What is the significance of the Dead Sea Scrolls, and what do we know about the community that possessed them? This important work situates the Dead Sea Scrolls in their historical context of Second Temple Judaism and the rise of Early Christianity. Expert scholars address the issue in four sections: The Qumran Community; The Qumran Biblical Text and the Masoretic Text; Sectarian Law and Normative Jewish Law; and The Theology of the Qumran Community, Second Temple Judaism and Early Christianity.
Avoiding both popular sensationalism and specialist technical language, this book aims to integrate all the latest findings about the scrolls into existing knowledge of the period and to advance understanding of many specific issues in Qumran studies in a scholarly and accessible way.
The “state of the art” in international scrolls scholarship, this book includes contributions from E. P. Sanders, J. Ian MacDonald, Eugene C. Ulrich, Julio Trebolle Barrera, George J. Brooke, Lawrence H. Schiffman, Calum Carmichael, James C. VanderKam, Sacha Stern, Charlotte Hempel, John J. Collins, Philip R. Davies, Hakan Ulfgard and James C. Davila.
“The vast majority of Jews in the ancient world had these characteristics: (1) they believed in and worshipped the God of Israel; (2) they accepted the Hebrew Bible (often in translation) as revealing his will; (3) consequently they observed most aspects of the Mosaic law; (4) they identified themselves with the history and fate of the Jewish people.” (Page 8)
“context of the Hasmoneans, heirs of the Maccabees, who served both as kings and as High Priests.” (Page 210)
“The material from the Dead Sea will reveal both agreements and disagreements with what is known of other Jewish groups, especially major groups, the Sadducees, the Pharisees and the Essenes (as described by Josephus and Philo).” (Page 12)
“The library will reflect the general characteristics of ancient Jews; it will be seen” (Page 12)
“transfer of focus away from the monarchy and aspirations to independence, and toward the priesthood and the cult” (Page 207)
A first-rate collection of essays by first-rate scholars.
—Professor Shaye J. D. Cohen, Brown University
Dr. Timothy Lim is Reader in Hebrew and Old Testament Studies, University of Edinburgh.
Larry W. Hurtado, is Professor of New Testament Language, Literature and Theology, University of Edinburgh.
A. Graeme Auld is Professor of Hebrew Bible, University of Edinburgh.
Alison Jack gained her Ph.D. at New College, Edinburgh and is a minister of the Church of Scotland.