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The Temple Scroll

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Chapter Summary

At 8.148 metres in length, the Temple Scroll (11Q19) is the longest document to have been recovered from the caves surrounding the site of Khirbet Qumran. The work of two different scribes, 11Q19 contains sixty-five columns of material written on nineteen sheets of animal skin. The majority of the purity laws in the Temple Scroll are located in columns 45-51. This chapter considers the utopian question and compares the purity laws of the Temple Scroll against the corresponding material in the Torah in order to understand the interpretational tendencies and methods employed by the author/redactor of the scroll. In all, the Temple Scroll contains three passages pertaining to diseases: 11Q19 45.17b-18; 46.16b-18; and 48.14b-49.4. Unlike the Damascus Document however, where the focus is on the symptoms and diagnosis of an unclean skin disease, the Temple Scroll’s interest in diseases is primarily locative.

Keywords: Damascus Document; Qumran; skin disease; Temple Scroll; Torah; utopian



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