Qumran Self-Identity: "Israel" or "Judah"?

Qumran Self-Identity: "Israel" or "Judah"? Dead Sea Discoveries 15 (2008) 172–189 www.brill.nl/dsd Qumran Self-Identity: “Israel” or “Judah”? John S. Bergsma Franciscan University of Steubenville Abstract A careful analysis of the Qumran “sectarian” texts reveals a consistent preference for self-identification as “Israel” rather than “Judah.” In fact, they contain no unambiguous identi fications of the community as “Judah” or its members as “Judeans”. Like most biblical texts and unlike Josephus and the authors of 1–2 Maccabees, the Qumran community does not equate Israelite with Judean. They regard themselves as the vanguard of the eschatological restoration of the twelve tribes; for them, the Judean state is not the sole heir of biblical Israel. Keywords self-identity; yehudim; ioudaios/oi; Damascus Document; Pesher Habakkuk; eschatology The Qumran community, in their so-called “sectarian” documents, shows a marked preference for identifying themselves either as “Israel” or “Isra- elites” ( לארשי ינב ) rather than as “Judah” or “Judahites” ( םידוהי ). This is a curious phenomenon, in marked contrast to other second temple texts, such as the works of Josephus and 1–2 Maccabees. In this paper, I will first discuss terminology, in order to establish that “Israel” and “Judah,” and their respective gentilic formations, are not nec- essarily synonymous either http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Dead Sea Discoveries Brill

Qumran Self-Identity: "Israel" or "Judah"?

Dead Sea Discoveries, Volume 15 (1): 172 – Jan 1, 2008

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Publisher
Brill
Copyright
© 2008 Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, The Netherlands
ISSN
0929-0761
eISSN
1568-5179
DOI
10.1163/156851708X263198
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Dead Sea Discoveries 15 (2008) 172–189 www.brill.nl/dsd Qumran Self-Identity: “Israel” or “Judah”? John S. Bergsma Franciscan University of Steubenville Abstract A careful analysis of the Qumran “sectarian” texts reveals a consistent preference for self-identification as “Israel” rather than “Judah.” In fact, they contain no unambiguous identi fications of the community as “Judah” or its members as “Judeans”. Like most biblical texts and unlike Josephus and the authors of 1–2 Maccabees, the Qumran community does not equate Israelite with Judean. They regard themselves as the vanguard of the eschatological restoration of the twelve tribes; for them, the Judean state is not the sole heir of biblical Israel. Keywords self-identity; yehudim; ioudaios/oi; Damascus Document; Pesher Habakkuk; eschatology The Qumran community, in their so-called “sectarian” documents, shows a marked preference for identifying themselves either as “Israel” or “Isra- elites” ( לארשי ינב ) rather than as “Judah” or “Judahites” ( םידוהי ). This is a curious phenomenon, in marked contrast to other second temple texts, such as the works of Josephus and 1–2 Maccabees. In this paper, I will first discuss terminology, in order to establish that “Israel” and “Judah,” and their respective gentilic formations, are not nec- essarily synonymous either

Journal

Dead Sea DiscoveriesBrill

Published: Jan 1, 2008

Keywords: IOUDAIOS/OI; PESHER HABAKKUK; YEHUDIM; SELF-IDENTITY; ESCHATOLOGY; DAMASCUS DOCUMENT

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