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Biblical prophetic epithets in Transition II: Prophetic 'Anointed Ones

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Chapter Summary

The biblical corpus uses 'anointed one' rarely for prophets and with a narrow meaning, yet the Qumran scrolls reflect a wide employment of this term without hesitation. Many of the Qumran texts mention the prophet as having been anointed with the 'spirit' or the 'holy spirit'. This too represents a postbiblical innovation in the prophetic use of 'anointed ones'. This chapter traces the development of 'anointed one' as a prophetic designation in the Dead Sea Scrolls and its literary progression from the narrow biblical usage to its widespread and varied employment in the Qumran corpus. After establishing the literary character of the Qumranic application of this expression, two texts are examined (CD 5:21-6:1; 4Q377), which provide some indication as to the larger social function attributed to the ancient prophetic 'anointed ones'.

Keywords: ancient prophetic 'anointed ones'; biblical corpus; Dead Sea Scrolls; holy spirit; Qumran texts



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