Since the discovery of the Cave 4 versions of The Community Rule (Serekh ha-Yaḥad or S), scholars have been perplexed about its complex textual history. This important charter material for the Dead Sea Scrolls’ authors appears in alternate versions—ones with contradictory legal prescriptions and opposing self-references—but exhibits no clear order of chronological development. Benefitting from the entire Qumran library now available to us, this book offers a new, broader model for reading S that better accounts for the long and diverse history behind the text. The resulting paradigm challenges the Qumrancentric lens through which many read the “sectarian texts” and offers a fresh way of thinking about sectarian community formation among the authors of the Scrolls.
Alison Schofield, Ph.D. (2006) in Hebrew Bible and early Judaism, University of Notre Dame, is Assistant Professor of Religious and Judaic Studies at the University of Denver. She has published primarily on the Dead Sea Scrolls, early Judaism, and biblical themes of wilderness and exile.
'It presents a viable perspective on the development of the rule texts and of the communities behind them, and is therefore definitely worthy of further study.'
Ephemerides Theologicae Lovanienses
Specialists, students, institutes, and academic libraries, those interested in Dead Sea Scrolls, Second Temple Judaism, Jewish studies, Hebrew Bible, archaeology and sociology of religion. Appendix with Hebrew of Community Rule unique, valuable reference.