Cart 0 Log In
SBL Press Bookstore
The Qumran Paradigm: Critical Evaluation of Some Foundational Hypotheses in the Construction of the Qumran Sect
Gwynned de Looijer
EJL 43
Publication Date
October 2015


A fundamentally revisionist approach that leaves behind the constructed social reality of a “sectarian” paradigm

Gwynned de Looijer reexamines the key hypotheses that have driven scholars’ understandings of the Dead Sea Scrolls, the archaeological site of Khirbet Qumran, and the textual descriptions of the Essenes. She demonstrates that foundational hypotheses regarding a sect at Qumran have heavily influenced the way the texts found in the surrounding caves are interpreted. De Looijer’s approach abandon’s those assumptions to illustrate that the Dead Sea Scrolls reflect a wider range of backgrounds reflecting the many diverse forms of Judaism that existed in the Second Temple period.


  • In depth analysis of 4QMMT
  • Reevaluation of the concept of dualism as it has been applied to Qumran texts
  • Charts and tables illustrate complex theories, concepts, and connections

Gwynned de Looijer (Ph.D., Durham University)is an Honorary Research Fellow in the Department of Anthropology at Durham University. Her research is mainly interdisciplinary, combining approaches within religious studies, anthropology and biblical studies. Her research interestsinvolve group dynamics and the role of the individual within group formation processes. She is especially interested in the historical anthropology of Judaism, and the anthropology of sectarianism and religious conflict.

Download volume front matter, including table of contents and introduction.

Download a printable publication sheet that you can put in your files or give to your librarian or bookstore.


Download a printable standing order sheet to see other available volumes in the series and to give to your librarian to set up a standing order.