The Purity Texts is a handbook that gathers the data of the Dead Sea Scrolls on ritual purity and analyzes it systematically as part of a coherent ideology. After a general introduction and an examination of individual texts for the contribution of each to the subject of purity, the book devotes a chapter to each of the impurities discussed in the Scrolls: death, leprosy, bodily discharges and outsiders. In each of these chapters, emphasis is placed on the large amount of congruence of the Qumran texts with each other on the subject of purity and the similarities and differences between the Qumran texts and other sources of ancient Judaism.
Dr. Hannah Harrington, a talented exponent of the Milgrom school of fundamental research into biblical ritual, presents a most lucid exposition of the intricacies of Qumran and rabbinic purity laws. In the Second Temple period these laws emerged for a time as a pivotal expression of religious piety.
—Joseph M. Baumgarten, Professor Emeritus, Baltimore Hebrew University
Hannah Harrington is Professor of Old Testament at Patten University in Oakland, CA. She is the author of Impurity Systems of Qumran and the Rabbis and Holiness: Rabbinic Judaism and the Graeco-Roman World.