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The giving of the Torah at Sinai and the ethics of the Qumran community

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Chapter Summary

The four contributing factors of scriptural tradition, identity formation, political and cultural contexts, and theology, especially in the form of eschatology, worked in an interrelated way to help shape the ethics of Qumran community. This chapter focuses on how the Qumran sectarians appropriated the scriptural traditions about the Sinai covenant for their ethics. It also focuses on how this appropriation of scriptural traditions had effects on identity formation at Qumran as well, which in turn had ethical implications. It gives hints of how the Sinai traditions may have played a role in their responses to their political and cultural contexts, as well as in their eschatology. The chapter addresses the more general question of how the scrolls from Qumran speak about ethics. The giving of the Torah at Sinai left its imprints on the ethics of the Qumran community through the jostling together of all four of these contributing factors.

Keywords: ethics; identity formation; Qumran community; scriptural tradition; Sinai covenant; Torah



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