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In: Law, Literature, and Society in Legal Texts from Qumran
Composition and Exegesis in the 4QReworked Pentateuch Manuscripts
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.

Despite the amount of attention and study given to “rewritten scripture” and related phenomena in recent years, a number of texts that appear to employ rewriting have not been fully analyzed from this perspective, including 4QPseudo-Ezekiel. This study provides a detailed examination of the ways 4QPseudo-Ezekiel interacts with known versions of scripture and integrates the results of that examination into the larger conversation surrounding the various forms and purposes of rewriting in Second Temple Judaism. The evidence suggests that the goals and functions of scriptural reuse in 4QPseudo-Ezekiel closely resemble those of “rewritten scripture” texts like the Temple Scroll and Jubilees. At the same time, connections between the text and ideology of 4QPseudo-Ezekiel and that of versions of what became the biblical book of Ezekiel highlight the importance of joining study of “rewritten scripture” with study of the textual development of books of the Hebrew Bible.

In: Journal of Ancient Judaism

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


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
In: Dead Sea Discoveries