritan Pentateuch (sp), along with its Qumran forebears, has deservedly been regarded as a key source of information for understanding the scribal culture of early Judaism. Yet studies have tended to emphasize the relative uniformity of the characteristic pre-sp readings as evidence of a scribal approach distinct within Second Temple Judaism. This article argues that both the uniformity and the distinctiveness of these readings have been overstated: there is more internal diversity within pre-sp than is usually recognized, and similar or identical readings are also preserved in other manuscript traditions. Rather than representing a distinctive scribal approach or school, the readings of pre-sp are better taken as a particularly concentrated example of scribal attitudes and techniques that appear to have been widespread in early Judaism.

In: Journal for the Study of Judaism