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The Qumran Sectarians And The Temple In Jerusalem

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Chapter Summary

It is commonly agreed by specialists in the Dead Sea Scrolls that the Qumran sectarians had turned their back on the Temple in Jerusalem and constructed for themselves a new Judaism in which the life and prayers and sacred meals of the community took the place of the sacrifices performed by the priests. The texts on which the standard picture is based refer to a time in the past when the community, or its leader, broke with a wicked priest, and to a time in the future when a corrupt priest or priests will suffer for their sins. The texts also in some places describe the community as being itself in some sense now a sacrifice offered to God in atonement for sin. At the heart of the issue is the much wider question of the model of Second Temple Judaism against which the Qumran evidence should be interpreted.

Keywords: dead sea scrolls; Jerusalem temple; Judaism; Qumran sectarians



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