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Current Newsletter


Orion Center Newsletter

November 2000
Edited by A. Pinnick


Letter from the Director

The Orion program for this academic year promises to be rich and exciting. We are fortunate to have with us three Visiting Scholars, representing three diverse fieldsăDead Sea Scrolls and New Testament scholar, Prof. John Kampen (Bluffton College), Jewish mysticism and magic expert, Prof. Michael Swartz (Ohio State University), and biological anthropologist Prof. Susan G. Sheridan (Notre Dame University). Our 2000-2001 Interns from the Rothberg International School are already eagerly at work and enlivening the Orion Scholars Room. Our lecture program with the Rothberg School at the Pontifical Biblical Institute is dedicated this year to the memory of Scrolls and New Testament giant, Hebrew University Prof. David Flusser who passed away this September.

The Orion Center will be moving this winter to its new offices in the Yitzhak Rabin Center for Jewish Studies. Our larger, air-conditioned suite of offices will enable us to expand our programs and provide better facilities for the Orion staff, visiting scholars, student and faculty researchers. In planning ahead for our move, we are opening a campaign to expand our library and to acquire new computer stations. To this end, I appeal to each and every one of you to join our Associates Program and thereby support the Orion Center during this exciting year of growth.

On behalf of the Orion staff and myself personally, I extend our sincerest wishes for a peaceful, joyous, and productive year to you, our Orion friends and colleagues.

Yours sincerely,
Dr. Esther Chazon


Orion Center Bibliography Award

The Orion Center Bibliography Project began in 1995, with a grant from the Bollag-Herzheimer Foundation. For the past five years, Dr. Avital Pinnick, the Center's Chief of Publications, has amassed bibliography on the Dead Sea Scrolls in our database. It is available each week on our Web site as a regularly-updated page and twice a year it appears in the journal Revue de Qumr’n. The On-Line Bibliography is a valuable tool for scholars with limited library resources, as it allows them to follow developments in Scrolls research. The bibliography is organized by author, year, and language (this feature is a new development). There is also a search engine for finding articles by author and keyword.

In August 2000, Avital received the ATLA (American Theological Library Association) 2000 Grant for a Bibliographical Project, to prepare the bibliography for print publication. With the assistance of the Center's interns and research assistant Dorit Gordon, she has been verifying thousands of entries and collecting the new publications that are appearing weekly. We hope that the printed bibliography will be available by 2001.

In order to make our bibliography as complete as possible, we request that scholars who publish in the field of Scrolls check our Web site (http://orion.mscc.huji.ac.il/resources/bib/bib.shtml) and send references for articles (1995 to present) that do not appear. References may be e-mailed to msdss@mscc.huji.ac.il.


Time of Righteousness
by Dr. Esther Chazon

"Time of Righteousness" is one of the hundreds of Dead Sea Scrolls published this year in the "Discoveries in the Judaean Desert" series. The text is a poetic description of the end of days, written by a member of the Qumran community or a related group. It announces that "the period of wickedness is complete" and "the time of righteousness is coming." The time of righteousness ((at has[edek), a previously unknown term for the messianic era, is depicted as a time of religious perfection, peace, well-being, and social harmony, in which all human beings will worship God with one heart. The edition of "Time of Righteousness" (4Q215a) is a joint publication by Esther Chazon (Orion Center Director) and Michael Stone (Head of the Orion Academic Committee), appearing in DJD 36 (Stephen J. Pfann et al., eds., Qumran Cave 4.XXVI: Cryptic Texts and Miscellanea, Part 1 (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 2000], 739 pp. + xlix pls.). Among the scores of texts in this impressive volume are numerous copies of the books of Enoch, the Rule of the Congregation (in cryptic script), works related to the Scroll of the War of the Sons of Light against the Sons of Darkness, and the Rebukes Reported by the Overseer, the first scroll to give personal names of members of the Qumran sect (see its list of transgressors and their offenses!).


