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Wealth And Sectarianism: Comparing Qumranic And Early Christian Social Approaches

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Chapter Summary

With regard to Qumran and the New Testament, this chapter demonstrates that wealth is not merely a matter of social conditions or social reality concerning the relationship between the rich and the poor in society. It presents some of the approaches towards wealth in the Qumran sects and the early Christian communities. It explains similarities and significant differences between Qumranic and early Christian approaches. The chapter also shows that certain approaches to wealth and its conceptualisation as a social boundary are markers of sectarian ideology. In doing so the author is following his own treatment of the subject in his book Sectarianism in Qumran: A Cross-Cultural Perspective. Hence, it is possible to observe whether the early Christians adopted sectarian approaches to wealth, quite similar to the Qumran sects, or were they rather more conformist in relation to the surrounding society.

Keywords: early Christian approaches; New Testament; Qumran; sectarian ideology



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