Article

Iranian Connections in the Dead Sea Scrolls

Albert De Jong

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/9780199207237.003.0021

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Religion and Theology

 Iranian Connections in the Dead Sea Scrolls

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Zurvanism is a problematic subject in the history of the study of Zoroastrianism, for it was once hailed as the greatest challenge to ‘orthodox’ Zoroastrianism and many irreconcilable aspects with ‘real’ Zoroastrianism were conveniently disposed of by labelling them as ‘Zurbanite’ and, hence, aberrations. It has since been shown that very little evidence supports the notion of Zurvanism as a Zoroastrian ‘heresy’, and that it is mainly to be understood as one of several variants of the chief cosmogony myth. This article examines this myth, which has occasionally been invoked to explain certain aspects of the ideas of the Dead Sea Scrolls. It discusses the possible channels through which Iranian ideas may have become familiar to Jews, and those Iranian elements of the Dead Sea Scrolls that have commonly been recognized as being there: loanwords and imagery.

Keywords: Zurvanism; Zoroastrianism; Dead Sea Scrolls; Iranian ideas; loanwords; chief cosmogony myth

Article.  10548 words. 

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

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