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Introduction

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Chapter Summary

Before the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls, there were no extant wisdom texts in Hebrew from the time of Ben Sira until the compilation of the Mishnah. Most of the Qumran scrolls are from the second and first centuries BCE. They contain portions of at least eight previously unknown writings which are widely considered to be wisdom texts. This is the introduction chapter of the book, which focuses on the non-biblical sapiential texts of the Dead Sea Scrolls. They constitute crucial evidence for understanding the wisdom of the late Second Temple period and the reception of traditional wisdom in Early Judaism. It focuses on the interpretation of wisdom texts. It also presents an overview of a composition and identifies its main themes and concerns. Issues such as genre classification and provenance are also treated. The texts covered in the book are commonly identified as sapiential.

Keywords: composition; Dead Sea Scrolls; interpretation; Judaism; non-biblical sapiential texts; Qumran scrolls; Second Temple period; wisdom texts

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