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Looking For Legal Midrash At Qumran

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Chapter Summary

From the earliest days of their discovery and publication, the Dead Sea Scrolls have added immeasurably to our knowledge of ancient Jewish scriptural interpretation and of the history of ancient Jewish law. There is relatively little legal midrash to be found at Qumran, at least at or above the textual surface. Rather than regard this primarily as a negative datum requiring us to look below that surface in search of, or in reconstruction of, legal midrash at Qumran, we should view this firstly as a positive datum for how the Qumran community chose to formulate and transmit its legal traditions in relation to the Torah of Moses and the ongoing revelatory process in which it viewed itself as the latest and consummate stage.

Keywords: Dead Sea Scrolls; legal midrash; qumran



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