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Summary and synthesis

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Chapter Summary

After much work on M in the initial years after its discovery in 1947, interest in this scroll soon abated. Most subsequent scholarship relied on the works of Yigael Yadin and Jean Carmignac who treated the scroll as a single literary composition, or of Philip Davies who sought to outline the various literary units of the document and reconstruct its compositional history. The publication of texts related to M from Caves 4 and 11 in the 1980s and 1990s renewed the attention it received somewhat. Yet surprisingly, while the majority view was that M was a composite document with a complicated compositional history, no one sought to evaluate previous theories on the scrolls evolution in light of the new data. The authors understanding of the eschatological war as described in M crystallized into something different than hitherto suggested, with implications for understanding the scrolls compositional history.

Keywords: compositional history; eschatological war; War scroll



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