are important affinities between this wisdom text and the undisputedly sectarian literature from Qumran. But one should consider important differences as well. 4QInstruction shows no knowledge of the Teacher of Righteousness or key aspects of the organization of the Dead Sea sect, such as the procedure of admission recounted in the Community Rule. The members of this group adhered to an elaborate halakhic interpretation of the Torah and exhibited a hostile attitude towards types of worship that did not follow their practices. This sort of polemic is never found in 4QInstruction, and key aspects of the sect's form of piety, such as the adoption of a solar cultic calendar, are not present in the work. This is why some scholars have explained the terminological and thematic links between 4QInstruction and the core sectarian texts by positing that this wisdom text was not written by members of the Dead Sea sect but that they read it and appropriated some of its ideas and language. The form criticism of 4QInstruction is a valid project. 4QInstruction and other texts from Qumran, such as the book of Mysteries and 4QBeatitudes, are commonly identified as sapiential compositions but often differ from the traditional
Shofar: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Jewish Studies – Purdue University Press
Published: Aug 13, 2007
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