Article

Sectarian Communities in the Dead Sea Scrolls

John J. Collins

in The Oxford Handbook of the Dead Sea Scrolls

Published in print October 2010 | ISBN: 9780199207237
Published online January 2011 | | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/oxfordhb/9780199207237.003.0007

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Religion and Theology

Sectarian Communities in the Dead Sea Scrolls

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It has been customary to speak of ‘the Qumran community’. This community is usually identified as an Essene settlement, and is widely assumed to have been celibate. However, this article contends that, regardless of the Essene identification or of the issue of celibacy, the custom of referring to ‘the Qumran community’ is misleading, for several reasons: The Damascus Rule found at Qumran, which envisions multiple settlements of people who married and had children; The Community Rule, or Serekh, which also explicitly allows for multiple communities; and there is also no clear reference to a settlement at Qumran in the scrolls.

Keywords: Qumran community; Essene settlement; celibacy; Community Rule; Damascus Rule; multiple communities; Serekh

Article.  10431 words. 

Subjects: Religion ; Religion in the Ancient World ; Judaism and Jewish Studies ; Christianity

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