- Publisher: Clarendon Press
- Format: Hardback | 256 pages
- Dimensions: 231mm x 315mm x 28mm | 1,293g
- Publication date: 18 August 1994
- Publication City/Country: Oxford
- ISBN 10: 0198263449
- ISBN 13: 9780198263449
- Illustrations note: 8 pp plates, tables
- Sales rank: 1,581,085
This book is the tenth volume in the Discoveries in the Judaean Desert series. It is the first edition, complete with introduction, translation, and commentary, of one of the most important documents found at Qumran: a letter from one of the leaders of the Dead Sea sect (perhaps the "Teacher of Righteousness") to one of the leaders of Israel (perhaps Jonathan Maccabeus). The scroll is a unique and exceptionally interesting legal document from the first century AD, listing a number of important and controversial religious laws concerning the Temple of Jerusalem. According to the scroll, it is the disagreement over these laws that has caused the sect to secede from the rest of the people of Israel. The letter uses the Hebrew term parash, which derives from the same root as the word Pharisees. The letter sheds a considerable amount of new light on the identity and ritual practices of the sects in the Second Temple Period, as well as helping to establish the antiquity and authenticity of the Rabbinic laws concerning the Temple. The unique language of the document makes it also of prime importance for those interested in the development of the Hebrew language.
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'here is at last a highly competent edition of a very unusual document' Times Literary Supplement we can be grateful that the wait for this fascinating work is over, and that its transcription, translation, and description are provided by two such accomplished handlers of the scrolls The Catholic Biblical Quarterly 'a highly important text ... No serious students of Qumran will want to be without this painstakingly produced and reasonably priced volume' Expository Times 'This is an important book about Israelite law, ancient and modern.' Journal for the Study of the Old Testament 64 (1994) The concordance, based on the composite text, is a valuable tool for the study of and further research on MMT...it places at the disposal of scholars perhaps one of the most important Qumran documents. Philologicaly and palaeographically it is a careful and thorough piece of work. The Qumran Chronicle ...the first edition, complete with introduction, translation, and commentart, one of the most important documents found at Qumran. The unique language of the letter...makes it of prime importance for scholars interested in the development of the Hebrew language. Intertestamental, Apocrypha The publication of this long-awaited edition is welcome not only for the simple reason that there is now a complete official text to which one can refer, but more importantly because the scroll's own emphasis upon legal matters corroborates a growing scholarly recognition of the importance of halakha in the Qumran community ... Those who ... dig into its pages ... will find a rich deposit of technical and learned information on several important topics. Journal of Jewish Studies The present edition is an attractive and well-designed book, which will no doubt enhance our understanding of this basic and significant work. The two scholars involved deserve great credit for the publication of a very useful tool, from which every student in the field will benefit. Journal of Semitic Studies We must indeed be grateful for all that this somewhat disjointed volume contains, but would that we had had the edition alone a generation ago! Journal of Theological Studies Another in the excellent series that serves as the editio princeps of the Dead Sea Scrolls. Oxford Press has doine its usual elegant job of publishing text, commentary and photographs, handling various fonts and complicated sigla with ease, and producing a beautiful volume meant to be a standard reference work.
Table of contents
FOREWORD ABBREVIATIONS INTRODUCTION 1. THE TEXTS 2. THE COMPOSITE TEXT 3. THE LANGUAGE 4. THE LITERARY CHARACTER AND THE HISTORICAL SETTING 5. THE HALAKHA APPENDIX 1: The History of the Halakha and the Dead Sea Scrolls, by Y. Sussmann APPENDIX 2: Additional Textual Observations on 4QMMT, by E. Qimron APPENDIX 3: Additional Observations on 4QMMT, by J. Strugnell. CONCORDANCE TO 4QMMT. REVERSE INDEX TO 4QMMT.