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Author: Daniel Machiela
These essays reflect the lively debate about the sectarian movement of the Scrolls. They debate the degree to which the movement was separated from the rest of Judaism, and whether there was one or several watershed moments in the separation. Notable contributions include a cluster of essays on the Teacher of Righteousness and a thorough survey of the archaeology of Qumran. The texts are problematic in historical research because they rely on biblical stereotypes. Nonetheless, possible interpretations can be compared and degrees of probability debated. The debate is significant not only for the sect but for the nature of ancient Judaism.
Scholars working with ancient scrolls seek ways to extract maximum information from the multitude of fragments. Various methods were applied to that end on the Dead Sea Scrolls as well as on other ancient texts. The present book augments these methods to a full-scale protocol, while adapting them to a new computerized environment. Fundamental methodological issues are illuminated as part of the discussion, and the potential margin of error is provided on an empirical basis, as practiced in the sciences. The method is then exemplified with regard to the scroll 4Q418a, a copy of a wisdom composition from Qumran.
Re-Thinking Textual Stability and Fluidity in the War Text manuscripts
Author: Hanna Vanonen
In this volume, Hanna Vanonen offers a fresh view to the Milhamah and Sefer ha-Milhamah manuscripts by producing a thorough close-reading analysis of them, paying attention not only to their contents but also to manuscripts as material artifacts. Vanonen demonstrates that studying the stability and instability of the War traditions does more justice to the complex material than a traditional chronological literary-critical model. In addition, Vanonen argues that at least liturgical use and study purposes may have created needs for producing different manuscripts that were simultaneously important.
Studies on the Texts of the Desert of Judah Online is the electronic version of the renowned book series Studies on the Texts of the Desert of Judah.

Since 1957 this series publishes monographs and collections of articles dealing primarily with the Dead Sea Scrolls, both the texts from Qumran and those from other locations in the Judaean Desert. The series contains scholarly translation and evaluation of Biblical texts from the papyri and manuscripts of Wadi Qumran and the Dead Sea Scrolls, and related bibliographic, linguistic, cultural and historical aspects of ancient Judaism and early Christianity.
Religion, Ethnicity, and the Shaping of Jesus-Oriented Jewishness in the Fourth Gospel
In John within Judaism, Wally V. Cirafesi offers a reading of the Gospel of John as an expression of the fluid and flexible nature of Jewish identity in Greco-Roman antiquity. While many have noted John’s general Jewishness, few have given it a seat at the ideologically congested table of ancient Jewish practice and belief.
By interrogating the concept of “Judaism” in relation to the complex categories of “religion” and “ethnicity,” Cirafesi argues that John negotiates Jewishness using strategies of ethnic identity formation paralleled in other Jewish sources from the Second Temple and early rabbinic periods. In this process of negotiation, including its use of “high christology” and critique of Ioudaioi, John coalesces with other expressions of ancient Jewish identity and, thus, can be read “within Judaism.”
In Johannine Social Identity Formation after the Fall of the Jerusalem Temple Christopher Porter reads the Fourth Gospel through the lens of social identity theory as means of reconciling the social dislocation and trauma of the destruction of the Jerusalem temple. Analysing the Fourth Gospel in conversation with other temple-removed texts of Qumran, Philo, and Josephus the gospel’s intent to renegotiate cultic life without the temple can be seen. Through this analysis it is argued that the Fourth Gospel primarily functions as an intra-mural Jewish text, attempting to negotiate the formation of a Jesus-follower social identity in direct continuity with earlier Jewish shared social narratives. Finally, this work reviews the Johannine Community as an outcome of the Gospel identity formation.
Author: Meike Christian
This study challenges the common classification of 1/4QInstruction and the Treatise of the Two Spirits (1QS III,13–IV,26) as “pre-sectarian”. The analysis refrains from the distinction between “sectarian-” and “non-sectarian-texts” and supplies detailed comparisons as well as a redaction-critical investigation without any presuppositions about the historical setting of 1/4QInstruction and the Treatise. This way it re-evaluates the formation of the two compositions and brings to light connections and developments that have been concealed so far.

Die vorliegende Studie stellt die verbreitete Klassifizierung von 1/4QInstruction und der Zwei-Geister-Lehre als „pre-sectarian-texts“ in Frage. Anstatt von übergeordneten Kategorien auszugehen, vermeidet diese Untersuchung historische Vorannahmen und richtet den Blick aufs Detail, indem sie anhand von Textvergleichen sowie einer redaktionskritischen Analyse eine Neueinordnung der beiden Werke vornimmt. Auf diese Weise werden bisher verborgende gedankliche Entwicklungen und literarische Abhängigkeitsverhältnisse aufgedeckt, sodass die beiden Werke in einem neuen Licht erscheinen.
Volume Editors: Beate Kowalski and Susan Docherty
The account of the exodus of the Israelite slaves from Egypt under Moses has shaped the theology and community identity of both Jews and Christians across the centuries. Its reception in later scriptures and religious writings, as well as in art and music, continues to inspire liberation movements across the globe. This volume brings together an international group of scholars to explore the re-use of the exodus narratives across a wide range of early Jewish and Christian literature including the Apocrypha and the New Testament. The contributors engage with wider questions of methodology and the impact of social and cultural context on biblical interpretation.
Comparisons with Pseudepigrapha, the Qumran Scrolls, and Rabbinic Literature
This Handbook provides any commentator — whose purposes might include writing a consecutive treatment of a Gospel, or engaging with episodic themes or passages, or preparing a particular section of the Gospel for study, teaching, or preaching — with resources from the Gospels’ Judaic environment that appear useful for understanding the texts themselves. Translation, presentation, comparison with Judaica, and occasional comments are all designed with that end in view. Materials are included from the Pseudepigrapha (together with Philo and Josephus), discoveries related to Qumran, and Rabbinic Literature (inclusive of the Targumim). As in a previous volume that dealt with Mark’s Gospel, this Comparative Handbook targets the issue of comparison more than analysis or commentary.