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From Jesus To The Early Christian Communities: Modes Of Sectarianism In The Light Of The Dead Sea Scrolls

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Chapter Summary

This chapter argues that for sixty years attempts at describing and assessing the relationship between the Dead Sea scrolls and the New Testament have been primarily operating in historical, literary, or thematic ways. It is also important to approach the relationship between the scrolls and the New Testament writings with the sociology of sectarianism in mind from a phenomenological point of view. The resulting comparison has depended upon seeing the development of sectarianism somewhat arbitrarily as occurring in four modes: pre-sectarianism, nascent sectarianism, full-blown sectarianism, and rejuvenated sectarianism. The proposal in the chapter is that when the two literary corpora are put alongside one another with such a model of sectarianism in mind, then because all kinds of parallels have already been observed, we should expect to find the most appropriate kinds of illumination when texts from corresponding modes of sectarian formation are compared with one another.

Keywords: Dead Sea Scrolls; New Testament; sectarianism



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