Reclaiming the Dead Sea Scrolls: The History of Judaism, the Background of Christianity, the Lost Library of Qumran / Edition 1

Reclaiming the Dead Sea Scrolls: The History of Judaism, the Background of Christianity, the Lost Library of Qumran / Edition 1

by Lawrence H. Schiffman
     
 

ISBN-10: 0827605307

ISBN-13: 9780827605305

Pub. Date: 10/28/1994

Publisher: Jewish Publication Society

This in-depth examination of the Dead Sea Scrolls reveals their true heart: a missing link between ancient and modern Judaism. Because the Dead Sea Scrolls include the earliest known manuscripts of the Bible as well as Jewish documents composed just after the Hebrew biblical period, they contain a gold mine of information about the history of Judaism and the early…  See more details below

Overview

This in-depth examination of the Dead Sea Scrolls reveals their true heart: a missing link between ancient and modern Judaism. Because the Dead Sea Scrolls include the earliest known manuscripts of the Bible as well as Jewish documents composed just after the Hebrew biblical period, they contain a gold mine of information about the history of Judaism and the early roots and background of Christianity. Schiffman refocuses the controversy from who controls access to the Scrolls today to what the Scrolls tell us about the past. He challenges the prevailing notion of earlier Scrolls scholars that the Dead Sea Scrolls were proto-Christian, demonstrating instead their thorough-going Jewish character and their importance for understanding the history of Judaism. Schiffman shows us that the Scrolls library in the Dead Sea caves was gathered by a breakaway priestly sect that left Jerusalem in the aftermath of the Maccabean revolt. They were angry that their fellow Sadducees in the Temple were content to accommodate themselves to the victorious Hasmonaean rulers who had embraced the views of the Pharisees - forerunners of the talmudic rabbis. This loyal opposition, a band of pious Sadducee priests, retreated to the desert, taking up residence at Qumran. From this group, the Dead Sea sect developed. In addition to its own writings, the sect gathered the texts of related groups, placing them in its library along with numerous biblical and apocryphal texts. Those other works, some previously known, others unknown, were preserved here in the original Hebrew or Aramaic. Numerous prayer texts, either from the Dead Sea sect or other Jewish groups, were also preserved. Reclaiming the Dead Sea Scrolls puts into perspective the triumph of rabbinic Judaism after the Jewish military defeat by Rome. Readers will appreciate this lost chapter of Judaism, not only for its historical insights, but also for its parallels with modern Judaism on such issues as religious pluralism, sectarian

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780827605305
Publisher:
Jewish Publication Society
Publication date:
10/28/1994
Pages:
413
Product dimensions:
7.46(w) x 10.32(h) x 1.40(d)
Lexile:
1300L (what's this?)

Table of Contents

List of Tables, Charts, and Maps
Author's Note
Foreword
Preface
Acknowledgments
Introduction
Pt. IDiscovery and Disclosure: Liberating the Scrolls1
1Shepherds and Scholars: Secrets of the Caves3
2Scholars, Scrolls, and Scandals21
3The Archaeology of Qumran37
Pt. IIThe Community at Qumran63
4Judaism, Hellenism, and Sectarianism65
5Origins and Early History83
6The Character of the Community97
7Leadership113
8Women in the Scrolls127
9Faith and Belief145
Pt. IIIClosing the Canon: Biblical Texts and Interpretation159
10Bible, Canon, and Text161
11Apocryphal Literature181
12Wisdom and the Mysteries of Creation197
13Biblical Interpretation211
14The Prophets in the Hands of Men223
Pt. IVTo Live as a Jew243
15The Theology of Jewish Law245
16The Enigma of the Temple Scroll257
17The Law of the Sect273
18Prayer and Ritual289
Pt. VMysticism, Messianism, and the End of Days315
19The Messianic Idea317
20The Community at the End of Days329
21The "Pierced Messiah" and Other Controversial Texts341
22Mysticism and Magic351
Pt. VISectarianism, Nationalism, and Consensus369
23Israel and the Nations371
24Jerusalem, the Holy City385
25The Decline of Sectarianism and the Emergence of Rabbinic Judaism395
List of Abbreviations411
Reference Notes413
Glossary453
Guide to Dead Sea Scrolls Texts Cited461
Bibliography471
Index513

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