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:
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
Friday, 5 October 2007
The Exegetical Day
Saturday, 6 October 2007
NNQS Network day
Sunday, 7 October 2007
NNQS Network day
Trine B. Hasselbalch
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
Saturday, 26 August 2006
Sunday, 27 August 2006
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:
'Under the microscope' - report from the scrolleryIn 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
Saturday, 24 September 2005
Sunday, 25 September 2005
Monday, 26 September 2005
Tuesday, 27 September 2005
Wednesday, 28 September 2005
Thursday, 29 September 2005
Daily schedule at the Ã?cole:
Daniel Stökl Ben Ezra:
(For an abbreviated version of the paper in MS Word format, click here.
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.
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).
Friday, 4 June 2004
Location: Bibelskolen, Staffeldts gate.
Saturday, 5 June 2004
Abstracts (Oslo 2004)
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
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.
2. Methodology, sociology, gender analysis, cultural analysis.
3. The text, it's limits, expansions, changes and genre.
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
Monday, May 12
Tuesday, May 13
Wednesday, May 14
Abstracts (Helsinki 2003)
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).
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.
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
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.
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.
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