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The Qumran Rule Texts in Context: Collected Studies
Charlotte Hempel
Publication Date
November 2019


An essential collection for students of Qumran texts now available in an affordable paperback

Since the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls, the Rule Texts have been at the forefront of the scholarly imagination, often thought to offer direct insight into life at Qumran. While the literary, scribal, and textual aspects reflected in the Rule texts have become clearer, the social and community realities remain fuzzy. To bring greater clarity to this picture, the studies by Charlotte Hempel collected in this volume deal with several core Rule texts from Qumran, especially the Community Rule (S), the Rule of the Congregation (1QSa), the Damascus Document (D), and 4Q265 (Miscellaneous Rules), with the goal of uncovering a complex network of literary and more murkily preserved social relationships. Several studies position the Rule literature within a shared context of wisdom, law, and the scribal milieu of the emerging scriptures. A previously unpublished, substantial final chapter explores the distinctive character of Qumran Cave 4 as an eclectic collection of ancient Jewish higher learning.

Charlotte Hempel is Professor of Hebrew Bible and Second Temple Judaism at the University of Birmingham, UK. She has published widely on the Dead Sea Scrolls and the Hebrew Bible, including most recently The Community Rules: A Commentary (2020) and T&T Clark Companion to the Dead Sea Scrolls (with George J. Brooke, 2019). From 2012 to 2018 she served as Editor-in-Chief of the journal Dead Sea Discoveries.