(BEING CONTINUED FROM 23/03/18)
The dispute over authenticity and antiquity
The interest aroused by the discoveries of the Qumran manuscripts was immense,
right from the start. This interest was provoked for reasons which are
easy to understand. The mere fact that they were biblical texts or connected
with the bible, that they were actually found on biblical soil and were not less
than two thousand years old, placed them in a unique position. Since the discoveries included many biblical manuscripts copied at a time prior to the formation of the canon and the standardization of the biblical text, and before the
work of the Masoretes, to study them would allow the process of development
and fixing of the biblical text to be known It would also assist in checking or
correcting the great mediaeval codices which are the foundation ofour Hebrew
Given, too, that the manuscripts included a large number of extra-biblical
compositions, they would fill a huge gap in our knowledge of pre-Christian
Jewish literature. It is true that part of this literature was known, owing to
translations preserved in a wide range of languages, but there were no original
manuscripts. A cursory look at the material which provides the foundation for
the historical dictionary of the Academy of the Hebrew Language for the years
100 bce to 70 CE, 56 shows that almost all the literary texts in Hebrew for this
period derive from the Qumran finds. The same applies to Aramaic texts,
also. 57 The new discoveries, in providing us with part of pre-Christian Jewish
literature in Hebrew and Aramaic, promised to close the existing gap between
Biblical and Mishnaic Hebrew and between the Aramaic of Elephantine and
In addition, and for the first time, we would own a whole range of religious
compositions which had reached us directly, absolutely devoid of any later
interference. Since the texts had been preserved at the fringes of conventional
life, they reached us free from the restraints of censorship. To a large extent
Jewish censorship had suppressed religious literature which did not comply
with rabbinic orthodoxy; Christian censorship would have assimilated some of
these works, but after modifying them for their own purposes.
Since the new manuscripts stem from Palestine and are earlier in date than
the destruction of Jerusalem, study of them promises to resolve the complex
history of the country at this critical time. Also, since this time is a period of
development both for Christianity and for Rabbinic Judaism, the new texts will
make the background, origins and development of these two important religions
However, this very intrinsic interest of the new texts immediately unleashed
a bitter conflict over whether they were genuine. Although today this conflict
is no more than a curiosity of the past, it is useful to rehearse briefly the attitudes
w hich marked the history of research into these manuscripts in the first
decades after their discovery.
It was natural, of course, that the apparition of the first manuscripts was
received with a degree of mistrust over whether they were genuine and really
old. The preservation of manuscripts as old as these was not believed possible,
and there have been a great number of forgeries throughout history. The very
secrecy and uncertainties shrouding the discoveries could only increase misgivings.
Although most of the scholarly community assumed an enthusiastic attitude,
already by 1949 there was no lack of opinion stating emphatically that they
were recent forgeries. According to S.Zeitlin, the manuscripts had been written
by the Karaites in the Middle Ages, in an attempt to assume distinguished
forbears. They came from the Karaite synagogue in Cairo and had been hidden
in the caves shortly before they were discovered. 58 Archaeological excavation
under scientifically controlled conditions of the caves in which they were
found, and fragments of manuscripts which belonged to the same texts acquired
from the bedouin, provided a formal refutation of the accusations of
forgery and fraud. Likewise, analysis of the pottery excavated provided proof
of the antiquity of the texts connected with them, since it was difficult for this
pottery to be later than the first century. The conclusive proof concerning date
was given by analysis using the method known as Carbon 14. The cloths which
had been used to wrap the manuscripts were analysed in this way in 1950, and
the result given was a date up to the year 33 of the 1st century ce. 59 In 1956 a
charred palm-tree balk found during excavation of the Khirbet underwent the
same analysis, providing a date of up to 16 CE. 60
It is true that the margins of error available by this method in the fifties were still large (about 200 years in the first instance and some 80 years in the second). However it did establish the date of the cloths between 1 68 bce and 233 ce, eliminating conclusively the likelihood of recent forgeries.
The analytical method by progressive shrinkage of the parchment fibres
according to their antiquity was applied to uninscribed fragments from both
Qumran and Murabbac at. It proved that the first were relatively older than the
second. Since the latter were dated to the 2nd century ce, the dating of the
former to the 1st century ce was established/11
The same date in the first century (ce) was established by analysis of the
biblical texts found in the caves and from their divergences from the biblical
texts found in Murabbac at and Nahal Hever. The second group presented a
biblical text virtually identical with the Masoretic text. The biblical texts from
Qumran, however, still reflect in a very clear manner the textual fluidity prior
to the final fixed form and for that very reason were earlier.