Profile: Prof. John Kampen
by David Miller, Orion Center Intern

The Center is pleased to welcome Prof. John Kampen as a visiting scholar this fall. Kampen was born and raised in Canada, where he completed a B.A. in sociology (University of Saskatchewan), an M.Div. (Mennonite Biblical Seminary, 1975), and a Ph.D. (Hebrew Union College, 1985). Formerly Professor of New Testament at Payne Theological Seminary, Kampen is now Vice President and Dean of Academic Affairs, as well as Professor of Religion, at Bluffton College, Ohio. This fall Kampen is on sabbatical as a National Endowment for the Humanities Fellow at the Albright Institute for Archaeological Research in Jerusalem.

Kampen began research on the Dead Sea Scrolls as a graduate student under Ben Zion Wacholder, who was then writing on legal and historical issues in the Temple Scroll. Kampen's initial interest in legal questions resulted in Reading 4QMMT: New Perspectives on Qumran Law and History (1996; co-edited with Moshe Bernstein) and Legal Texts and Legal Issues (1997; co-edited with Moshe Bernstein). His historical interests are reflected in his book, The Hasideans and the Origin of Pharisaism (Scholars Press, 1988). More recently Kampen has turned his attention to the growth and development of sectarian wisdom literature (see his article, "The Diverse Aspects of Wisdom in the Qumran Texts," in The Dead Sea Scrolls after Fifty Years, eds. J. C. VanderKam and P. W. Flint, 1:211‚243, [Leiden: Brill, 1998]). He is particularly interested in the process by which wisdom, originally related to the daily life of common people, comes to be regarded by sectarian groups as their own exclusive property.

Kampen's rigorous administrative schedule affords him limited time to pursue Scrolls research or other interests. He manages, however, to keep up with the North American jazz scene. He returns to Israel regularly to concentrate on research projects and to stay current in his field of academic study. In addition to interacting with scholars who work in Israel, Kampen always tries to visit the major Roman archaeological sites. He has found that this hands-on contact with the land has informed his thinking in important ways. To take one example, the size and splendor of Herod's Temple, not to mention Herod's other massive building projects, demonstrates that instead of being a backwater province, Herodian Judea formed an integral part of the Roman Empire.

During his present stay in Israel, Kampen is working on a commentary on the Wisdom texts found in Cave Four (to be published by Eerdmans in the Trinity Commentaries on the Dead Sea Scrolls, a projected fifteen-volume series). As a visiting scholar at the Orion Center he looks forward to participation in the Greenfield Seminars and other activities.


Book Review: The Dead Sea Scrolls Bible
by Robert Duke, Orion Center Intern

Martin G. Abegg, Peter W. Flint, and Eugene Ulrich. The Dead Sea Scrolls Bible. San Francisco: HarperSanFrancisco: 1999.

The Dead Sea Scrolls Bible, a title recognized by the authors in their introduction as misleading, is an English translation of the scriptural texts found near the Dead Sea. The order of the book follows that of the Hebrew Bible: Torah, Prophets, and Writings. The authors also add five texts that are part of various Christian canons, Jubilees, 2 Enoch, Sirach, Epistle of Jeremiah, and Tobit, and discuss the possibility that the Qumranites, in particular, may have held these texts in high regard. Before the citations of texts for each biblical book, the authors write a brief, yet insightful, introduction, including the location and number of manuscripts. In addition, they mention whether a book is discussed or interpreted in the wider sectarian documents. The introduction to the Book of Esther explains the various views on its absence at Qumran, which is helpful for those with little background in the Scrolls and the history of the canon.

This tool can be used as a resource for scholars; however, a compilation of all the scriptural texts, in their original languages, is still needed for serious scholarly discussion. An example of a comprehensive collection is The Dead Sea Scrolls Study Edition compiled by F. Garcia Martinez and E. J. C. Tigchelaar, which contains all non-scriptural texts. According to the introduction in The Dead Sea Scrolls Study Edition, Eugene Ulrich is currently working on such a book, which will be titled The Qumran Bible. The Dead Sea Scrolls Bible is a well-compiled book, and the authors are to be commended for their careful work. The Dead Sea Scrolls have radically altered the study of the canon of the Hebrew Bible. Serious students of the Hebrew Bible will find this book extremely helpful.


