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Beyond the Qumran Community
The Sectarian Movement of the Dead Sea Scrolls
John J Collins
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PAPERBACK; Published: 11/2/2009
ISBN: 978-0-8028-2887-3
Price: $ 25.00
278 Pages
Trim Size, in inches: 6 x 9
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A systematic analysis of the Essene Sect that argues a surprising claim

With the full publication of the Dead Sea Scrolls, fresh analysis of the evidence presented can be -- and indeed, should be -- made. Beyond the Qumran Community does just that, reaching a surprising conclusion: the sect described in the Dead Sea Scrolls developed later than has usually been supposed and was never confined to the site of Qumran.

John J. Collins here deconstructs "the Qumran community" and shows that the sectarian documents actually come from a text spread throughout the land. He first examines the Community Rule or Yahad, and then considers the Teacher of Righteousness, a pivotal figure in the Essene movement, discovering that he was probably active in the first century bce rather than in the Maccabean era. After examining the available evidence, Collins concludes that it is, in fact, overwhelmingly likely that the site of Qumran housed merely a single settlement of this widespread movement.
Florentino García Martínez
— University of Groningen
"With the precision and clarity that characterize all of his writings, John J. Collins offers a balanced, judicious, and eminently readable account of what sixty years of scholarship on the Dead Sea Scrolls and the ruins of Qumran have brought to light on the sectarian movement behind the Scrolls. . . An important milestone in Dead Sea Scrolls studies, this book will be grist for the mills of scholarship and set the agenda for years to come."
James C. VanderKam
— University of Notre Dame
"In Beyond the Qumran Community John Collins offers a stimulating examination of the nature of the communities (plural) reflected in the texts found in the Qumran caves. This book is characterized by the clarity, thoroughness, and disciplined reasoning that one expects from Collins and is highly recommended."
Lawrence H. Schiffman
— New York University
"John Collins has given us a masterful study of the sectarian communities that are described in the Dead Sea Scrolls. He presents his many original contributions in the context of the important research that has followed on the full release and publication of the scrolls corpus. This volume opens these new perspectives to students, scholars, and the general public."
Carol A. Newsom
— Emory University
"With his characteristic erudition, careful reasoning, and good judgment, John Collins has reexamined many of the hotly contested issues in Dead Sea Scrolls studies. While his conclusions will not put an end to all debates, they represent the most persuasive analysis of the data available. Beyond the Qumran Community is essential reading for all serious study of the Dead Sea Scrolls."
Craig A. Evans
— Acadia Divinity College
"Well known and deeply respected for his work in the Dead Sea Scrolls, John Collins has written another great book that breaks new ground and advances the discussion of the Essenes and the Qumran community in many important ways. Displaying mastery of the primary and secondary literatures, Beyond the Qumran Community gives the sometimes contentious debate a balanced and nuanced perspective. It is a wonderful achievement and must reading for all who are interested in the Scrolls and the Jewish people at the turn of the era."