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Beyond the Qumran Community: The Sectarian Movement of the Dead Sea Scrolls
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Beyond the Qumran Community: The Sectarian Movement of the Dead Sea Scrolls


Eerdmans 2010

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The full publication of the Dead Sea Scrolls necessitates fresh analysis, and Beyond the Qumran Community does just that. In this text, John J. Collins reaches a surprising conclusion: the sect described in the Dead Sea Scrolls developed later than usually supposed and was never confined to the site of Qumran. Collins deconstructs the Qumran community and shows that the sectarian documents actually come from a text spread throughout the land. He first examines the Community Rule (Yahad), and then considers the Teacher of Righteousness, a pivotal figure in the Essene movement. Collins argues that he was probably active in the first century BC rather than in the Maccabean era. After examining the available evidence, Collins concludes that it is overwhelmingly likely that the site of Qumran housed merely a single settlement of a widespread movement.

Get more resources with Eerdmans Studies in the Dead Sea Scrolls.

Key Features

  • Discusses the development of the sect described in the Dead Sea Scrolls
  • Examines the Community Rule (Yahad) and the Teacher of Righteousness
  • Argues that the sectarian documents come from a text spread throughout the land


  • The New Covenant
  • The Yạhad
  • The Historical Context
  • The Essenes
  • The Site of Qumran

Praise for the Print Edition

Well known and deeply respected for his work in the Dead Sea Scrolls, John Collins has written another great book that breaks new ground and advances the discussion of the Essenes and the Qumran community in many important ways. Displaying mastery of the primary and secondary literatures, Beyond the Qumran Community gives the sometimes contentious debate a balanced and nuanced perspective. It is a wonderful achievement and must reading for all who are interested in the Scrolls and the Jewish people at the turn of the era.

Craig A. Evans, Payzant Distinguished Professor of New Testament, Acadia Divinity College

In Beyond the Qumran Community John Collins offers a stimulating examination of the nature of the communities (plural) reflected in the texts found in the Qumran caves. This book is characterized by the clarity, thoroughness, and disciplined reasoning that one expects from Collins and is highly recommended.

James C. VanderKam, John A. O'Brien Professor of Hebrew Scriptures, University of Notre Dame

Product Details

About John J. Collins

John J. Collins is Holmes Professor of Old Testament Criticism and Interpretation at Yale Divinity School and has served as president of both the Society of Biblical Literature and the Catholic Biblical Association. His many other books include King and Messiah as Son of God, The Bible after Babel, and The Apocalyptic Imagination. He is also coauthor of Christian Beginnings and the Dead Sea Scrolls.