Original Research - Special Collection: Qumran Texts

‘Doing Justice’ (משפט בעושי) to the Dead Sea Scrolls: Reading 1QS 8:1–4 in literary and sectarian context

Llewellyn Howes
HTS Teologiese Studies / Theological Studies | Vol 72, No 4 | a3257 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/hts.v72i4.3257 | © 2016 Llewellyn Howes | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 16 November 2015 | Published: 31 October 2016

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Llewellyn Howes, Department of Religion Studies, University of Johannesburg, South Africa

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Within the Community Rule, 1QS 8:1–4 has at times been used as an intertext to support claims pertaining to the future expectations of both early Jesus movements and the historical Jesus himself. In particular, the passage has functioned as an intertext to support the notion that Jesus and some of his earliest movements foresaw the future restoration and liberation of greater Israel in toto, including outsiders. Without getting involved in this larger New Testament debate, the current article wishes to address the appropriateness of using 1QS 8:1–4 as an intertext without taking its literary and sectarian contexts into consideration. Focusing throughout on the interrelationship between judgement and boundary demarcation, this article will unfold in a centripetal manner. Firstly, it will treat the commonalities among all the sectarian Dead Sea Scrolls. Secondly, the discussion will direct its focus specifically to the Community Rule. Finally, we will look at 1QS 8:1–4 in particular.


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