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Laws Pertaining To Women And Sexuality In The Early Stratum Of The Damascus Document

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Chapter Summary

This chapter investigates the relationship of certain laws pertaining to women in the corpus we generally term the Dead Sea Scrolls, that is, the collection of scrolls discovered at Qumran, to the corpus of law generally known as Pharisaic-rabbinic law. It concentrates on laws pertaining to women that appear in the Damascus Document in the earliest stratum, as defined by Hempel and Wassen. This is because these texts help to build up a general picture that we are seeking about the nature of the Sadducee/Zadokite legal system as it was practiced before there was a Qumran sect. The chapter concentrates on comparison with Pharisaic-rabbinic parallels. Certain marriages permitted by the Pharisaic-rabbinic tradition, such as those of women who had sexual relations outside of marriage, were prohibited by the sectarians.

Keywords: Damascus Document; earliest stratum; Pharisaic-rabbinic law; sexual relations; women



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