Zwinglius Redivivus

Scholars of The Dead Sea Scrolls: A Question

Posted in Dead Sea Scrolls by Jim on December 12, 2012

411729_458884864147416_1680053989_oToday the Genizah Unit at Cambridge writes on their facebook page-

The recent upload of Mosseri Genizah material on the Cambridge Digital Library includes Mos.I.40, a manuscript that N. Wieder believed showed a clear link between Karaism and the Dead Sea sect, through its use of the term עדת בני צדוק.

This has piqued my interest and I’m wondering 1) what the DSS experts think of Wieder’s suggestion and 2) what, if he’s right, that implies for Scrolls research.

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  1. Peter said, on December 13, 2012 at 08:44

    Well, somehow also the Cairo (Damascus) Document must have come to Cairo… So why not ;-) But the phrase is not found in Qumran, I think. It is not impossible, but perhaps there are better arguments?

  2. Lawrence H. Schiffman said, on December 13, 2012 at 09:12

    Naftali Wider has done much to advance the discussion of parallels between the Dead Sea Sect and the medieval Karaite movement. (See his volume, The Judaean Scrolls and Karaism, and his collected articles.) He correctly realized that Karaism had absorbed much from the teachings of Second Temple period sectarianism. Other scholars and the Karaities themselves have continuously pointed to the heritage of Saduceeism as a factor in the later development of Karaism. We must also remember the survival–somehow–into the Midde Ages of the Damascus Document (Zadokite Fragments) discoved in the Cairo genizah and later in 10 manuscipts at Qumran. The difficulty is that we cannot trace the specific channels of preservation and transmission that enabled these traditions to reemerge in the Middle Ages.

    L. Schiffman

  3. Eibert said, on December 14, 2012 at 10:31

    On this particular fragment virtually no scrolls scholars have written, and all very briefly (Talmon, RevQ 2/8 pp. 470-1; Fitzmyer, Prolegomenon in reedition of Schechter, 14; Lange, STDJ 18, 237; Hempel in Damascus Texts). It was also included in Ginzberg (p. 323) and in Habermann’s edition of the scrolls (p. 166). All were influenced by the editio princeps of Levi (‘Document relatif à la «Communauté des filsde Sadoc»’, REJ 65 (1913) 24-31) who mistakenly stated that the Karaites never referred to themselves as בני צדוק. I side with Schechter JQR NS IV (1914) 449 who briefly stated: “I think that the find represents a remainder of a liturgical piece of the well-known type of the Piyuṭ of a later period. In no case has it any bearing upon the ‘Zadokite’ problem.”

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