This first century ce date for the manuscripts, however, still did not completely
exclude their origin to be either the Zealots or Judaeo-Christian.
The first theory was maintained by C. Roth,62 G. R. Driver63 and others. In
essence, both Roth and Driver equated the leading figures in the history of the Qumran community with the leading figures of the Jewish revolt against Rome.
They suggested dating the manuscripts to the second half of the first century
CE and in the first half of the second century ce, the same period as the New
The second theory was maintained in the fifties by J. L. Teicher64 and has
been revived quite recently by B. E. Thiering65 and R. Eisenman.66 The discrepancies in detail between these writers are remarkable, and so are the individuals with whom they identify the principal characters. (The Teacher of
Righteousness would be Jesus and the Wicked Priest, Paul; or the Teacher of
Righteousness would be John the Baptist, the Wicked Priest, Jesus of Nazareth;
the Teacher of Righteousness would be the apostle James, the Wicked
Priest Ananias, and the Man of Lies, Paul). However, common to all these
theories is denial of the conclusions reached by archaeological investigation,
which infers that all the manuscripts were deposited in the caves (and by the
same token, were written) prior to the destruction of Khirbet Qumran in 68 ce.
Above all, these theories deny the conclusions from palaeographic analysis of
the manuscripts. This shows that they were all copied between the third century
bce and the final quarter of the ist century ce. In particular, the proof
from palaeography used in dating the manuscripts has been the target of attack
At the start of analysis of the Qumran manuscripts, Hebrew palaeography
for ancient times had not advanced very much, for lack of comparative material.
In actual fact, it amounted to no more than W. F. Albright’s detailed analysis
of the Nash Papyrus in 1937.
67 His analysis had succeeded in dating this text by means of comparing its script with the forms of letters in inscriptions on stone of the period, and it had caused Trever to acknowledge as ancient the first manuscripts which the American School was offered. The avalanche of new material, some of which, like the Samaria papyri and the contracts and letters from Murabbac at were actually dated, enabled a typology of the evolution of the different kinds of script between the 4th c bce and the 3rd ce to be drawn up for the first time. This work was undertaken initially by S. A. Birnbaum,hs and much more comprehensively and exactly by N. Avigad69 and F. M. Cross.70
The results led to establishing the date on which a manuscript
was copied with margins of error of about 25 years. However, it was a new field
of research, with results which were difficult to check objectively. (In order to
make an analysis by means of the Carbon 14 method it was necessary to use
between 1 and 3 grams of carbon. This entailed destroying a significant part of
each manuscript). Accordingly, the attacks by Thiering and by Eisenman in
particular focused on the dates suggested for the different manuscripts, since
these totally exclude their interpretation. Luckily, the discovery of a new technique
in 198771 (Accelerator Mass Spectrometry) reduced the amount of material
needed to be destroyed for analysis using the Carbon 14 method to 0.5- 1.0 milligrams of carbon. The method could now be applied directly to the manuscripts
to establish whether the dates put forward by the palaeographers were
correct or not. In i99°> this new technique was used on 14 manuscripts. Four
contained dates (a papyrus from Samaria, a contract from Wadi Seiyal, a deed
of sale from Murabbac at and an Arabic letter from Khirbet Mird), eight manuscripts came from Qumran which the palaeographers had dated between the
second half of the 2nd century bce and the first half of the 1st century ce, and
two others stemmed from Masada. 72
The results of this analysis have completely substantiated the method ofdating by palaeography.73 This new analysis has shown that not one of the manuscripts from Qumran and Masada was copied after 68 ce. It has also shown that the much earlier dates ascribed to some manuscripts by the palaeographers were completely vindicated. In all the samples analysed, the palaeographic date falls within the date margins reached by the analytical methods. /+ These latest analytical techniques eliminate once and for all the theories of a Zealot or Jewish-Christian origin for the manuscripts.
The manuscripts found in the Qumran caves can now be regarded as ancient
and genuine beyond any kind of doubt.
If the reader scans attentively the ‘List of Qumran manuscripts’, located at the
end of this book, he cannot fail to realize that in spite of the high number of
compositions it reflects, the contents as a whole are surprisingly uniform. If
you append a separate section in which to place all the manuscripts which are
copies of the various biblical books, all the remaining texts could easily be contained in any one of the chapters making up this book. It comprises only religious literature, with no room for ‘secular’ literature. The reader will find there
neither purely historical works nor scientific works. The compositions closest
to this category, such as the calendars or the astronomical works included in
chapter 8, (as well as 4 QBrontologion), are pervaded by clear religious purposes
and have been written and preserved for liturgical reasons, or for the ordering
of religious life. Even when within some works ‘scientific’ details are included
(such as the list of trees in 4 QEnoch, or the explanation for the circulation of
the blood in one copy of 4 qd) the religious purpose of these details is always
to be found in the foreground. It is not, in fact, a library in the modern meaning
of the term, i.e., a store for all the knowledge of a period, but is instead a
specifically religious library. And since, among the works it contains, a significant
number can be classified as representing sectarian theology and customs,
we can describe this library as a sectarian library.
