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Nordic Network in Qumran Studies

Nordic symposiums

The Nordic Network in Qumran Studies meets annually in a symposium where members as well as invited scholars and guest lecturers from around the world give papers based on their research and special expertise in Qumran studies.

For programs of the symposiums held in previous years, please follow the links below:

| Helsinki 2003 | Oslo 2004 |
| Jerusalem 2005 | Copenhagen 2006 |
| Uppsala 2007 |


The fifth annual symposium of the network was held in

Uppsala on 5-7 October 2007.


For abstracts of some of the papers, click the paper titles that are highlighted in red in the program below.

A number of the lectures will appear in Svensk Exegetisk Ã?rsbok 2008.

Thursday, 4 October 2007

  Arrival and registration at Uppsala Akademihotellet
6:00 p.m. Reception of the vice-chancellor of Uppsala University
8:00 p.m. Dinner at a local restaurant

Friday, 5 October 2007

The Exegetical Day
Venue: University building, lecture hall IV

9:00 a.m. Keynote lecture 1:
Assoc. Prof. Torleif Elgvin:
Sixty Years of Qumran Scholarship: Implications for Biblical Studies
10:30 a.m. coffee/tea at Café Alma
11:00 a.m. Keynote lecture 1:
Prof. Sarianna Metso:
When the Evidence Does not Fit: Method, Theory, and the Dead Sea Scrolls
12:30 p.m. lunch at Il forno, St. Olofsgatan 8
2:00 p.m. Panel session:
The Qumran Texts and Our Culture (the Nordic Qumran textbook) with representatives from the academy, church, synagogue and cultural life
3:30 p.m. coffee/tea at Café Alma
  short papers:
4:00 p.m. Cecilia Wassen:
Speaking in the Tongues of Angels: Communion with Angels in Paul's letters and the Dead Sea Scrolls
4:30 p.m. Stephen Hultgren:
4Q521, the Second Benediction of the Tefilla, the Hasidim, and the Development of Royal Messianism
5:00 p.m. Kamilla Skarström:
Speaking in the Tongues of Angels: Communion with Angels in Paul's letters and the Dead Sea Scrolls
5:30 p.m. Juhana Saukkonen:
Religion at Qumran: Methodological Considerations
6:00 p.m. Yearly proceedings of the Uppsala Exegetical Society
7:00 p.m. Festivity Dinner by the Uppsala Exegetical Society at Göteborg's Nation

Saturday, 6 October 2007

NNQS Network day
Venue: the English Park, 7-0042

9:00 a.m. Keynote lecture 3:
Annette Steudel:
How to write a History of Qumran Literature
10:30 a.m. coffee
11:00 a.m. Keynote lecture 4:
Hans-Georg von Mutius:
Non-Masoretic Biblical Text in the Midrash Ha-Gadol
12:45 p.m. lunch at Il forno
2:00 p.m. seminar by Sarianna Metso
3:30 p.m. coffee
4:00 p.m. cultural excursion to Old Uppsala
7:00 p.m. festivity dinner at Alexander's

Sunday, 7 October 2007

NNQS Network day
Venue: the Department of Theology

9:00 a.m. Proceedings of the NNQS (the future, textbook, Nordic course)
10:00 a.m. coffee
  short papers:
10:30 a.m. Hanna Tervanotko:
The Figure of Miriam Preserved in the Qumran Library
11:00 a.m. Ian Werret:
Latrines, Essenes and 4Q472a: A Reappraisal of Qumran's Position on the Impurity of Excrement
11:30 a.m. Trine B. Hasselbach:
Literary Invention and the Mediation of Divine Knowledge at Qumran
12:15 p.m. lunch at Il forno
1:00 p.m. Final proceedings on future projects, research etc.
Closing of the symposium


Trine B. Hasselbalch
Literary Invention and the Mediation of Divine Knowledge at Qumran

The aim of this presentation is to explore the rhetorical function of two specific figures in the Dead Sea Scrolls - the Teacher of Righteousness, as he is presented primarily in the Pesher Habbakkuk, and the remarkably individualistic psalmist of the Hodayot leader-psalms.

