Mr. Stephen Pfann
University of the Holy Land, Jerusalem

Redaction History of the Rule of the Congregation

Until the present, the only known exemplar of the Rule of the Congregation, Serekh ha-Edah, in Jewish literature was 1QSa. The unique witness of 1QSa was somewhat surprising, since the document 1QSerekh ha-Yahad, to which it was attached, was represented by several manuscripts from other Qumran caves. 1QSa has thus generally been viewed as an appendix to 1QS.

During the past year, six additional early drafts or copies of Serekh ha-Edah have come to light among among the papyrus manuscripts written in esoteric scripts from Qumran Cave 4. The collection, 4Qpap cryptA Serekh ha-Edah a-f, provides a new witness to the early history and development of this composition. This paper will endeavor to provide an account of the redactional process of Serekh ha-Edah and its bearing on our understanding of the early history and self-definition of the Qumran Community.