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Priestly Functions In A Community Without Temple

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Chapter Summary

The question of this chapter follows directly from the undisputed conclusions of modern research: accepting that at Qumran there were priests and that these priests were not taking part in the sacrificial cult of the temple, what were their functions within the community? The chapter offers an inventory of some of the functions, as they are attributed to priests in the Dead Sea Scrolls. It gives a sampling of what the texts say about priests, ordering these quotations in what could be termed “a taxonomy of priestly functions in a community without temple.” This taxonomy clearly reveals that these priests, in addition to the new functions attributed to them, continue to practice within their community the traditional priestly functions which were not directly dependent upon the sacrificial cult in the temple, such as the use of lots, teaching, judging and blessing.

Keywords: blessing; community without temple; Dead Sea Scrolls; judging; priestly functions; Qumran; sacrificial cult; teaching



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