These figures are both exposed as exclusive mediators of divine knowledge, otherwise withheld from human beings, and thus they resemble the "seers" of the apocalypses. It seems to me that the authors of Hodayot and Pesher Habakkuk consciously worked with apocalyptic patterns in their effort to re-present traditional material in new settings, social as well as literary, and claim ultimate authority for their re-presentations:

Form is as important as content in this respect: Hodayot is a collection of psalms that resembles scriptural psalms, but has some significant features of its own. Pesher Habakkuk is a representative of a genre formerly unseen. The texts demonstrate great creativity when it comes to development of extant genres and invention of new ones. This, together with the infusing of apocalyptic thinking was rhetorically productive and meaningful for the effort to promote a changing identity for the society in which these texts belonged.

By way of transferring the apocalyptic-like mediating figure from a common literary realm, which the Dead Sea society shared with the larger society from which it was striving to detach itself, into its own literary compositions, the authors could picture divine revelation and election as applying exclusively to the sectarian society. This way the dominating discourses of the surrounding society could be replaced by way of inventing, developing, and mixing genres.


Stephen Hultgren
4Q521, the Second Benediction of the Tefilla, the Hasidim, and the Development of Royal Messianism

Since its official publication in 1992, the text 4Q521 2 ii 1-15 has aroused much interest, due to its messianic reference, its reference to resurrection of the dead, and not least the striking parallels to Matt 11:2-6//Luke 7:18-23. Much effort has been spent on identifying its genre, its origin, and the identity of the messianic figure(s) in line 1. What has generally been missed, however, is that the closest parallel is to be found in the Jewish liturgy, namely, in the second benediction of the Tefilla, the daily Jewish prayer. The open questions about this text find satisfactory answers when we pay attention to this parallel. This paper will argue that 4Q521 2 ii 1-15 is a quasi-liturgical text that has its origins among the hasidim in the Palestinian synagogue, not in Qumran. It gives expression to the piety of the hasidim and to their hope in God's salvation in the messianic era. The "messiah" of line 1 is a royal messiah. The text also resembles closely the Psalms of Solomon, which have a similar origin.


Juhana Markus Saukkonen
Religion at Qumran: Methodological Considerations

Much has been written on the religion and theology as they are represented in the Qumran scrolls. As for the archaeological remains of Khirbet Qumran, scholars usually assume a direct link between them and the scrolls. Therefore, the ruins and artefacts from the khirbeh serve as an illustrative aid and even as a set of proof data. Many of the scrolls are concerned with ritual purity, and the miqvaot at the site attest to the purity concerns of the community. Communal meals are described in 1QS, and the archaeologists even found a pantry full of crockery that was supposedly used for these meals.

This paper examines the theoretical and methodological foundations for studying the religion that was practised at the site of Khirbet Qumran. Archaeology of religion is a developing field of study, and not always very well understood. In particular, archaeology of early Judaism is all too often treated as a handmaid to textual studies. Stronger correlation with the recent methodological discussions in archaeology would allow us to aqcuire a richer - and, hopefully, more accurate - picture of the archaeology of Judaism and, especially, of Qumran.

In addition, I will offer examples of what we should look for in the archaeological record of Qumran in order to establish an understanding of the religion of its inhabitants.


Kamilla Skarström
Translating as Interpreting: Some Practical and Theoretical Problems Concerning the Translation and Interpretation of 1QS

I will raise some problems concerning the translation of 1QS which I am conducting for the Swedish translation project of the Qumran literature. In line with my Ph.D. project, where I am interested in doing a synchronic reading of 1QS, I would like to discuss a few sections in the text within the context of 1QS; 1.9, 1.14 and 3.10. These three sections resemble each other, 3.10 seems to be a combination of the other two or, it is the other way around; 1.9 and 14 are elaborating on 3.10. Judging from the interpretations of these sections in some the extant translations two different ways in translating these sections are possible: One is to read the section/sections as dealing with the revelation of the right Calendrical times the other as dealing with the rules, commands or norms revealed in, and regulating, each time. Perhaps the three sections are to be interpreted differently. I will discuss the interpretation of these sections in the light of relevant sections in 1QS at large and in col. 8-9 in particular.


Hanna Tervanotko
The Figure of Miriam Preserved in the Qumran Library

My doctoral research examines the figure of Miriam in the Ancient Jewish literature, from the Iron Age until the Roman Era. In this talk I analyze how the figure was preserved in the Dead Sea Scrolls.

