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Prophets and progressive revelation: The presentation of the prophets as lawgivers in the Dead Sea Scrolls

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Chapter Summary

Alongside the portrait of the ancient prophets as foretellers of future events, the Qumran corpus, including both sectarian and nonsectarian documents, attests to an equally ubiquitous conceptualization of the ancient prophets and their primary responsibilities. Several documents within the Qumran corpus routinely represent the ancient prophets as mediators of divinely revealed law, often in cooperation with Moses. This chapter examines these documents in order to generate a full portrait of the community's conceptualization of the ancient prophets as lawgivers and the relationship of this conceptual model to the contemporary lawgiving activity of the community. It examines the relationship between prophecy and law in the Hebrew Bible. The decidedly non-juridical role of the classical prophets in the Hebrew Bible is dramatically transformed in the Dead Sea Scrolls, whereby the ancient prophets, alongside Moses, become active mediators of divinely revealed law.

Keywords: ancient prophets; Dead Sea Scrolls; Hebrew Bible; lawgivers; Moses; Qumran corpus



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