The idea of man in Qumran literature
Lilly, Ross Edward
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The problem is to describe the idea of man, both as individual and as community member, that is expressed in literature peculiar to the Jewish sectarian community which existed at the site of Khirbet Qumran. The research method has included translation and exegesis of passages of Qumran literature relevant to the problem, and exegetical analyses were correlated in order to describe as fully as possible the general idea of man in Qumran literature. This idea was compared with deutero-canonical texts and archaeological evidence from the Qumran complex in order to substantiate or correct exegetical inferences. Finally, the formalized idea was evaluated in the light of the idea of man in canonical scriptures in order to outline the origin, development, and influence of the sectarian idea. The investigation has disclosed that the idea of man in Qumran literature is the result of a re-forming of the general idea of man in the Old Testament according to the apocalyptic orientation of the Qumran sect. The mood of apocalyptic eschatology determined the degree of differentiation between the sectarian idea of man and the idea normally encountered in Old Testament documents; the former manifested the radical implications of the latter. Therefore, to describe the idea of man in Qumran manuscripts by moralistic, philosophical, or scientific categories is to distort it. [TRUNCATED]
Thesis (Ph.D.)--Boston University
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