The Miriam figure appears in the following manuscripts: Extended Song of Miriam in 4Q365 (Reworked Peantateuch), 4QApocryphon Pentateuch B (4Q377), 4QVisions of Amran (4Q543, 4Q545, 4Q547) and the Text mentioning Miriam and Hur (4Q549). What these add to the figure preserved in the Hebrew Bible? I will also summarize how the reception of the Miriam figure was in other Jewish literature dating to the Hellenistic Era.


Ian Werrett
Latrines, Essenes and 4Q472a: A Reappraisal of Qumran's Position on the Impurity of Excrements

In order to understand the power that the Dead Sea Scrolls have over the imagination of the general public, one need look no further than the recent spate of articles in the popular press on the so-called Qumran latrines. In the fall of 2006, dozens of humorously titled articles, such as "Biblical Latrine: Ancient Parasites Show That Cleanliness May Have Been Next To Sickliness" and "How Toilet Habits Killed off Dead Sea Scrolls Sect," appeared in The New York Times, The Independent, MSNBC and a variety of other mainstream publications around the world. These non-academic articles detailed the discovery of a purportedly ancient latrine to the northwest of Qumran, which, according to a forthcoming article in Revue de Qumran by Joe Zias and James Tabor, proves that the individuals who lived at the site of Qumran during the Second Temple period were none other than the Jewish sect known as the Essenes. Based upon certain bioarchaeological evidence from the Qumran plateau, the witness of Josephus, who describes the defecation habits of the Essenes (Bellum 2.147-49), and a passage from the Temple Scroll, which calls for latrines to be built 3,000 cubits to the northwest of the "city of the Temple" (11Q19 46.13-16; cf. Deut 23:12-14), Zias and Tabor claim that the authors of the Dead Sea Scrolls understood their community to be a physical replacement for the Temple (cf. 4Q174 1 2 i 6; 1QS 9.4-6) and, as such, they attempted to protect the "city of the Temple" (i.e., Qumran) from the impurity of excrement by building communal latrines to the northwest of their habitation. While these precautions may have protected the community from ritual impurity, Zias and Tabor argue that it did not protect them from a variety of parasites and bacterial illnesses.

In contrast to Zias and Tabor's approach, which is based, in part, on a systematic reading of the Greek and Qumran sources, the following paper will attempt to establish the Dead Sea Scroll's position on the subject of excrement by focusing exclusively on the relevant material from Qumran (1QM 7.6b-7; 4Q265 6 2; 4Q472a 2-4; and 11Q19 46.13-16). Special attention will be given to Elgvin and Werrett's forthcoming publication on 4Q472a and the place of this fragment in the debate. In particular, it will be shown that, contrary to its reconstruction in DJD 35, 4Q472a does not contain any references to excrement or defecation and that this fragment should not be used to understand Qumran's position on the matter. In the end, it will be suggested that the relevant material in the Dead Sea Scrolls is inconsistent and that it cannot be used to recreate a cohesive and consistent approach on the subject of defecation.


Cecilia Wassen
Speaking in the Tongues of Angels: Communion with Angels in Paul's Letters and the Dead Sea Scrolls

It has become increasingly clear lately that Paul was a visionary and a mystic, whose accounts should be interpreted within the context of Jewish mystical and apocalyptic literature of his time. An important part in Paul's mysticism is the communion with angels, apparent in e.g., 1 Corinthians 11, where he takes for granted that angels are present during the worship of the congregation. We find the same belief in a communion between humans and angels in the Dead Sea Scrolls. Many documents from Qumran testify to an intense interest in angels and elaborate upon the nature of angels and their interaction with humans. This paper examines Paul's ideas about angels in light of recent scholarship on angelology in the Dead Sea Scrolls, which can advance our understanding of the allusions to angels in the Pauline corpus.



The fourth annual symposium of the network was held in

Copenhagen on 25-27 August 2006.

Prof. Hanan Eshel, Bar Ilan University, Israel, was with his wife Esther (professor at the same university) guest lecturer. Hanan is both archaeologist and a Dead Sea Scrolls scholar.


Unless stated otherwise, the sessions were held at the University of Copenhagen, Faculty of Theology.