All the manuscripts found in the caves belong to the same library, as becomes
evident from the following facts. The collection of topics found in each
cave (to the extent that the texts could be salvaged) has the same general outline:
75 biblical works, associated religious literature, sectarian works. The very
same apocryphal and sectarian compositions have been retrieved from different
caves. Several manuscripts found in different caves were copied by the same
It is not a private library, as is apparent from the high number of works it
contains and also because (at least in Caves 1, 2, 4 and 11) different copies of
the same composition, whether biblical or extra-biblical texts, have been found.
This library belonged to a group of people with their central community in
the ruins of Qumran, as has been adequately established by archaeological excavations.
These show the pottery found both in the caves and in the ruins to
be identical, differing completely from other Palestinian pottery of the period.
The proof that this group of people was a sect comes from the subject matter
of certain works widely represented in the library. These compositions exhibit
a halakhah which differs from the rest of Judaism. They also follow a calendar
which is different from the current calendar76 and include new theological approaches.
In addition they exhibit clearly a tightly structured community with
a hierarchical organization, the members of which considered themselves to be
different from others, to have isolated themselves from the rest ofcontemporary Judaism. What is even more significant, it is a community forbidding and
avoiding any contact with non-members.
It is obvious that not all the manuscripts found in the caves originate from
Qumran. Although many of the biblical manuscripts seem to have been copied
in the scriptorium of the community, and some have even been copied by the
same scribes who also copied other sectarian works, no-one has ever thought
of ascribing a Qumranic origin to any of the biblical texts. The same applies to
specific non-biblical works, the oldest copies of which are much earlier than
the settlement of the group in Qumran. In fact the same is true of some sectarian
works, known in a ‘Qumranic’ edition but with a long history of development
that seems to demand for some of its elements an origin prior to the existence
of the community as such. Several other compositions offer no typical
features which enable their origin to be determined with certainty. However,
due to the separatist nature of the community, the mere fact of belonging to
the group library convinces us that the community considered them to be basically
in agreement with its principles, with its halakhah and even with its tenets.
The spectrum of ideas reflected in these works seems to have caused no
more problems than the variety of ideas present within the books of the bible.
In view of the exclusive nature of the community and the reiterated ban on
relations with ‘the others’ it is hardly surprising that among the abundance of
compositions preserved, not one has been found which could be judged as
epitomising the thought, the halakhah or the traditions of a counter-group, even
for the purposes of argument or rebuttal. Clearly, a group that persisted for
centuries could not have maintained a monolithic uniformity throughout its
whole history. It must have undergone intense development in its theology, its
halakhah and in its very organization. And, indeed, in the different texts or in
the various editions of a single work, there are numerous hints of this development.
However, perusal of all the manuscripts recovered has not succeeded in
bringing to light any composition which dissents from the basic principles, the
calendar or the halakhah of the group. The wide variety that can be observed
is always kept within specified limits. This allows us to conclude that all the
works which were retrieved belong to the longer history of the sect. Or else
they were kept because the sect saw in them confirmation of their prehistory,
of the religious movements which influenced their development and nourished
their origins, forming part of the legacy within which, as in the various biblical
books, the sect identifies itself.
This global view of the discoveries has recently been questioned in various
studies by N. Golb. 77 In his view it is apparently implausible that Jewish literature
of the period could have been irretrievably lost, while the library of a sectarian
group could have fallen into our hands. Wishing to recover vanished
treasure, Golb is resolved to suppress any connection between the manuscripts vfrom the caves and the group which lived in the area around the ruins. He
claims that these manuscripts stem from various libraries in Jerusalem and
therefore represent the rich literary activity ofJudaism at that time. 78 However,
such conjectures do not take into account the solid data gained from archaeological
excavation, nor do they explain the uniform content of the texts found.
They do not explain, either, the typical lack of any work which could represent
halakhah or the ideas of the Pharisees, ideas which were to be prevalent in Judaism after 70 ce It achieves no more than shift to Jerusalem and make even
more difficult the resolution of the problems which the manuscripts display.
