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Greek Manuscripts from the Judaean Desert

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Chapter Summary

The mere presence of Greek manuscripts in the caves of Qumran is in itself intriguing and important. The spread of the Greek language and an at least partial fusion of cultures are illustrated by the onetime existence both of Greek literature from this period (300 B.C. to A.D. 300) about the Jews and of a body of Palestinian Jewish literature in the Greek language. The relevant history of Israel accustomed the nation to Greek language and culture, and use of the Greek language was pervasive enough to allow it to be used sometimes to inculcate stricter religious-patriotic ideas; the Greek MSS found at Qumran and Wadi Khabra are consistent in their text affiliation and vocabulary with the possibility that they were written for members of the Qumran sect with its intense desire to recreate a primitively innocent nation; and therefore that the sect included members whose first language was Greek.

Keywords: Greek manuscripts; Israel; Palestinian Jewish literature; Qumran; Wadi Khabra



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