Friday, 25 August 2006

9:30 a.m. Opening of the symposium
9:45 a.m. Esther Eshel:
The Dream Visions in 1QapGen
11:00 a.m. coffee
11:15 a.m. Hanan Eshel:
New Discoveries from the Judaean Desert on the Bar Kokhba Revolt
12:30 a.m. lunch
1:30 p.m. Jesper Høgenhaven:
The Copper Scroll
2:45 p.m. coffee
3:00 p.m. Jutta Jokiranta and Cecilia Wassen:
Fictive Familial Language in the Dead Sea Scrolls
4:15 p.m. Årstein Justnes:
4Q246: A Reconsideration
6:00 p.m. dinner
  Option for the evening: Canal tour

Saturday, 26 August 2006

9:00 a.m. Mikael Winninge:
Essenes and Christians in Jerusalem: Reflections Concerning the Sources behind Luke-Acts
10:30 a.m. coffee
10:45 a.m. Torleif Elgvin:
Scriptural Exegesis in 1Q/4QMysteries
12:00 p.m. lunch
1:00 p.m. Visit at the Glyptotek's Near Eastern collection
4:30 p.m. Magnar Kartveit:
4Q371 and 4Q372 in their Contemporary Context
5:45 p.m. Gunnar Haaland:
An Enfant Terrible from the Galilee and Salient Sages from the Wilderness
7:00 p.m. dinner
Evening Participants: Evening off.
Board: Meeting

Sunday, 27 August 2006

9:00 a.m. Hanan Eshel:
Two Historical Layers in 1QpHab
10:30 a.m. coffee
10:45 a.m. Jonathan Norton:
The Question of Scribal Exegesis at Qumran
12:00 p.m. lunch
1:00 p.m. Juhana Saukkonen
The Archaeology of Qumran: Consensus Lost?
2:00 p.m. Presentation of projects:
Kamilla Skarström
Trine Bjørnung Hasselbalch
4:00 p.m. Closing of the symposium

The third annual symposium of the network was held in

Jerusalem on 22-29 September 2005.

For an overview of this highly successful symposium, click here to see a report written by Cecilia Wassen. See also some photographs from the symposium. For the full symposium program, scroll down this page. For abstracts (and/or abbreviated versions) of some of the papers, click the paper titles that are highlighted in red in the program.

The fruitful atmosphere of the symposium is illuminated by a note that the network received after the symposium, from one of the invited guest lecturers:

I would like to thank you for inviting me to present a paper for your team.

I profoundly enjoyed the company and the discussion, as well as my first visit to the Ecole biblique. It seems that the Nordic network is establishing itself as a respectable forum for Qumran scholarship. I wish you success with this work in the future.

Jonathan Ben-Dov, Ph.D., Haifa University

'Under the microscope' - report from the scrollery

In the week before the symposium our coordinator Torleif Elgvin worked intensively in the scrollery of the Israel Antiquities Authority, teaching younger scholars to study the original fragments under microscope and infrared camera. New readings and improvement of the understanding of particular fragments were established in the study of 4Q301Mysteriesc, 4QMMT (one of the manuscripts), 4Q521Messianic Apocalypse, and 4Q448 (the "Son of God" text). On the last day of the symposium all the participants got a taste of working with the microscope on a particular manuscript, identifying a letter lost (i.e. never discovered) in the editio major, and perceiving the follicle structure of the fragments, a tool for connecting or disconnecting fragments. One of our English invited participants, Jonathan Norton of Oxford University, had in the Shrine of the Book the opportunity to study a sheet of the great Isaiah scroll to confirm a suspected scribal correction in a particular verse.


Unless stated otherwise, the sessions were held at the Ã?cole Biblique et Archéologique Française, where the participants were also accommodated.

For abstracts (and/or abbreviated versions) of some of the papers, click the paper titles that are highlighted in red in the program below.

Thursday, 22 September 2005

Arrival at the Ã?cole Biblique.