Evening at the Israel Museum
by Michael Segal, Program Coordinator

In our continued efforts to make the most recent advances in scholarship accessible and meaningful to the general public, on 12 September 2000, during the High Holiday season, the Orion Center sponsored an evening of lectures at the Israel Museum on the topic "The Day of Atonement in the Bible and Rabbinic Literature in Light of the Dead Sea Scrolls." Over 60 people attended the exciting presentations of Drs. Israel Knohl and Shlomo Naeh, Chairmen of the Bible and Talmud Departments at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem.

Dr. Knohl discussed the themes associated with Yom Kippur in the Bible. He concentrated primarily on the ceremony described in Leviticus 16, which details the sending of Israel's sins to the desert, to Azazel. Knohl noted that a renegade angel by the same name, in the book of Enoch, was sent to the desert as punishment. Thus, atonement is achieved through the disposal of sin in the territory of an evil divine being.The description of additional divine beings, according to Knohl, was an attempt to justify the existence of evil as originating from someone other than God.

A second theme found in the Pentateuch regarding the Day of Atonement is the theme of redemption. Leviticus 25 describes the Yom Kippur of the Jubilee year as one in which all slaves are freed and land returns to its original, rightful owner. Dr. Knohl demonstrated how these two themes, atonement and redemption, are combined in the Qumran scroll, 11QMelchizedek, which describes an eschatological redemption of the righteous.

Dr. Naeh concentrated on the description of the Yom Kippur Temple Service in the Mishnaic tractate Yoma. The Sages modeled the extensive preparation of the High Priest for the Day of Atonement on the High Priest Aaron's preparation for the dedication ceremony of the Tabernacle as recorded in the Torah. In the same way that Moses taught Aaron all that he needed to know to perform his duties, the elders needed to "educate" the High Priest of the Temple on the correct procedure for his service. In a classic case of intertextuality within Rabbinic literature, Naeh showed how the Rabbinic understanding of the Yom Kippur service influenced their exegesis of the biblical description of the Tabernacle dedication ceremony.

Continuing the festival theme, our next Scrolls Forum at the Israel Museum will be held on Hanukkah (see p. 4 for details) and will deal with the timely topic of cultural conflict and the meeting of cultures. Prof. Daniel Schwartz, Hebrew University, will address the provocative qestion, "Did Hellenism Create Judaism?" Prof. Adele Reinhartz, McMaster University (Canada), will talk about "The Bible in Film," accompanied by specially prepared clips of Hollywood movies!


Staff Changes At the Center

We bid farewell to our outgoing Program Coordinator, Michael Segal. For the past academic year, Michael, a PhD student in the Hebrew University's Bible Department, has arranged the lectures, seminars, and activities of the Orion Center. He will concentrate on finishing his dissertation, as well as working as assistant editor of Textus and teaching.

We welcome three new interns. Laura Feldt, from Denmark, has completed a BA and is working on an MA at Aarhus University in Hebrew Bible. Bobby Duke, from the USA (B.A., Multnomah Bible College; M.A., Jerusalem University College) is studying at the Hebrew University under the auspices of a Rotary Ambassadorial Fellowship. David Miller, from Canada (B.A., Briercrest Bible College; M.A., Trinity International University), is a doctoral student studying with Dr. Stephen Westerholm at McMaster University, Canada.


New Scrolls Publications

Baumgarten, Joseph M., Esther G. Chazon, and Avital Pinnick, eds. The Damascus Document: A Centennial of Discovery. Proceedings of the Third International Symposium of the Orion Center, 4-8 February 1998. STDJ 34. Leiden: Brill, 2000.

Charlesworth, James H. et al., eds. Miscellaneous Texts from the Judaean Desert. DJD 38. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 2000.

Pfann, Stephen J. et al., eds. Cryptic Texts and Miscellanea, Part 1. DJD 36. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 2000.

Schiffman, Lawrence H. and James C. VanderKam, eds. Encyclopedia of the Dead Sea Scrolls. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000.

Ulrich, Eugene C. et al., eds. Qumran Cave 4.XI: Psalms to Chronicles. DJD 16. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 2000.

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