Since I have given a detailed rebuttal of the Golb’s arguments in other publications,
79 there is no need to emphasize the matter. It might appear to be an
irony of history that we possess a very great deal more information concerning
a small group of fanatical separatists, who lived in seclusion in the middle of
the desert than we do concerning the many well-stocked libraries which there
must undoubtedly have been in Jerusalem. However, at heart this irony is no
more astounding than the fact that we possess more documentary data concerning
the tiny Jewish colony set up in Elephantine than we do of Western learning
which at one time was housed in the library of Alexandria. The luck of
discovery has no regard for the logic of our own interests. Yet the fortuitous
nature of the discovery of the manuscripts does not undermine the conclusion
that what we have retrieved comprises the remains of the former library of the
Granted that the manuscripts retrieved stem from the library of a sectarian
group, the first requirement in providing them with a specific historic background
is to establish which group in particular they came from. This group
(or groups) is denoted by various names in the manuscripts: yahad (community),
cedah (assembly), etc. Its members are called ‘sons of Zadok’, ‘sons of
light’, ‘members of the New Covenant’, ‘poor’, ‘simple’, ‘devout’, ‘the Many’,
etc. In other words, the epithets to be found in the actual manuscripts do not
provide us with the opportunity of identifying easily the group to which the
library belonged with any one of the sectarian groups which, as far as we know,
existed. It follows that the method which all scholars have been obliged to
adopt, Is to compare all the data known through other sources concerning the
existing groups within the Judaism of the period, with the profile of the group
that can be extrapolated from the various manuscripts. This task is not without
risks. It is easy to favour one or other of the elements found, considered, perhaps,
as central, making secondary all other aspects which are difficult to fit,
and so distort the picture to emerge. However, the procedure has had positive
results which can be regarded as well established.
In the first place, it has shown that the Qumran community cannot possibly
be identified with the Zealots of the Jewish-Christian community since neither
the chronological outline nor the resulting profile fits.
Second, it has determined that of the three best-known groups of Judaism
in the mid-second century bce until the time of the destruction of Qumran in
68 CE (the Sadducees, the Pharisees and the Essenes), the group most closely
resembling the Qumran group is indeed the Essenes. Furthermore, the similarities
between what classical sources tell us about the Essenes80 and the information
provided by the manuscripts are so close, that it would be impossible to
deny a strong connection between the Qumran group and the Essenes.8 ‘
This connection is usually understood as a simple equation between the
elements in question: Essenes = Qumran group. However, this equation is impossible. 82
The genuine parallels do require a connection between the two entities,
but there are differences between them of such a nature as to preclude
them being identical. The information on the Essenes provided by classical
sources is correct in describing the Essene movement as very extensive, even
nationwide. Its members did not live segregated from the rest of Judaism but
instead were found distributed in every city of the land. To reduce Essenism
to a peripheral oddity such as Qumran would be to leave unexplained non-
Qumranic Essenism, a wider and more significant phenomenon than the phenomenon of Qumran.
It is possible to account for the undeniable similarities and the differences,
which are just as valid, by invoking another form of connection between the two groups. 83 The Qumran manuscripts make constant reference to a split, a
fundamental division, which occurred in the initial stages of the group. They
even tell us that the founder of the Qumran community, the Teacher of Righteousness, as well as the Man of Lies, his rival in this clash, had previously belonged to the same community. They also tell us that in the conflict between
them both, only a tiny minority sided with the Teacher of Righteousness. The
best way to make sense of the undeniable connection that existed between the
Essene movement and the Qumran community, is to accept that the Qumran
community arose specifically on account of a rift caused within the Essene
movement to which the founder-members belonged. This proposal comprises
one of the essential elements of the ‘Groningen Hypothesis’,84 which best explains
the known facts in their entirety, both in respect of the Essenes and in
respect of the Qumran community.
In this hypothesis, the origins of the Essene movement and the origins of the
Qumran community are quite separate. Essenism, in the form that can be inferred
from classical information concerning the Essenes, and from Essene
compositions preserved in the Qumran library, is a Palestinian affair, which has
its ideological roots within apocalyptic tradition. 85 This tradition flourished in
Palestine towards the end of the 3rd century and during the 2nd century bce,
and would continue its own development up to the period of the revolt against
Rome. (Flavius Josephus, for example, mentions Judas the Essene who taught
in the Temple at the time of Aristobulos [115-104 bce] and Menahem who
worked in the court of Herod the Great [37-4 bce]. Also, Simon the Essene
who prophesied at the close of Archaelaus’ reign [4 bce to 6 CE]. He also mentions
John the Essene, who was entrusted with the governorship of the province
of Zama during the war against Rome, led the first attack on Ashkelon,
and died in that battle in 66 ce.) From the works written during the period of
development prior to establishment in Qumran, from documents of this period
belonging to patently sectarian works, and from later works which refer expressly
to the founding period, it can be deduced that the Qumran community,
instead, has its origins in a rift which occurred within the Essene movement.
