Theology of the Dead Sea Scrolls

Dead Sea Scrolls before unraveledDear Nijay K Gupta,

Thank you for posting about my lecture and John Collin’s lecture at the Franklin Institute, Theology of the Dead Sea Scrolls. Glad you enjoyed the program.

Some comments:

Collins #1

I think his view is unlikely since the pottery in the caves with the scrolls is distributed over the entire period of sectarian occupation.

Collins #2

In my view both political issues and issues of priestly vs Pharisaic law led to the schism. I don’t agree with Collins’ later dating of the schism.

Schiffman #1

Collins agreed that the Torah and Prophets were closed, give or take Daniel. He correctly alluded to evidence that some books continued to be disputed. My view is that the Qumran sect had a closed canon even if it may have excluded something (Esther?) or included something (Jubilees and Aramaic Levi Document) not in the Pharisaic Rabbinic collection.

Schiffman #2

I see the Qumran site as the religious center of a large group of sectarians. I assume that those who lived there had families and those who came for shorter periods to study left their families. I agree that the Rule of the Community was primariy aimed at the sectarians while the Damascus Document was aimed in its sectarian approach for those who lived in the various cities in the Land of Israel.

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