Article

Rhetorical Criticism and the Reading of the Qumran Scrolls

Carol A. Newsom

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/9780199207237.003.0029

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Religion and Theology

 Rhetorical Criticism and the Reading of the Qumran Scrolls

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Since rhetorical criticism is a method that is all but absent from the study of the Dead Sea Scrolls, this article attempts to make the case for its usefulness. In order to do this, it defines the relevant terms and sets them in historical perspective, examines the distinctive features of Qumran literature that make rhetorical criticism both important and problematic, and discusses whether and in what way rhetorical criticism is in fact a method. The article presents two case studies to illustrate ways in which rhetorical criticism might be conducted. The first is on the Rule texts, which include the Damascus Document and the Community Rule. The second is on the Hodayot or Thanksgiving Hymns.

Keywords: Dead Sea Scrolls; Qumran literature; rhetorical criticism; Hodayot; Thanksgiving Hymns; Community Rule; Damascus Document

Article.  11914 words. 

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

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