Friday, 23 September 2005

9:00 a.m. Introduction to the Ã?cole library
9:30 a.m. Esther Eshel:
Different Types of Exegesis in Qumran Scrolls
11:00 a.m. Daniel Falk:
Reworked Pentateuch Reconsidered
Short papers:
2:00 p.m. Ian Werret:
The Reconstruction of 4QMMT: A Critical Assessment
3:00 p.m. Hanne von Weissenberg:
New Readings in 4QMMT
4:00 p.m. Jonathan Norton:
Perceptions of Plurality: Reflections on Paul's Use of Scripture and the Biblical "Text" of the Qumran Corpus

Saturday, 24 September 2005

9:30 a.m. Steve Pfann:
A Review of Qumran Archaeology
11:00 a.m. Steve Pfann:
Qumran History and the Different Caves

Sunday, 25 September 2005

9:00 a.m.-
12:15 p.m./
1:15 p.m.-
2:30 p.m.
Ada Yardeni:
Introductory course in Qumran palaeography
4:30 p.m.
Short papers:
5:00 p.m. Mladen Popovic:
Physiognomics and Astrology in the Dead Sea Scrolls
6:00 p.m. Magnar Kartveit:
On 4QaramList of False Prophets (4Q339)

Monday, 26 September 2005

8:00 a.m. Full day tour at Qumran, starting with caves 11 and 3, with Hanan Eshel

Tuesday, 27 September 2005

9:00 a.m. Location:
Orion Center, Hebrew University, Mount Scopus
Introduction to the Orion Center
Ester Chazon:
Qumran and Jewish Liturgy
Short sightseeing at the Mount Scopus Library
10:30 a.m. Short paper:
Cecilia Wassen:
Angels, Demons, and Rules of Exclusion in the Dead Sea Scrolls
Short sightseeing at the Mount Scopus Library
3:30 p.m. J. Ben-Dov:
Composition and Transmission of the Book of Astronomy in 1 Enoch
4:45 p.m. Michael Segal:
Torah and Teudah: The Origins of Law in Jubilees
Short papers:
6:00 p.m. Anders Klostergaard Petersen and David Warburton:
Reconstructiong Qumran - Whence and Whither?
7:00 p.m. Daniel Stökl Ben Ezra:
Old Caves and Young Caves: Two Qumran Collections?
(for an abbreviated version of the paper in MS Word format, click here)

Wednesday, 28 September 2005

9:00 a.m. Location:
Israel Museum
Introduction to the Shrine of the Book (Adolfo Roitman)
10:15 a.m. Visit at IAA's scrollery in two groups of ten (half hour each), briefing by curator Lena Liebman on the options for studying specific scrolls, including use of microscope.
afterwards: Time in the exhibitions at the Shrine of the Book and archeological section of the Museum (e.g. the Bet David inscription and the Ketef Hinnom amulets). Options for 1-2 participants to remain in scrollery to study fragments.
7:30 p.m. Festive buffet/reception with invited guests

Thursday, 29 September 2005


Daily schedule at the Ã?cole:

7:00-9:00 a.m.
12:30 p.m. Lunch
19:45 p.m. Dinner

Abstracts (Jerusalem 2005)

Daniel Stökl Ben Ezra:
Old Caves and Young Caves: Two Qumran Collections?

(For an abbreviated version of the paper in MS Word format, click here.
See also Daniel Stökl Ben Ezra's website.)

A statistical analysis of the average age of the scrolls of each of the Qumran caves proves that the manuscripts from caves 1 and 4 cannot come from the same collection as those found in caves 2,3,5,6 and 11 (p<0.0001 !), at least not as random samples. The scenario that all or most caves served as emergency hiding places for the Qumran collection around 68 CE has therefore to be discarded or fundamentally modified. Most probably, the "old" caves 1 and 4 represent the Qumran collection at an earlier point in history than the "young" caves 2,3,5,6,11. Assuming Qumran was destroyed by fire around 4 BCE, I try to address the question how manuscripts older than that fire survived. According to Jodi Magness that fire was probably caused by an attack, too. I therefore suggest the following scenario: cave 4 was an emergency hiding / library / depository around 4 BCE, and the mss from cave 1 were hidden also at that time. The young caves 2,3,5,6,11 represent the Qumran library at the second attack and fire around 68 BCE. Cave 4 either served as "stacks" during period II or was a kind of Geniza, therefore we find some but not many CE mss in cave 4. If the old manuscripts from cave 4 were already mutilated around 4 BCE, this could explain why they remained in that cave during period II.


The second annual symposium of the network was held in

Oslo, Norway, on 3-5 June 2004.

The guest lecturer for the symposium was Prof. George Brooke from the University of Manchester.

