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A Brotherhood At Qumran? Metaphorical Familial Language In The Dead Sea Scrolls

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Chapter Summary

The Essene communities were characterized by a strong bond of unity among their members, according to Philo and Josephus. This chapter locates familial terminology in the Dead Sea Scrolls, explores where it is used metaphorically and how it then expresses various relationships, particularly between members, but also between members and outsiders and between humans and God. It analyzes the use of household and parent-child metaphors as well as brother metaphors. The chapter focuses on the sectarian literature, particularly the Community Rule (S), the Damascus Document (D), the Rule of the Congregation (1QSa), and the Hodayot (1QHa). It highlights the aspects from metaphor theory, which illuminate the built-in character of metaphors in language and in human thinking. In addition, insights from social identity theory will shed light upon the meanings of these metaphors within the Qumran sect, particularly within the context of how people perceive themselves and others as group members.

Keywords: Dead Sea Scrolls; essene communities; familial language; metaphor theory; Qumran; sectarian literature

10.1163/ej.9789004171633.i-314.57
/content/books/10.1163/ej.9789004171633.i-314.57
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