The Orion Center for the Study of the Dead Sea Scrolls The Center for the Study of Christianity
The fourteenth International Orion Symposium
The Religious Worldviews Reflected in the Dead Sea Scrolls
28–30 MAY, 2013
TUESDAY, MAY 28, 2013 Beit Maiersdorf, Room 501
Session I (16:20–19:00) Carol A. Newsom Emory University
“Determinism, Knowledge, and Moral Agency in the Hodayot”
The Hodayot juxtapose passages that assume a voluntarist moral agency with passages that assume a strong divine determinist view of moral agency (the opening lines of col. 7 contain a clear example). This presumptively contradictory juxtaposition invites explanation. The general issue of apparently contradictory models of agency in close juxtaposition has also drawn the attention of anthropological theory in recent years. One approach—still the dominant one in anthropology, and based on theories grounded in semiotics and performance theory—assumes a discontinuous model of selfhood. That is to say, people readily “code switch” between different models of selfhood. Every different articulation of a model of selfhood is a different “switch.” The Hodayot do not necessarily represent the same phenomena as presumed by this modern approach, since they are literary productions rather than articulations of a live informant. But a literary-rhetorical analysis of the Hodayot might lead to a similar functional model. That is to say, the culturally familiar voluntarist model of moral selfhood and the sectarian model of divine determinism might result in a rhetorical mode of rapid code-switching in the literary production of a hodayah. More recent anthropological approaches that are based on findings in neuropsychology, however, provide different models for interpreting apparent contradictions. They focus on the strategic use of logically contradictory models of agency for problem-solving in complex social situations. This paper will argue that the Hodayot similarly make strategic use of apparently contradictory models of moral agency for the rhetorical purpose of articulating a subtle but integrated understanding of moral agency; this understanding constructs a distinctive form of self-experience that differentiates the sectarian from his own previous self-experience and from the self-experience of other Jews. The apparent contradiction may be a clever and quite satisfying paradoxical assertion of a new form of moral self-understanding. What remains to be explored at the end of this study is whether one can move from this rhetorical analysis to any claims about experiential reality. When compared with recent findings in regard to cognitive learning, aspects of the literary-rhetorical structure of the Hodayot of the community may suggest that they do embody strategies for constructing and reinforcing subjective experience.
Menahem Kister The Hebrew University
“Divine and Heavenly Figures in the Dead Sea Scrolls”
Teachings concerning the Attribute of Justice and the Attribute of Mercy as two aspects of the divine are well-attested in rabbinic literature. Here I will discuss related conceptions in the Qumran scrolls. The paper will scrutinize the relationship of abstract entities and the angels in the scrolls (and in rabbinic literature). It will also deal with the so-called Self-Glorification Hymn, and with the figure of wisdom and its transformation.
Loren Stuckenbruck Ludwig-Maximilian University of Munich
“Eschatology and the Sacred Past in Serekh ha-Mil#amah”
The War Rule has counted among those classic Jewish “apocalyptic” texts that anticipate a definitive defeat of evil in the eschatological future. In this document, it is Belial – along with all those beings associated with him – who will be overcome in a war between “the sons of light” and “the sons of darkness.” While much of the scholarly attention has focused on the scenario of future conflict in the War Rule, and, increasingly, on editions the work had undergone, based on comparisons among the 1Q and 4Q manuscripts, this paper considers the relation between the eschatological future and the sacred past. Several passages in the document place in the mouth of a prominent priestly figure an appeal to the activity of God in Israel’s remote and more recent past: 1QM 10:2-5, 6-8; 11:1-3, 3-4, 5-7, 7-9, 9-10; 13:8, 10; 14:1, 4-5, 9-10; 17:2-3, 6; and 18:7-12. The analysis seeks to determine the function of these references to the past within the larger literary context. Are they a matter of biblical interpretation? Are they inspired by biblical appeals to God’s actions in Israel’s past? In terms of function, do they borrow from tradition in order to inspire confidence among those being addressed by the priest? More specifically, do they provide a narrative framework for hymnic declarations of the power of God; or are they at any point presented proleptically, as sufficiently definitive to guarantee the outcome of the final conflict? The paper advances an argument that seeks resonances between the eschatological victory and those moments of victory in Israel’s sacred past, as drawn from tradition. In this way, eschatology is not simply a matter of the future, nor is it a return to a primordial or sacred past; it is, instead, the conclusion to events that have already set it in motion.