To see notes from the concluding session of the symposium, click here. For abstracts of some of the papers, click the titles below (highlighted in red), or scroll down the page.

Program (Oslo 2004)

Thursday, 3 June 2004

Location: The Lutheran School of Theology (Menighetsfakultetet), Gydas vei 4, Majorstua (subway 'T-bane' to Majorstua).

10:30 a.m. Opening
10:45 a.m. Gunnar Haaland:
Josephus' passages on the Essenes in their literary context
12:00 p.m. Lunch
1:15 p.m. George Brooke:
From Bible to Midrash: Understanding Biblical Interpretation in the Dead Sea Scrolls and its Modern Interpreters. Open lecture
3:00 p.m. Light dinner
4:00 p.m. Rolf Furuli:
The verbal system of Classical Hebrew and its application to Qumranic Hebrew
Option for the evening: Fjord tour

Friday, 4 June 2004

Location: Bibelskolen, Staffeldts gate.

9:15 a.m. George Brooke:
The Ten Temples of the Dead Sea Scrolls
10:30 a.m. Mikael Winninge:
The restoration of David's fallen tabernacle in Qumran and the NT
11:30 a.m. Lunch
12:00 p.m. Jesper Høgenhaven:
A Reexamination of 4QTanhumim (4Q176)
1:00 p.m. Magnar Kartveit:
A Moses edition of the Pentateuch in the proto-Samaritan texts?
2:00 p.m. Light dinner
2:30 p.m. Departure for an excursion to Martin Schøyen's home in Røyken to view his Qumran collection and a few other things (1 hour's drive; for members of the network only)
Evening Participants: Evening off.
Board: Meeting

Saturday, 5 June 2004

9:15 a.m. Cecilia Wassen:
Sectarianism in the Damascus Document and the Community Rule
10:30 a.m. Søren Holst:
The Qumran War Scroll and the Wisdom Genre
11:45 a.m. Lunch
12:30 p.m. Liv Lied
"Damaskus" in the Damascus Document
2 p.m. Concluding session
2:30-4:30 p.m. Board meeting

Abstracts (Oslo 2004)

Cecilia Wassen
Sectarianism in the Damascus Document and the Community Rule

References to women, children, Gentiles, and slaves in the Damascus Document (D), have led scholars to characterize the 'Damascus community' as only mildly, or not at all sectarian, in comparison to the community responsible for the Community Rule (S). My comparison of sectarian characteristics in S and D takes the literary development of D into regard, which shows that sectarian features are apparent mostly in the late layers. Drawing on recent sociological theories that define a sectarian orientation according to a group's tension vis-a--vis society and claim of possessing exclusive truth, my study concludes that both S and the late literary layers of D reflect sectarian communities. Both documents display a strong tension with the general Jewish society through their ideology as well as their regulations. Dualistic language, present in both documents, divides the world into two opposite spheres, one ruled by God, the other by Satan. Both documents also firmly claim to possess exclusive knowledge that is supernatural in origin. A high tension with society manifests itself in many ways whereby a sect marks boundaries, separating itself from the general society. Whereas the community behind S appears to have achieved isolation physically, the 'Damascus community' created its own ways to achieve separation, some of which correspond to those found in S, others were unique to the Damascus sect.


Notes from the concluding session
collected by Håkan Bengtsson

Many different topics and methods were highlighted during the three days of the symposium. During the concluding session these were discussed in three main sections:

1. Terminology, scholarly paradigms, political and confessional bias.
Which of the terms, labels and concepts that we are using are problematic? The concepts "Bible", "Biblical writings" and "Scripture" were discussed, each with their individual problems and benefits. Maybe it is the degree of a text's authoritative status, which should be the determining factor, rather than what we perceive as its (often later) canonical status. However, a conscious attitude must be demonstrated in writing and lecturing about such concepts. Likewise the designation of the central core of the Biblical lands were discussed. Should we avoid the term "Palestine" when referring to this specific area before 135 CE? Or should we rather use "Judea", "the land of Israel", "the Holy Land"? Still, these designations all have political or confessional connotations.

