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.
Papers from the Ninth Meeting of the International Organisation for Qumran Studies, Leuven 2016
Reflecting the increasing recognition of the importance of legal texts and issues in early Judaism, the essays in this collection examine halakhic and rule texts found at Qumran in light of the latest scholarship on text production, social organization, and material culture in early Judaism. The contributors present new interpretations of long-lived topics, such as the sobriquet “seekers of the smooth things,” the Treatise of the Two Spirits, and 4QMMT, and take up new approaches to purity issues, the role of the maśkil, and the Temple Scroll. The volume exemplifies the range of ways in which the Qumran legal texts help illuminate early Jewish culture as a whole.
Author: Molly M. Zahn

Abstract

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 Zahn

Abstract

This article engages the problem of whether the five manuscripts classified as 4QReworked Pentateuch (4Q158, 4Q364–367) should be considered extrabiblical compositions or simply expansive copies of the Pentateuch. Since similar methods of reworking scripture appear in both types of text, focusing on the ways scripture is reworked in the 4QRP manuscripts cannot solve the problem. Other criteria such as the literary voice, scope, and coverage of a work are more promising. The fragmentary state of the texts, however, precludes a definitive solution and requires that multiple possibilities be considered.

In: Dead Sea Discoveries
Author: Molly M. Zahn

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
In: Dead Sea Discoveries