This rift was to cause those siding with the Teacher of Righteousness to set
themselves up with him in the desert, until 130 bce.
Study of these documents enables us to conclude that the key controversies
within the Essene movement during the period of formation of the Qumran
sect, and which eventually caused the rift, focused on the matter of the calendar
and the resulting organization of the cycle of feasts. Of particular concern
was a certain way of interpreting biblical legislation concerning the temple,
worship, and the purity of persons and of objects. 86 This special halakhah is
based on the Teacher of Righteousness being aware of having received through divine revelation the correct interpretation of the biblical text. It is also based
on his followers seeing this interpretation as revealed and binding.87
This awareness of having received revelation would induce the Teacher of Righteousness to proclaim the end of time as imminent, the awareness of divine
selection and predestination, the inadequacy of the temple and current worship,
etc., In addition he was led to suggest a whole string of special halakhot
conditioning daily life, and attempt to force the practice of this interpretation
on all the members ofthe Essene movement. The rejection of these pretensions
by the majority of the members of the Essene movement, and their disapproval
of this halakhah, were to end in forcing the group of the Teacher of Righteousness
and his disciples to retreat to the isolation of the wilderness.
The texts that have been found enable us to sketch with relative certainty the
ideological reasons for the rift which gave rise to the Qumran community.
They are much more sparing when it comes to providing us with exact details
of the actual circumstances in which the break occurred, and of later developments over the 200 years that the community existed. From the manuscripts, little more can be ascertained than a broad historical outline. It establishes the time for God’s ‘visitation’ at about 390 years from the exile, and the advent of the Teacher of Righteousness as twenty years later. Further, particular enemies can be equated with the Pharisees and Sadducees There is an enigmatic allusion to Alexander Jannaeus and his execution of 800 Pharisees who had sought
the intervention of Demetrius in Eucarios. The external enemy (the Kittim)
can be identified as the Romans. The most frequent references, which also
provide the best hope for making a connection between the history of the community and official history, are to the ‘Wicked Priest’ in the Habakkuk Pesher.
He is said to be the highest power in the land and at one stage he would persecute
the Teacher of Righteousness and his community in their desert retreat.
These references, though, continue to be useless, since the mass of features
attributed to this person could not fit any of the High Priests of the 2nd century
On this topic, too, the ‘Groningen Hypothesis’ has succeeded in providing
a solution. This solution is in agreement with all the details of the texts, fits in
with the time-limits demanded by the excavations of the Khirbet, and establishes
the chronology for the development of the initial stages of the history of
the community. In essence, this part of the hypothesis88 surmises that the title
‘Wicked Priest’ is not a nickname assigned to the High Priest. Instead, it is a
honorary title applied to the various Hasmonean High Priests, from Judas
Maccabaeus to Alexander Jannaeus, following an exact chronological sequence.
This obviates the need for assigning to a single person all the different and
contradictory features asserted of the ‘Wicked Priest’. It also provides a historical
framework within which can be fitted the earliest history of the community.
The hypothesis allows us to understand the positive estimation of Judas
Maccabaeus, when he first took up office and his later condemnation, once he
was installed. It enables us to reject identifying the movement from which the
Qumran group originates with the Hasidim of the Maccabaean revolt because
of Alcimo’s condemnation. We can determine that the formative period of the
community covers, at least, the high priesthood of both Jonathan and Simeon,
two of the ‘Wicked Priests’ with whom the Teacher of Righteousness was in
dispute. Also, we can determine that this formative period is distinguished not
only by the development of belief within the Essene movement, already referred
to, but equally by the confrontations with the political and religious power of Jerusalem.
In addition, that the first group of supporters of the Teacher of Righteousness comprised priests from circles close to power. This hypothesis shows us that the rift within the Essenian movement and the retreat to the wilderness of the group faithful to the Teacher of Righteousness, took place during the long high priesthood ofJohn Hyrcanus, who tracked down the Teacher of Righteousness to his retreat. It dates the death of the Teacher of Righteousness during the same pontificate ofJohn Hyrcanus, since no connection is made between him and the following ‘Wicked Priest’, Alexander Jannaeus. This hypothesis, in conclusion, allows us to place the first edition of 1 QpHab in the final years of the life of Alexander Jannaeus. We can see how the community succeeded in solving the problem of the delay in the onset of the ‘end of time’ and the destruction of all the wicked, expected some 40 years
after the death of the Teacher of Righteousness.