2. Methodology, sociology, gender analysis, cultural analysis.
As with the point discussed above, this point also hints at the level of consciousness shown by the scholar. During the discussion opinions were raised in favour of new methods, especially from the fields of sociology and cultural studies. Also a need for reviewing the research history of Qumran was expressed, along with revision of older results especially in relation to the reconstruction of the textual fragments. A wish for biblical scholarship inventing new and original methods, instead of borrowing already established methods from other fields, was expressed.

3. The text, it's limits, expansions, changes and genre.
The content of the last point is motivated by several lectures about texts, translations, expansions and genre. Recognising all these subjects as crucial activities of biblical scholars, opinions were expressed concerning what was perceived to be the artificial divisions between Old and New Testament scholarship. After all, Qumran and Second Temple Judaism studies has urged for a redefinition of these traditional divisions in separate biblical disciplines.

Finally the (20+) participants expressed their gratitude for experiencing three days of good lectures, stimulating discussions and warm friendship. The guest lecturer, George Brooke of Manchester University, was highly appreciated for his contributions. A special 'thank you' was given to Torleif Elgvin for his skilled planning and firm supervision of the symposium.


The first symposium of the network was held in

Helsinki, Finland, on May 11-14 2003.

Participants were enthusiastic at this first gathering of the network. The conference gave room for scholarly interaction and networking. Young scholars received feedback and ideas for future projects. The paper by Søren Holst and Jesper Høgenhaven has been reworked and accepted for publication in the Journal of Jewish Studies. Our guest lecturer, Emanuel Tov, Jerusalem, combined his visit with participation in a seminar on the Septuagint during the previous week, and gave a public lecture on the Scrolls at the University of Helsinki.

For abstracts of some of the papers, click the titles below (highlighted in red), or scroll down the page.

Program (Helsinki 2003)

Sunday, May 11

3 p.m. Lunch
5 p.m. Opening of the Nordic Network in Qumran Studies
5.10-6.10 p.m. Håkan Ulfgard:
Heavenly liturgy in Qumran
6.30-7.30 p.m. Bodil Ejrnæs:
Psalms from Qumran. A Comparison with OT psalms

Monday, May 12

9-11 a.m. Emanuel Tov:
The Qumran scribal school. Features, theological and sociological profile
11 a.m. Coffee
12-1 p.m. Cecilia Wassen:
Membership in the Damascus community
1-3.30 p.m. Lunch break
3.30-4.30 p.m. Søren Holst:
Some more fragments of 4Q561 Horoscope. A first presentation
4.30 p.m. Coffee
5-6.15 p.m. Torleif Elgvin:
To reconstruct a scroll from scattered fragments. Exemplified by 4Q422ParaGenExod
7 p.m. Dinner

Tuesday, May 13

9-11 a.m. Emanuel Tov:
Bible texts from the Judean desert and the proto-masoretic text tradition (open lecture)
11 a.m. Coffee
12-1 p.m. Raija Sollamo:
The Septuagint and Qumran
1-3.30 p.m. Lunch break
3.30-4.30 p.m. Håkan Bengtsson:
Ephraim and Menashe
4.30 p.m. Coffee
5-5.45 p.m. Juhana Saukkonen:
Scriptural interpretation and the use of Genesis in 4Q252
6-6.45 p.m. Short paper from a doctoral student

Wednesday, May 14

9-10.15 a.m. Torleif Elgvin:
Revelation and eschatology in Qumran texts
10.30-11.15 a.m. Jutta Jokiranta:
Role of enemy in the Pesher Habakkuk
11.15 a.m. Coffee
11.45-12.30 p.m. Short paper from a doctoral student
12.30 p.m. Conclusion of the course

Abstracts (Helsinki 2003)

Bodil Ejrnæs
Psalms from Qumran: A Comparison with OT Psalms

After a short discussion of the question of genre: What is a psalm? I give a presentation and overview of the psalm material in the Qumran scrolls focusing both on the biblical psalms and the non-biblical psalms. In particular I discuss the 'status' of the biblical psalms within the Qumran material. The rest of the lecture takes the form of an analysis of two separate psalm compositions from the Qumran texts, Plea for Deliverance (11QPsa 19:1-18) and Apostrophe to Zion (11QPsa 22-.1-15) comparing them with material from the Bible with regard to their structure and form, their rhetorical elements, their themes and motifs, pointing to similarities as well as differences. Finally I make some considerations about the relationship between Hodayot and the biblical psalms concluding that these Qumran psalms differ very much from the Old Testament psalms as for theological contents (more than for rhetoric elements, vocabulary, forms, motifs).