WEDNESDAY, MAY 29, 2013 Rabin Building, Room 2001
Session II (9:00–13:15) Noam Mizrahi Tel-Aviv University
“God, Gods, and Godhood in the Songs of the Sabbath Sacrifice”
Michael Segal The Hebrew University
“The Divine Figure in Daniel 7 and 4Q246”
Daniel 7 presents perhaps the most complex interpretive issues among all of the chapters in the book, both for determining the theological worldview of this author, and for unlocking the cultural and literary background of this passage. Previous studies have correctly highlighted the extrabiblical parallels to this vision. The purpose of this analysis, however, is to highlight the inner-biblical interpretive aspects of Daniel 7. It will be suggested that the identification of בר אנש, the primary point of disagreement between various interpreters, can be determined in light of the biblical passages to which this chapter alludes, including Deuteronomy 32 and Psalm 82 (in addition to Psalms 68 and 104). The recognition of this literary appropriation allows for a reassessment of the theological-cosmological worldview of this apocalypse.
4Q246 (4QApocryphon of Daniel ar) has been the subject of intense discussion, primarily due to a character referred to as "son of God" and "son of the Most High". Scholars have recognized the literary relationship of this scroll to Daniel 7, since they share common language and structure. Here, too, it will be suggested that the correct recognition of the biblical passages to which this scroll alludes (most importantly Psalm 82:2) allows for a new identification of this divine figure.
The recognition of the allusion to Ps 82:2 within 4Q246 also enriches our analysis of Daniel 7 itself, since the Qumran scroll demonstrates that early readers of the apocalyptic vision posited a literary-theological connection between Daniel 7 and Psalm 82, and perhaps Deut 32:8–9 as well. These passages together formed a cluster of related biblical passages that were read and interpreted in concert by ancient authors. The first section of this lecture posits that these biblical texts together play a significant role in the writing of Daniel 7. This constellation of passages in 4Q246 demonstrates that this cluster continued to expand, and what was previously the interpreting composition (Daniel 7) has now joined those to be interpreted. The study of the composition and interpretation of Daniel 7 is therefore a study in the dynamics of writing and rewriting, where each subsequent stage of the literary process is infused with new theological meaning.
Hermann Lichtenberger University of Tübingen
“The Divine Name in the Dead Sea Scrolls”
In the Dead Sea Scrolls manuscripts the Tetragrammaton is represented in various ways: In the paleo-Hebrew manuscripts of the Torah, the Tetragrammaton is of course written in the same script. It is also written in paleo-Hebrew script in some other biblical manuscripts, or in biblical quotations found in some nonbiblical texts (e.g., 1QpHab). In most biblical (and many nonbiblical) manuscripts, however, it is written in square-script like the rest of the manuscript. In some biblical manuscripts and quotations the Tetragrammaton may be replaced by Tetrapuncta (with variations); by Adonay; or be totally omitted. In nonbiblical texts, in passages that are not quotations, El may be preferred. The writing or replacement of the Tetragrammaton testifies to the high esteem in which the Divine name was held. The question should be raised, however, whether the evidence of the manuscripts testifies to the nonpronunciation of the Tetragrammaton.
Beate Ego Ruhr University of Bochum
“Between Divine Justice and Doxology—Images of Heaven in the Dead Sea Scrolls”
When considering cosmological images in the context of the “symbolic turn” in religious and cultural studies, it seems to be a research desideratum to subject the statements on the heavenly world contained in the Dead Sea Scrolls to a relecture and to consider them within the context of their religious symbol system. To demarcate the material, I would like to focus on the traditions of the Book of Watchers and the Songs of Sabbath Sacrifice, both of which belong to the most important texts dealing with heaven among the Dead Scrolls. An analysis of these texts shows that images of heaven are symbols acting as means to make statements about God’s nature and work. The traditions examined emphasize God’s judicial power and the doxological moment of his worship. At the same time, a hope for salvation is strongly expressed, as well as the meaning of divine worship in a heavenly parallel universe beyond all time.
Charlotte Hempel University of Birmingham
“Religious Worldviews in the Serekh Tradition”
While the composite character of the S tradition is today widely if not universally acknowledged there was a trend for a long time to focus our energies on identifying the earliest core or building blocks of the material rather than the latest editorial voice. In theological terms the core or essence of the matter was also very much sought after. For a long time S, and especially the Teaching on the Two Spirits, has been considered as offering access to the theological reasoning of the Rule and those responsible for it. The search for the compositional and theological core of the Rule has also occasionally converged allowing scholars to strive for an (over-)ambitious synthesis (Deasley 2000).
To a great extent we have been worshipping “the idol of origins” (A. Baumgarten 2005, drawing on Marc Bloch). We have also been worshipping the idol of the individual brilliant scholar/theologian/thinker—perhaps our own (unisex) image in ancient garb (cf. Kim Harkins 2012, with reference to the Teacher of Righteousness). In that vein scholars have often looked for the brains behind the community, the outstanding thinker. Deasley even feels able to speak of accessing “the Qumran mind.”