Of the later history of the community we know very little. Archaeology tells
us of a brief abandonment of the buildings at Khirbet Qumran and of a return
there. Successive editing of the texts shows us some of the alterations effected
within them, changes to the community structures as well as development of
theological beliefs. However, it is not possible to make a historical connection
between these ‘exiles in the desert’ and the tortuous history of Palestine in the
1st century bce and the 1st century ce. The Qumran group became less and
less interested in the transformations of history, in order to focus their energy
on study of the Law, and to follow it in accordance with their own interpretation.
Only the events of the founding generation seem to have been assumed
into a view of their own history, which also belongs to sacred history. In the
solitude of the wilderness, the community was to withdraw into itself increasingly.
Prayer was to replace temple sacrifice. The requirements of purity were
to be emphasized to reach a level enabling communion with the world of angels.
The whole life of the community would be stamped with ardent hope for
the victory of goodness. This hope was to be nourished principally by reading
and studying the sacred texts, as well as compositions emanating from apocalyptic
tradition and the Essene movement, and writings composed within the
community itself. These compositions as a whole, the voice and essential mainstay
of the religious life of the community, were to generate a magnificent library,
the remains of which are available here to the interested reader.
vii Further reading
For a first approach to the Dead Sea Scrolls, the Reader from the Biblical Archaeology Review, Understanding the Dead Sea Scrolls (New York 1992), edited
by Flershel Shanks, Joseph A.Fitzmyer, Responses to 101 Questions on the Dead
Sea Scrolls (Mahwah, N.J. 1992), and James C. VanderKam, The Dead Sea
Scrolls Today (Grand Rapids 1994) could be very useful.
Standard Introductions in English, although somewhat dated, are the following:
M. Burrows, The Dead Sea Scrolls, and More Light on the Dead Sea Scrolls
(New York 1955 and 1958); F. M. Cross, The Ancient Library ofQumran and
Modern Biblical Study (London 1958); J. T. Milik, Ten Years ofDiscovery in the
Wilderness ofJudaea (London 1959); A. Dupont-Sommer, The Essene Writings
from Qumran (Oxford 1961); G. R. Driver, The Judaean Scrolls (Oxford 1965);
G. Vermes, The Dead Sea Scrolls: Qumran in Perspective (London 1977).
More detailed information can be found in the chapter on ‘Qumran Sectarian
Literature’ by D. Dimant, in Michael E. Stone (ed.), Jewish Writings ofthe Second
Temple Period (Compendia Rerum Judaicarum n/2)(Philadelphia 1984)
483-550 and in the chapter ‘The Writings of the Qumran Community’ in E.
Schtirer, The History oftheJewish People in the Age ofJesus Christ (175 B. C.-A.
D. 135). A New English Version revised and edited by G. Vermes, F. Millar
and M. Goodman. Volume ill. 1 (Edinburgh 1986) 380-469.
(TO BE CONTINUED )
56 Materials for the Dictionary. Series I. 200 BCE- 300 ce. The Academy of the
Hebrew Language. Historical Dictionary of the Hebrew Language, Jerusalem
57 The Aramaic texts are assembled in K. Beyer, Die aramdischen Texte vom Toten
Meer samt den Inschriften aus Palastina, dem Testament Levis aus der Kairoer
Genisa, Der Fastenrolle und den alten talmudischen Zitaten (Gottingen 1984).
58 S. Zeitlin, ‘A Commentary on the Book of Habakkuk: Important Discovery or
Hoax?’, jqr 39 (1949) 235-247;-, The Dead Sea Scrolls and Modern Scholarship
(JQRMS 3) (Philadelphia 1956).
59 O. R. Seller, ‘Radiocarbon dating of Cloth from the cAin Feshka Cave’, basor
123 (1951) 24-26.
60 F. E. Zeuner, ‘Notes on Qumran’, peq 92 (i960) 27-36. The date given by
Zeuner is the year 66 ce since he adds to the date attained about 50 years for
the average life of a palm-tree, but, as E. M. Laperrousaz points out, this addition
is unnecessary since what Carbon 14 (the Carbon 14 test) determines is the
date when the tree was cut down. See E. M. Laperrousaz, ‘La datation des
objets provenant de Qumran, en particulier la methode utilisant les proprietes
du Carbone 14’ in M. Delcor, (ed.), Qumran. Sa piete, sa theologie et son milieu
(betl 46) (Paris/Leuven 1978) 55-60.