Torleif Elgvin
Revelation and Eschatology in Qumran Texts

In the biblical sapiential tradition there are two contrasting views of (the accessibility of) Wisdom and revelation. For some texts, wisdom belongs to God alone. and man cannot attain full understanding. In other passages, God can reveal the deepest secrets to man.

The paper surveys the views of Lady Wisdom in the Bible, Qumran scrolls and intertestamental literature, In 4QInstruction and sectarian writings 'Lady Wisdom' has been replaced by the apocalyptic concept raz or raz nihyeh, the unfolding mystery of God.

Jewish apocalyptic was crystallized in wisdom circles of the 3rd and 2nd centuries BCE. But these circles were also dependent upon prophetic biblical books, and their writings testify to a 'prophetic' self-consciousness. The apocalyptists connected biblical promises for the remnant with the tradition of divine wisdom: wisdom from on high (divine and angelic) is now revealed to the elect remnant, and is a condition for eschatological salvation. Salvation has both a futuric and a presentic aspect; it means to escape from God's coming judgement, it also includes a knowledge of God in the present that will last through death.

Revelation has to do with eschatology (a consciousness of living in the end-times) and 'ecclesiology' (the community of the chosen in fellowship with the angels). This ecclesiology relates to the ideas of the spiritual temple and angelic knowledge.

Central terms for revelation, knowledge and community are surveyed.

What are the means of revelation in Qumran? Revelation refers to reading and listening to texts, biblical and some post-biblical ones. It also refers to cultic knowledge. The texts presuppose a union between the community here below and that above. The Songs of the Sabbath Sacrifice preserve a presectarian tradition of singing with the angels in the heavenly temple, which may have roots in the Jerusalem temple of the early 2nd century, perhaps the milieu of origin of the earliest hekhalot traditions.

The paper concludes by pointing to the New Testament parallels to the Qumranic views of revelation, eschatology and ecclesiology.


Torleif Elgvin
To reconstruct a scroll from scattered fragments. Exemplified by 4Q422ParaGenExod

The paper demonstrates the physical reconstruction of 4Q422, based upon the identification of three wads of 3-4 fragments each (cf. DJD 13). This was a remarkably small scroll (c.11 x 70 cm) with four columns of text, of which substantial portions are preserved of the first three. The parabiblical nature of the work does not fit the liturgical usage Tov has postulated for the small-sized scrolls found in Qumran. It may be a travel edition for an itinerant preacher in the Essene movement, though the scroll is not necessarily Essene/Yahad in origin.

An article in Norwegian on the reconstruction ('Et puslespill: Ã? rekonstruere en gammel bokrull') can be found at (site currently down).


Søren Holst
Some more fragments of 4Q561 Horoscope. A first presentation

One of the few texts not yet officially published in DJD, 4Q561 Horoscope, has been partially made available in a number of preliminary publications, all of which however leave out a few fragments visible in the photos, seemingly with a narrative or apocalyptic content. The paper presents a reading and translation of the fragments and suggests that they could be remnants of an individual text distinct from 4Q561 Horoscope - or, if in fact belonging to the "horoscope" text, the fragments might tell of events in the life of the person whose life is described in the horoscope text - possibly along the lines of the text 4Q535-536 Birth of Noah.


Cecilia Wassen
Membership in the Damascus Community

There is a general assumption amongst Qumran scholars that women in the communities reflected in the Dead Sea Scrolls were not eligible to become full members. Often scholars maintain this position without presenting any supporting evidence. This paper investigates the evidence concerning membership in the Damascus Document (D) and The Rule of the Congregation (1QSa). Specific texts considered include, the statutes for taking the oath of the covenant (CD XV 5-15), the lists of exclusion of persons with defects (4Q266 8 i 6-9; 1QSa II 3-9), rules concerning women's testimony (1QSa I 11), and allusions to the annual renewal of the covenant ceremony (e.g., 1QSa I 4-5). My analysis incorporates comparison with biblical antecedents wherever possible. This paper concludes that women were subject to the same rules concerning purity and physical perfection as men, and were likely able to become full members in the communities behind D and 1QSa.


This page last updated on 10 August 2015