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Discoveries in the Judaean Desert: Qumran Cave 4: Palaeo-Hebrew and Greek Biblical Manuscripts

Discoveries in the Judaean Desert: Qumran Cave 4: Palaeo-Hebrew and Greek Biblical Manuscripts

Hardback Discoveries in the Judaean Desert

By (author) Patrick Skehan, By (author) Eugene Ulrich, By (author) Judith E. Sanderson

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  • Publisher: Clarendon Press
  • Format: Hardback | 264 pages
  • Dimensions: 239mm x 321mm x 24mm | 1,485g
  • Publication date: 22 April 1993
  • Publication City/Country: Oxford
  • ISBN 10: 0198263287
  • ISBN 13: 9780198263289
  • Illustrations note: 47 pp plates

Product description

This volume inaugurates the publication of the biblical Dead Sea Scrolls from the main collection discovered in Cave 4 at Qumran. It contains ten biblical manuscripts from Genesis to Deuteronomy and Job. Six are written in the ancient Palaeo-Hebrew script and four are in Greek. There are also five hitherto unknown compositions. The Hebrew texts antedate by a millennium what had previously been the earliest surviving biblical codices in the original language, and they document the pluriform nature of the ancient biblical textual tradition before the text became standardized. The most extensive and significant manuscript, 4QpaleoExodm, exhibits the expanded textual tradition that formed the basis for the Samaritan Pentateuch and illumines the historical and theological relationship between the Jews and the Samaritans. Fragments of an unidentified Greek text mention Moses, Pharaoh, and Egypt, suggesting some development of the Exodus theme, and further witnessing to the rich religious literature to which Rabbinic Judaism and nascent Christianity were heirs. An index of all the biblical manuscripts from Qumran Cave 4 and their distribution in other Discoveries in the Judaean Desert volumes is provided, and there are also forty pages of plates from the manuscripts.

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Review quote

'we now have the long-awaited edition of some very important biblical and parabiblical texts from Qumran.' Alison Salvesen, Journal of Jewish Studies, Vol. XLIV, No. 2, Autumn 1993 'All biblical scholars are indebted to the editors for this exemplary edition.' John J. Collins, University of Chicago, The Journal of Religion, April 1994, Vol. 74, No. 2 'The volume represents a masterpiece of presentation. The layout is clear and well spaced, and is supplemented by clear photographs of the extant fragments. The introductory comments and commentary are well constructed and informative, enabling the volume to be useful, even to scholars with no prior experience of reading scrolls ... The scholarly care, accuracy and clarity of presentation which this volume represents should ensure that it will remain the definitive reference work on these scrolls for the coming decades.' E. D. Herbert, Palestine Exploration Quarterly a very welcome addition to the corpus of official publications of Qumran biblical texts. The plates are generally of excellent quality. The scholarly community is indebted to Ulrich for his largely unsung editorial work on the materials from Cave 4 over the last thirteen years. His leadership has been a significant factor in the acceleration of the production of the official publications. The Catholic Biblical Quarterly The volume is beautifully presented. The layout is clear and well spaced, and is supplemented by clear photographs of the extant fragments. The introductory commments and commentary are well constructed and informative, enabling the volume to be useful, even to scholars with no prior experience of reading scrolls...The quality of work actually done and of the scholarship it represents is very high as is the standard of presentation and will ensure that this volume remains the definitive work on these texts for decades to come...this volume is an essential tool for scholars interested in Pentateuchal text criticism or in the history of the biblical text. Journal of Jewish Studies the textual notes provide a detailed text-critical commentary on the transcribed lines. These notes thus provide a wealth of text-critical information ... Skehan and the later editors have performed an exemplary job in deciphering the fragments and reconstructing them into columns. This volume will be invaluable to text-critical scholars of the Hebrew Bible and will also be important for the field of Samaritan scholarship. Michael C. Douglas, University of Chicago, Journal of Near Eastern Studies, Vol 53, no 3

Table of contents

Introduction: the system of naming and numbering the Qumran scrolls; archaeological provenance and dating; introductions to the individual editions; transcriptions, notes and variants; photographs and plates; the palaeography and date of the Greek manuscripts, P.J.Parsons. Part 1 Biblical manuscripts: palaeo-Hebrew manuscripts; Septuagint manuscripts. Part 2 Parabiblical manuscripts: palaeo-Hebrew manuscripts; Greek manuscripts.