61 D. Burton, J. B. Poole and R. Reed, ‘A New Approach to the Dating of the
Dead Sea Scrolls’, Nature 184 (1959) 533-534.
62 C. Roth, The Historical Background ofthe Dead Sea Scrolls (Oxford 1958).
63 In his important book Thefudaean Scrolls. The Problem and a Solution (Oxford
1965) and in subsequent articles, where he attempts to refute the objections
raised against him: ‘Myths ofQumran’, a l uos 6 ( 1966-68) 23-40 and ‘Mythology
of Qumran’, jqr 71 (1970) 241-281.
64 J. L. Teicher, ‘The Dead Sea Scrolls -Documents of the Jewish-Christian Sect
of Ebionites’, //S2 (1951) 67-99;-, ‘The Damascus fragments and the Origin
of the Jewish Christian Sect’,//52 (1951) 115-143;-, ‘The Teaching of the
pre-Pauline Church in the Dead Sea Scrolls’, jjs \ (1953) 1-13, etc.
65 B. E. Thiering, Redating the Teacher ofRighteousness (Sydney 1979);-, The Gospels and Qumran. A Netp Hypothesis (Sydney 198 1); – The Qumran Origins ofthe Christian Church (Sydney 1983).
66 R. Eisenman, Maccabees, Zadokites, Christians and Qumran (Leiden 1983) and
fames the fust in the Habakkuk Pesher (Leiden 1986).
67 W. F. Albright, ‘A Biblical Fragment from the Maccabaean Ages: The Nash
Papyrus’, jbl 56 (1937) 145-176.
68 S. A. Birnbaum, The Qumran (Dead Sea) Scrolls and Palaeography (basor
Supp. Studies 13-14; New Haven 1952);-, The Hebrew Script (Leiden 1971).
69 N. Avigad, ‘The Palaeography ofthe Dead Sea Scrolls and Related Documents’
in C. Rabin and Y. Yadin (eds.), Aspects of the Dead Sea Scrolls (Scripta
Hierosolymitana iv; Jerusalem 1958) 56-87.
70 F. M. Cross, ‘The Development of the Jewish Scripts’ in G. E. Wright (ed.),
The Bible and the Ancient Near East. Essays in Honor ofWilliam FoxwellAlbright
(Garden City 1965) 170-264.
71 W. Wolfi, ‘Advances in Accelerator Mass Spectrometry’, Nucl. Instrum Meth.
B29 (1987) 1-13.
72 The inclusion of dated manuscripts (a fact unknown to those making the analysis) was for the purpose of checking the accuracy of the technique used.
73 See G. Bonani, M. Broshi, I. Carmi, S. Ivy, J. Strugnell and W. Wolfi, ‘Radiocarbon
Dating of the Dead Sea Scrolls’, cAtiqot 20 (1991) 27-32.
74 The only exception is the manuscript of the Aramaic Testament ofQahat, for
which the Carbon 14 method ascribes a date much earlier than that attributed
to it by the palaeographers. Specimens of this manuscript, cleaned by ultrasound,
yield dates earlier by about 350 years than specimens of the same manuscripts
cleaned chemically, which seems to suggest that the leather became very
contaminated by the chemicals used to clean it. This contamination could explain
that in this case the date established by the Carbon 14 method (between
388 and 353 bce) is almost 200 years earlier than the date ascribed to it by
75 Cave 7 is a special case. All the manuscripts recovered from it are in Greek, and
to the extent to which they can be identified, they all comprise biblical material.
76 This calendar is to be found as part of several copies of such typical sectarian
works as iqs or 4QMMT, is followed consistently in compositions such as
tiQTemple, and is implicit in works such as lQpHab, and its organization, its
effects and the fact that it was revealed are all made explicit in works such as
CD and fubilees.
77 N. Golb, ‘The Problem of Origin and Identification of the Dead Sea Scrolls’,paps 124 (1980) 1-24;-, ‘Who Hid the Dead Sea Scrolls?’, BA 28 (1987) 68-82;
‘Les manuscrits de la Mer Morte: Une nouvelle approche du probleme de
leur originC.Annales £SC40 (1987) 1133-1149;-, ‘Who Wrote the Dead Sea
Scrolls?’, The Sciences 27 (1987) 40-49;-, ‘The Dead Sea Scrolls’, The American
Scholar 58 (1989) 177-207; ‘Khirbet Qumran and the Manuscripts of the
Judaean Wilderness: Observations on the Logic of Their Investigation’, jnes
49 (1990) 103-114.
