Chapter

Sinful People, Impure Priests, and Inadequate Structures

Jonathan Klawans

in Purity, Sacrifice, and the Temple

Published in print November 2005 | ISBN: 9780195162639
Published online January 2007 | e-ISBN: 9780199785254 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195162639.003.0006
                      Sinful People, Impure Priests, and Inadequate Structures

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This chapter examines literature discovered at Qumran and related literature, including the Temple Scroll, with an eye toward describing more fully the anti-temple polemics articulated. It identifies sources making the following claims about the Jerusalem temple: that it is ritually defiled, morally defiled, ritually inadequate, and structurally insufficient. It also reconsiders the sources that ostensibly “spiritualize” the temple, arguing instead that these sources are rooted in beliefs concerning the temple’s importance and efficacy. Sectarian Jews emulated the temple’s rituals and priests in part because they looked forward to the temple being under their own control.

Keywords: Qumran; Dead Sea Scrolls; ritual purity; moral purity; spiritualization; sectarians; priests; temple scroll

Chapter.  15796 words. 

Subjects: Judaism and Jewish Studies

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