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Iranian Influences In Qumran?

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Chapter Summary

The influence of Iranian religious ideas on the development of some key concepts in the Hebrew Bible was one of the most hotly debated issues among the adherents and adversaries of the religionsgeschichtliche Schule in the first part of the twentieth century. The biblical book has imported the general idea, the specific detail and the name of the demon. With these methodological caveats in mind, this chapter looks at the two best cases by which the influence of Iranian ideas in the apocalyptic thought of Qumran has been asserted. These two examples are the dualism of theTreatise of the Two Spiritsin the Rule of the Community, and the scheme of the final war in seven alternate phases in which each of the two opposing forces has the upper hand in turn before the final victory of the forces of light.

Keywords: Hebrew Bible; Iranian religious ideas; methodological caveats; Qumran community; war scroll



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