78 Although expressed independently, this theory of Golb’s does little except
revive the old and deservedly abandoned hypothesis of K. H. Rengstorf, Hirbet
Qumran und die Bibliothek vom Toten Meer (Studia Delitzschiana 5; Stuttgart
i960), which conjectured that the manuscripts in question came from the Temple
in Jerusalem, and were hidden in the caves for reasons of safekeeping during
thfe revolt against Rome.
79 In F. Garcia Martinez and A. S. van der Woude, ‘A “Groningen” Hypothesis
of Qumran Origins and Early History’, in F. Garcia Martinez (ed.), The Texts
ofQumran and the History ofthe Community. Vol. ///(Paris 1990) 521-554.
80 This information has been collected in A. Adam and C. Burchard, Antike
Berichte iiher die Essener (Berlin 1972 2 ) and in G. Vermes and M. D. Goodman,
The Essenes According to the Classical Sources (Sheffield 1989).
81 These similarities are to be found both in respect of the structure of the community- prominence of the priestly aspect, admission procedures for members,
property in common, preference for celibacy, communal meals, etc. – and in
religious belief- predestination (determinism), severe rules for purity, sabbath
observance, forswearing of oaths, importance of study of the Law, etc. and
even particular points of halakhah ostensibly insignificant, but for that very
reason even more telling such as the refusal to use oil or the ban on spitting in
the Council. See the summary of parallels drawn up by A. Dupont-Sommer,
Les Ecrits esseniens decouverts pres de la Mer Morte (Paris 19834 ) 5 1-80 or by G.
Vermes, The Dead Sea Scrolls. Qumran in Perspective (Philadelphia 1981) 116-
136 or the detailed references by T. S. Beall, Josephus ‘s description ofthe Essenes
illustrated by the Dead Sea Scrolls (sntsm 58; Cambridge 1988). H. Stegemann,
‘The Qumran Essenes – Local Members of the Main Jewish Union in Late
Second Temple Times’ in J. Trebolle Barrera, L. Vegas Montaner (eds.), The
Madrid Qumran Congress, 83-166 have gone so far as to identify the Qumran
Essenes with what he calls ‘the main Jewish Union’, the leading group of Palestinian Judaism.
82 In my contribution to the ‘Simposio biblico de Cordoba’, 1985: ‘Origenes del
movimiento esenio y origenes qumranicos. Pistas para una solucion’, cited
above, n. 38.
83 See my study ‘Essenisme qumranien: origines, caracteristiques, heritage’ in B.
Chiesa (ed.), Correnti culturali e movimenti religiosi de! Giudaismo (Testi e Studi
5; Rome 1987) 37-57.
84 First advanced at a congress organized by the Polish Academy of Science in
Mogilany, in 1987: F. Garcia Martinez, ‘Qumran Origins and Early History:
A Groningen Hypothesis’, fo 25 (1988) 113-136.
85 See my book Qumran and Apocalyptic. Studies on the Aramaic Texts ofQumran
(STDJ 9; Leiden 1992). For a summary view of the connections between the
Qumran manuscripts and apocalyptic, see my contribution ‘La Apocaliptica y
Qumran’ in II Simposio Biblico Espanol, 603-613.
86 I have discussed some of these topics in detail in ‘El Rollo del Templo y la
halaka sectaria’ in N. Fernandez Marcos, J. Trebolle Barrera and J. Fernandez
Vallina (eds.), Simposio Biblico Espanol (Madrid 1984) 611-622 and in ‘II
problema della purita: la soluzione qumranica’ in G. L. Prato, (ed.), Israele alia
ricerca di identita tra il III sec. a. C. e il sec. I d. C. (Ricerche storico bibliche 1;
Bologna 1989) 169-191.
87 See my study ‘Profeet en profetie in de geschriften van Qumran’ in F. Garcia
Martinez, C. H.J. de Geus and A. F. J. Klijn, (eds.), Profeten en profetische
geschriften (Kampen/Nijkerk 1987) 119-132.
88 Set out in the article by A. S. van der Woude, ‘Wicked Priest or Wicked
Priests? Reflections on the Identification of the Wicked Priest of the Habakkuk
Commentary’, jsj 33 (1982) 349-359. My contribution to this part of the
‘Groningen Hypothesis’ is confined to proving that the title ‘Wicked Priest’
could equally have been applied to Judas Maccabaeus, ‘Judas Macabeo,
sacerdote impio? Notas al margen de lQpHab vm, 8-13’ in A. Caquot, S.
Legasse and M. Tardieu (eds.), Melanges btbliques et orientaux en Vhonneurde M.
Mathias Dehor (aoat 215; Kevelaer/Neukirchen-Vluyn 1985) 169-181.