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Text in ContextEssays by Members of the Society for Old Testament
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A. D. H. Mayes

Print publication date: 2000

Print ISBN-13: 9780198263913

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2004

DOI: 10.1093/0198263910.001.0001

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The Bible in Qumran and Early Judaism

The Bible in Qumran and Early Judaism

(p.35) 2 The Bible in Qumran and Early Judaism
Text in Context

P. S. Alexander

Oxford University Press

This is the second of five chapters on the Old Testament and the reader, and presents an analysis of the Bible in Qumran (the site occupied by the early Jewish monastic community who lived near the shores of the Dead Sea) and early Judaism. The first part gives an account of the rediscovery of Midrash—a term initially borrowed from rabbinic literature, where it denotes the specifically rabbinic tradition of Bible exegesis—the commentary created in dialogue with the scared Scripture in early Judaism. The rediscovery of Midrash was prompted in particular by the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls (1947–1956), and the finding of the Codex Neofiti 1 in the Vatican library in 1953; these and other examples of Midrash have given rise to numerous monographs and articles over the last thirty years of the twentieth century. The second part discusses the use of the Scripture and the Dead Sea sect of Qumran, and the third analyses the use of Scripture among other Jewish rabbinical groups in late antiquity. The last two sections look at the Scripture in the Alexandrian schools and among the early Christians, and at the emergence of Judaism and Christianity as ‘Religions of the Book’.

Keywords:   Alexandrian Jewish schools, Bible exegesis, Christianity, Codex Neofiti 1, Dead Sea Scrolls, early Christians, early Judaism, Jewish rabbinical groups, Judaism, Midrash, Old Testament, Qumran sect, rabbinic literature, Scripture

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