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The Minor Wisdom Texts

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Chapter Summary

Several minor texts from Qumran have been associated with wisdom tradition. A few of these compositions can be reasonably understood as sapiential texts, such as 4Q412 and 4Q425. It is not surprising that there is variety regarding this material. There is often not enough evidence to decide satisfactorily whether a given fragment is from a wisdom text or not. This chapter reviews some of the more substantial minor Qumran texts that have been related to wisdom tradition: 4Q302, 4Q303-05, 4Q412, 4Q413, 4Q419 and 4Q425. Several hymnic-sapiential works are also examined: 4Q411, 4Q426 and 4Q528. It assesses the extent to which these texts can be considered sapiential. This chapter does not review all Qumran writings that have been listed as possible wisdom texts. They are often too fragmentary to interpret sufficiently. In several cases a composition has been given a sapiential title, but its official editor only tentatively endorses this designation.

Keywords: hymnic-sapiential works; minor wisdom texts; Qumran texts; sapiential texts; wisdom tradition

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