When we look at S in its fullness it is clear we are dealing with a complex tradition shaped by a plurality of voices. Moreover, on the basis of a cautious consideration of “chronological” issues, I will argue that the evidence points towards a great deal of theological reflection at a crisis point in an established community in an attempt to overcome “commitment issues.”—Analogies to the tremendous whirl of creative output sparked by the theological and existential crisis of the exile in the Hebrew Bible come to mind. I will identify a hub of activity in the manuscripts dating to the late second century/early first century BCE which may indicate a period where leading figures in the community felt the need to offer a powerful theological argument to address lackluster elements in the community. This takes us close to the communal occupation window according to Magness’s revised chronology. While I am not suggesting a link between the composition of 1QS and the move to Qumran, it is certainly plausible to think that the longer text—which includes material from 1QS 1–4—reflects the turmoil of that time This would result in a picture that associates the long text of S (1QS; 4QSa, b, c) with a move to Qumran—not at the community’s inception, however, but rather at a crisis of commitment which led to an intensive period of theological reflection.
THURSDAY, MAY 30, 2013 Rabin Building, Room 2001
Session III (9:30–13:00) John J. Collins Yale University
“Dualism and Covenant in the Dead Sea Scrolls”
Seth Schwartz has argued that the doctrine of the Two Spirits is only the “most poignant and self-conscious form” of “the juxtaposition of incongruous systems” that characterized much of Judaism around the turn of the era. In his view, what he calls “the apocalyptic myth” in all its forms is a “stark contradiction of the covenantal ideology.” I would like to suggest, however, that what we find in the Community Rule is not merely the juxtaposition of incongruous systems. Rather, the dualistic and deterministic ideas are combined with the idea of covenant in an integral way, which entailed a serious revision of the traditional covenant. Those who entered the covenant affirmed their election, and their allegiance to the lot of Light, and this was regarded as meritorious, even though they were predetermined to do so. Conversely, those who rejected the covenant or defected from it displayed the abject nature that had been assigned to their lot, and were rightly cursed for it. The new covenant, in short, operated differently from that of Deuteronomy. Election was not only an offer made by God to select humans, but actually determined their fate.
Unlike the rabbis, the authors of these scrolls, the Damascus Document as well as the Serekh, rejected the notion that all Israel has a share in the world to come, even if they still tended to equate the Sons of Light with Israel in texts like the War Scroll, which referred to the eschatological time. The division between Sons of Light and Sons of Darkness was not universalistic—Gentiles were assumed to belong to the Sons of Darkness except in the poorly attested case of proselytes.
But the covenantal community was no longer equated with ethnic Israel. The continued use of covenantal language, then, gives an impression of continuity but in fact masks a sharp rupture with biblical tradition.
Cana Werman Ben-Gurion University
“Two Creations, One Nation: Election and Covenants in the Dead Sea Scrolls”
The “Two Ways Treatise” embedded in the Rule of the Community offers an apocalyptic worldview, portraying the cosmic, heavenly, and earthly struggles that take place from creation to creation. The Treatise contains no nationalistic aspects, nor is any attempt made to link its thinking to the biblical creation story or historiography. This lecture shows that Jubilees adopts several of the Treatise’s apocalyptic ideas, most importantly its conclusion, where only the “sons of light” enjoy the perfect second creation; but Jubilees frames these ideas within a matrix of biblical and national concepts, i.e., those of covenant and election.
There are three realms in Jubilees’ world: angelic, spiritual, and corporeal. Furthermore, there are two creations, one in the past and one in the future. There are also two pre-existing covenantsthat will be established through the historical process leading to the second creation. One is the covenant between God and humanity following the Deluge (whose yearly renewal is signified by the Feast of Oaths); and one is for the descendants of Jacob, the people of Israel, alone (its yearly renewal is signified by the Passover sacrifice). Mastema, the angel appointed to rule over human spirits, leads humanity to destruction by inciting it not to obey its covenant. Mastema cannot control the people of the second covenant, however; their unique relationship with God enables them to be faithful to both covenants. Nonetheless, because the full conditions of the second covenant, the two written torot given at Sinai, are rejected by a large group within the people of Israel, only a small, chosen elite (“the sons of light”) will be entitled to the blessing of the second creation.
Devorah Dimant Haifa University
“Covering and Uncovering in the Polemics of the Qumran Community’”
In sectarian thinking, covering and uncovering present two aspects of one and the same notion, which is manifested on several levels. Knowledge of divine secrets, by nature enigmatic and mysterious, is divulged to the Ya#ad by means of special revelation. This sacred and divine knowledge imparts special understanding, but it is given only to the meritorious righteous members of the community. Within these boundaries, this knowledge is dispensed to and shared equally by all members; but it is totally concealed from all outsiders, who are evil and impure.
