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Some Thoughts About The Diffusion Of Biblical Manuscripts In Antiquity

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Chapter Summary

This chapter offers some thoughts on the diffusion of biblical manuscripts in antiquity and to find out whether our knowledge of the Dead Sea Scrolls aids us in understanding the state of affairs in the period when the scrolls were written as well as in earlier periods. When speaking of the diffusion of the biblical scrolls, it refers to the number of copies that were circulating, their origin and possible patterns of distribution. It is probable that in early centuries only single copies of the books were extant in the Temple and some of them were rewritten there. At an unknown point, books started to circulate beyond the Temple, possibly when they were accepted as Scripture. Relatively large number of copies found among the Judean Desert scrolls that relate to the last two centuries B.C.E. and the first centuries C.E.

Keywords: biblical manuscripts; Dead Sea Scrolls; distribution pattern; Judean Desert scrolls



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