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Rethinking The Bible—Sixty Years Of Dead Sea Scrolls Research And Beyond

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Chapter Summary

Sixty years of research into the Dead Sea Scrolls have proved without any doubt that our idea of the Bible is a complete anachronism for that period. Our idea of the Bible assumes that the canonization process was completed and accepted as authoritative by a certain religious group. However, the collection of manuscripts found at Qumran shows that canonization process was not yet complete, since it is easy to demonstrate that neither of the two fundamental assumptions is present there. All of this forces us to Rethink the Bible in order to understand the authoritative writings not anachronistically but in their historical context. If the focus is narrowed to the contributions of research exclusively dedicated to rethinking the Bible it is impossible to do justice to variety and importance of the advances made. This chapter concentrates on two questions: the question of pluriformity or uniformity and the question of authority.

Keywords: anachronism; authoritative writings; canonization; Dead Sea Scrolls; pluriformity; Qumran; rethinking the Bible



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