Qumran Month Comes to a Close

It has been a successful month here on the ASOR blog, with posts by many leading scholars on all aspects of Qumran and the Dead Sea Scrolls! We have had seven posts covering everything from the archaeological evidence for a sect inhabiting the site of Qumran, to translations and interpretations of portions of the Dead Sea Scrolls, to evidence for changes in scripture over time. In case you missed any of them, the posts in order are:

Qumran and the Dead Sea Scrolls by Jodi Magness. Magness gives a brief overview of the archaeological remains of Qumran and argues that the most likely inhabitants were members of the Essenes sect.

The Eternal Planting, the Eden of Glory by James H. Charlesworth. Charlesworth’s translation of the largest psalm from the Thanksgiving Hymns, with the author’s extensive notes on the translation and his interpretation of the poem

Sectarianism and the Archaeology of Qumran, by Eyal Regev. An abbreviated version of Regev’s argument that the spatial organization and many artifacts uncovered at Qumran reflect the presence of a sectarian and hierarchical social structure at the site, with references to fuller versions of his argument found in BASOR and other publications

The Dynamics of Holiness in the Temple Scroll: Exclusion or Expansion? By Hannah K Harrington. Harrington  explores the exclusive nature of purity restrictions and the expansive power of holiness in the Temple Scroll, and the way in which they create a divide between Israel and gentiles for the exclusion of the latter.

Get Fuzzy: The Elusive Rewriters of Scripture, by Molly Zahn. Zahn discusses the concepts of Rewritten Bible and Rewritten Scripture (biblical texts that have been revised to serve an interpreter’s agenda) and how texts from Qumran, especially the Temple Scroll, show evidence of being complicated Rewritten Scripture, rewritten by many people over time, and not a single instance of a scribe rewriting scripture.

The Other Dead Sea Scrolls: Considering the Aramaic Texts from Qumran, by Daniel Machiela. Machiela discusses the scrolls written in Aramaic which are generally not biblical or sectarian in nature, and which date earlier than the other texts from Qumran. The author argues that most of the scrolls are a loosely related group (didactic texts on being Jewish in early Hellenistic Israel)

An Old Problem Gets More Interesting:  Resurrection in the Dead Sea Scrolls, by C.D. Elledge. Elledge discusses the presence of resurrection in the texts of various Dead Sea Scrolls and what this may mean for beliefs about resurrection at Qumran and more generally in the late Second Temple Period.

Many blogs and websites linked back to our posts. Here’s a brief roundup of the blog:

  • Fr Stephen Smuts  and Jim West announced the start of Qumran Month
  • Near Emmaus linked to our new posts each week on their Around the Blogosphere posts  9.21.2012, 9.14.2012, and 9.7.2012
  • Adoração & Palavras, linked to Jodi Magness’ post in O que há de novo no mundo dos biblioblogs? (In Portuguese)
  • Helek Tov: linked to David Machiela’s post in Following Schiffman (And the ASOR Blog): What’s New?
  •   Lawrence Schiffman linked and responded to Molly Zahn’s post in Rethinking Rewritten Bible—The Temple Scrolls

Additionally the sites Real Clear Religion and Jewish Ideas Daily both linked to Zahn’s article on Rewritten Scripture and introduced many new readers to the ASOR Blog!

We at ASOR would like to thank all of our contributors for their posts, our guest editor for the month, C.D. Elledge, for all of his work, and all of our readers for making this month such a success! Please be sure to stop by again in October to read posts on the theme of cultural heritage in the Near East.


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