Abstracts

SOURCES (INTERTESTAMENTAL)

Brooke, G.J. ed., Temple Scroll Studies; Papers presented at the International Symposium on the Temple Scroll, Manchester December 1987, Sheffield: Sheffield Academic Press, 1989, Pp. 229, ISBN 185075 200 1, Price £26.50 or $45.00 (Journal for the Study of the Pseudepigrapha, Supplement Series 7).

Philip R. Davies, The Damascus Covenant, Sheffield: JSOT Press, 1983, ISBN 0 905774 50 7 (cloth), 51 5 (paper), Price: £18.00 (cloth), £11.50 (paper) (Journal for the Study of the Old Testament, Supplement Series, 25). - The author provides a literary and historical analysis of the "Damascus Document", fragments of which were found by Schechter in the Cairo Genizah before the more complete text discovered at Qumran. After a source-critical investigation, the author concludes that the original Damascus Document (not including Cairo Ms. 2, which contains much more specifically legal content) is a coherent composition, which casts light upon the origins of the community in its pre-Qumran days. The Admonition section of the document must have been composed before the occupation of Qumran, possibly in the Diaspora, and the document has powerful ideological roots in the priestly Exilic literature, especially the Holiness Code and Ezekiel. (B.S.J.)

Torleif Elgvin, "Tempelrullen fra Qumran", Tidsskrift for Teologi og Kirke 1 (l985), l-21. - The Temple Scroll from Qumran attests the great influence of Priests and Levites on the sect. The scroll is first of all concerned with matters of holiness and purity. It presents itself as a genuine Torah, with special interest in calendar, in the arrangement of the temple, and in the rules concerning the purity of the temple and the temple-city. The purpose of the scroll is not to replace the Pentateuch, but to clarify how the temple and the temple-cult should be, according to the Essenes. By this the scroll legitimates the sect and its dissociation from the unclean cult in Jerusalem. (K.N.)

Jacob Milgrom, "Further Studies in the Temple Scroll", JQR 71.1 (1981), 1-17, 71.4 (1981), 89-106. - These articles continue studies published elsewhere; cf. JBL 97 (1978), 501-23. Milgrom provides a variety of texual annotations and restorations of the Temple Scroll, based on Yadin's editio princeps. He primarily deals with cultic-legal phraseology and procedure, and seeks to clarify the Temple Scroll in its own right, and to compare it on occasion with the pertinent biblical materials. Forty-six topics are treated (Nos. 1-46). (M.F.)

Emil Schürer, The History of the Jewish People in the Age of Jesus Christ, revised and edited by Geza Vermes, Fergus Millar and Martin Goodman, Edinburgh, T. & T. Clark Ltd., Vol. III.1, 1986, ISBN 0-567-02244-7, Pp.xxi, 704, Price £27.50; Vol. III.2, 1987, ISBN 0-567-09373-5, Pp. xix, 705-1015, Price £.20.00. - These volumes complete the new version of Schürer noted in JLA IV, Survey no.497. Of particular interest to historians of Jewish law are the sections on the internal organization of the Diaspora Jewish communities, their constitutional position and civic rights (87-137), and on the Rules of the Qumran Community (380-419). However, Schürer's place as a classic of the scholarly literature rests primarily in its function as a handbook to the sources of the period. The main treatment of the rabbinic sources is found in Vol.I (as lying outside the main period of concern of the work), as is that of Josephus. Volume III contains extensive sections on the Jewish Apocryphal and Pseudepigraphical literature, the Qumran sources, and Philo. The editors can hardly be taken to task for the 14 years which have elapsed between publication of Vol.I and vol.III(2), the latter including an extensive Index to the entire work. Given the pace of scholarly output in these areas, one wonders whether the work should not be entered into a regularly up-dated electronic data-base, to which scholars could obtain on-line access. (B.S.J.)

Michael E. Stone, ed., Jewish Writings of the Second Temple Period, Assen and Philadelphia: Van Gorcum and Fortress Press, 1984, ISBN 0-8006-0603-5, Pp. 23, 698, Price: $35.95 (Compendia Rerum Iudaicarum ad Novum Testamentum, Section Two: The Literature of the Jewish People in the Period of the Second Temple and the Talmud, II) - This volume seeks to provide an introduction to the sources of the intertestamental period which is both available to the non-specialist, yet not tautological to the scholar. To a large extent, it succeeds. I. Gafni's chapter sketches the historical background, and includes a section on Roman Rule in Judaea; G.W.E. Nickelsburg contributes chapters on "Stories of Biblical and Early Post-Biblical Times", and on "The Bible Rewritten and Expanded (1 Enoch, Jubilees, etc.)"; H.W. Attridge deals with Historiography and with Josephus; P. Borgen with Philo. Wisdom Literature is discussed by M. Gilbert, Testaments (of the Twelve Patriarchs, Moses, Job) and the Sibylline Oracles by J.J. Collins; Apocalyptic Literature by the Editor; Jewish Sources in Gnostic Literature by B.A. Pearson; Qumran Sectarian Literature (with separate sections on "Rules" and "Halakhah", the latter including the Temple Scroll) by D. Dimant; Psalms, Hymns Prayers by D. Flusser; and Epistolary Literature by P.S. Alexander. Some of these sources are of central importance to the historian of Jewish Law, especially the "legal" sections of Philo, Josephus and Qumran Literature. But relevant material may also be found widely scattered in this literature, and this book provides much useful background information. There is an extensive bibliography, and Indices of Sources, Names and Subjects. (B.S.J.)

A.M. Wilson and L. Wills, "Literary Sources of the Temple Scroll", HTR 75 (1982), 275-288. - The Temple Scroll is not a homogeneous composition by a single author. "The source-critical and form-critical study of the Temple Scroll suggests that the work is a composite. The festival calendar, the collection of purity laws, and the Torah of the King can be distinguished on the basis of form, grammar, or syntax from the laws concerning the temple and its courts ... and they probably circulated as independent documents. These writings, along with the book of Deuteronomy, were utilized in the composition of the final work, a copy of which has been preserved at Qumran. The composite nature of the Temple Scroll should be considered in any discussion of its date and setting" (authors' summary). (G.J.W.)

 

 

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