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Author: Sarianna Metso
This volume is concerned with tracing the different stages in the formation of the Qumran Community Rule in the light of the material from Cave 4 that has only recently become available. The first part of this ground-breaking work is devoted to determining the differences between the manuscripts of the Community Rule found in Caves 1, 4 and 5. The second part deals with the relationship between the various versions of the Community Rule. The third part aims at creating an overall picture of the literary development of this document and includes a discussion of the different elements within it as well as a comparison of the parallel passages, which reflect different stages in the redaction of the document.
Author: Sarianna Metso

Abstract

Attempts at reconstructing the nature and organizational structure of the Essene movement have largely been based on the manuscripts of the Damascus Document and the Rule of the Community. This article calls attention to a number of additional fragmentary documents from Cave 4, and examines the challenges they pose and how they relate to various theories regarding the nature of the communities behind them. A fundamental question is to what extent the so-called rule texts reflect actual historical circumstances, and this question is intrinsically linked to the question of the function of the texts in the communities that used them. A study of the organizational terms used in the documents reveals that these terms were used in a variety of ways, and while some terms may reflect actual historical circumstances, others probably did not. This result has implications for the feasibility of using these texts for historical reconstruction.

In: Dead Sea Discoveries
In: Biblical Traditions in Transmission
In: The Dead Sea Scrolls in Scholarly Perspective
In: Studies in the Hebrew Bible, Qumran, and the Septuagint
In: Defining Identities: We, You, and the Other in the Dead Sea Scrolls
In: The Textual Development of the Qumran Community Rule
In: The Textual Development of the Qumran Community Rule