Jonathan Ben-Dov Haifa University
“Living Biblically at Qumran: Continuity or Innovation?”
This paper seeks to reexamine a quite common notion among scholars of the Dead Sea Scrolls, most eloquently articulated by the late Shemaryahu Talmon. According to this opinion, in the covenanters' minds the biblical period was not over, and thus many biblical genres, modes of expression and general concepts continued in use. Talmon lists a series of phenomena in the scrolls which he sees as “biblical.” This mode of thought is sometimes used to justify an extrapolation from the scrolls to earlier biblical or apocalyptic milieus.
The idea of continuity is challenged here. Living and speaking biblically in the Hellenistic period was not an unreflective extension of an ancient state of mind, but rather a conscious effort on the part of whoever practiced it. As is often the case with sectarian phenomena, the “biblical” language, genres and themes represented at Qumran are not simply a “continuation,” but rather an innovative, reactionist phenomenon in traditionalist guise. The revival of biblical themes in many cases represents an invention of tradition. I shall exemplify this claim by considering various elements: the persistence of priestly themes (calendar, festival halakhah); the meaning of biblical imagery in the Hodayot; and various techniques for rewriting the Pentateuch.
Session IV (14:30–16:00) Mladen Popović University of Groningen
“Communion with the Heavenly World and Divine Assistance in the Dead Sea Scrolls and Second Temple Judaism”
Jörg Frey University of Zurich
“The Notion of the Spirit in the Dead Sea Scrolls and other
Jewish and Christian Texts”
The paper will provide a discussion of some important aspects of the notion of “the Spirit” (i.e., primarily God’s Spirit, the Holy Spirit, etc.) in the Dead Sea Scrolls (and some other texts) and then ask for particular analogies to and differences from the understanding of the Spirit in the early Jesus movement, especially in Paul and John.
An introductory section elaborates on “Spirit” as an umbrella term and describes the wide range of meanings of the term in Hebrew as well as in Greek. After a sketch of the notion of רוח in the Hebrew Bible (and, of πνεῦμα in the Septuagint), the changes of usage in the Post-Biblical period will be briefly described, especially the wide use of רוח as a term for angelic and demonic beings.
The main portion of the paper will discuss some important aspects of the notion of the spirit/Spirit and especially the “Holy Spirit” in the Qumran texts, with a focus on the “Treatise on the Two Spirits,” the Community Rule, and the Hodayot with their very dense usage of רוח. In the Treatise, the Holy Spirit (to be distinguished from the “Spirit of Truth” in the initial section) is introduced as an eschatological means of purification and, at the same time, as a medium of revelation to perfect the ways of the chosen. The revelation, or dispensation of the Holy Spirit is, however, still awaited at the end-time.
In the more specifically “sectarian” texts, there is the conviction that the spirit has already been given. In the Hodayot we find the idea that God has placed his Holy Spirit into a human being in order to reveal knowledge of his mysteries (especially the right interpretation of the Torah). But it is not totally clear whether the spirit given is “the” spirit or “a” spirit from God; whether it is a portion of God’s Spirit or God’s Spirit in its totality; and how the relationship between the human spirit and God’s Spirit can be described. Most remarkable, however, is that there is no reference to the prophetic spirit, nor any mention of ecstatic or altered states of consciousness, in the Qumran texts. Instead, revelation is described as an aid to choose the truth and to proceed on the perfect way, in the life lived according to God’s commandments.
This revelatory function of the Spirit is, then, also significant for some early “Christian” traditions. At the beginning of the Jesus movement (which is to be regarded, at least initially, as a particular group within Second Temple Judaism), there were a variety of experiences of the Spirit rather than clear concepts concerning it, and those experiences included “charismatic” phenomena as well as prophetic and visionary experiences. But in view of this, is quite remarkable that the first “Christian” theologian of the Spirit, Paul, not only adopts the idea of the Spirit given (in)to a person, but also stresses the revelatory function of the Spirit, thus subordinating its extraordinary manifestations. This is an important indication of Paul’s (Palestinan-)Jewish heritage. Later, it is also significant that in the Johannine circle, the work of the Spirit is almost completely limited to that of revelatory activity—i.e., to words, not (ecstatic or miraculous) acts: The Spirit explains, reminds, or gives testimony; whereas prophetic, ecstatic, or visionary experiences are almost absent. The Johannine “Holy Spirit,” though also called the “Spirit of Truth,” has its primary parallel not in the Spirit of Truth in the “Treatise of the Two Spirits” (where actually an angelic being is meant), but in the idea of the revelatory function of the Spirit, as developed in Qumran sectarian texts and similarly, but probably not due to direct dependence, in Pauline thought.