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Wisdom at Qumran


A Form-Critical Analysis of the Admonitions in 4QInstruction


This study provides background on wisdom forms, the key Qumran sectarian texts, and wisdom studies related to the Dead Sea Scrolls. 4QInstruction includes poetic discourses, hymnic material, and short wisdom sayings and admonitions. A major focus is placed on the admonitions, which are discussed in terms of their structure, wisdom forms, and setting. The admonitions are expressed in biblical wisdom forms, showing a familiarity with and acceptance of traditional Hebrew wisdom, including a focus on traditional themes. Yet, when read from the sectarian perspective, 4QInstruction reinforces the guidelines and theology of the key Dead Sea Scroll documents.
Publisher: Gorgias Press LLC
Availability: In stock
SKU (ISBN): 978-1-4632-0369-6
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Publication Status: In Print

Publication Date: Jun 12,2014
Interior Color: Black
Trim Size: 6 x 9
Page Count: 348
Language: English
ISBN: 978-1-4632-0369-6
$114.00

Wisdom literature reflects the human desire to understand the world and recognize proper human conduct. Wisdom has been identified and studied widely in its Ancient Near Eastern context. Still, the study of wisdom texts found in the Dead Sea Scrolls has only recently come into focus. One such text, 4QInstruction, is a large document known only from its occurrence among the Dead Sea Scrolls. 4QInstruction includes poetic discourses, hymnic material, and short wisdom sayings and admonitions.

This study provides background on wisdom forms, the key Qumran sectarian texts, and wisdom studies related to the Dead Sea Scrolls. After a summary of 4QInstruction as a whole, a major portion of the study focuses on the admonitions in 4QInstruction, identifying the literary forms used in the admonitions as a way to better assess the relationship between 4QInstruction, biblical wisdom, and the broader wisdom tradition. The admonitions are grouped by topic and discussed in terms of their structure, wisdom forms, and setting. The intended message of the text is then considered in light of the biblical wisdom tradition and the sectarian Dead Sea Scroll texts, which make up the context for 4QInstruction.

The admonitions are expressed in biblical wisdom forms, showing a familiarity with and acceptance of traditional Hebrew wisdom, including a focus on traditional themes. Yet, when read from the sectarian perspective, 4QInstruction reinforces the guidelines and theology of the key Dead Sea Scroll documents.

Daryl F. Jefferies holds a master's degree and doctorate in Hebrew and Semitic Studies from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. His research interests center on the wisdom literature found in the Dead Sea Scrolls. This research includes studying the development of wisdom thought and literature in its ancient Israelite, Egyptian, Jewish, and early Christian forms.

Wisdom literature reflects the human desire to understand the world and recognize proper human conduct. Wisdom has been identified and studied widely in its Ancient Near Eastern context. Still, the study of wisdom texts found in the Dead Sea Scrolls has only recently come into focus. One such text, 4QInstruction, is a large document known only from its occurrence among the Dead Sea Scrolls. 4QInstruction includes poetic discourses, hymnic material, and short wisdom sayings and admonitions.

This study provides background on wisdom forms, the key Qumran sectarian texts, and wisdom studies related to the Dead Sea Scrolls. After a summary of 4QInstruction as a whole, a major portion of the study focuses on the admonitions in 4QInstruction, identifying the literary forms used in the admonitions as a way to better assess the relationship between 4QInstruction, biblical wisdom, and the broader wisdom tradition. The admonitions are grouped by topic and discussed in terms of their structure, wisdom forms, and setting. The intended message of the text is then considered in light of the biblical wisdom tradition and the sectarian Dead Sea Scroll texts, which make up the context for 4QInstruction.

The admonitions are expressed in biblical wisdom forms, showing a familiarity with and acceptance of traditional Hebrew wisdom, including a focus on traditional themes. Yet, when read from the sectarian perspective, 4QInstruction reinforces the guidelines and theology of the key Dead Sea Scroll documents.

Daryl F. Jefferies holds a master's degree and doctorate in Hebrew and Semitic Studies from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. His research interests center on the wisdom literature found in the Dead Sea Scrolls. This research includes studying the development of wisdom thought and literature in its ancient Israelite, Egyptian, Jewish, and early Christian forms.

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Contributor

Daryl Jefferies

  • Acknowledgments (page 5)
  • Contents (page 7)
  • Abbreviations (page 11)
  • Introduction (page 13)
  • The Forms of Wisdom Literature (page 17)
  • The Sectarian Rules (page 25)
  • Introduction to 4QInstruction (page 63)
  • The Wisdom Forms in the Admonitions of 4QInstruction (page 91)
  • A Form Critical Analysis of the Admonitions in 4QInstruction (page 127)
  • Conclusions (page 331)
  • Bibliography (page 337)
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