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The Oath and the Community

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The Serek and the Damascus Document describe aspects of the procedures by which a person joined the community, and Josephus explains the entry procedures for aspiring Essenes. An oath is included in all of these descriptions, but, it has been claimed, it is placed at different points in them. A close examination of the texts shows that all of the sources probably locate the oath at the same point in the process of entry into the community; as a result, this aspect of the entry procedures constitutes another close parallel between the communal texts found at Qumran and Josephus's description of the Essenes.

Affiliations: 1: University of Notre Dame, Dept. of Theology 130 Malloy Hall, Notre Dame, IN 46556, Email:


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