Bearing in mind the rich diachronic and multifaceted insights all this data and research have given us, I wish to redirect the focus on the people behind the scrolls again, not in the sense of a single community at a single place, but to understand the collections of manuscripts as a reflection of a textual community, understood as a micro-society in antiquity organized around a common understanding of texts. However one conceives of the configuration of the people behind the scrolls, texts were central in their social activities. The wealth of texts attests that people were occupied with the interpretation of and commentary on scripture, legal issues and community building, but also with science, magic and the writing of history. These people were not isolated but participated in various ways in ancient Mediterranean intellectual networks. Through the writing, copying, and studying of texts, the scrolls’ anonymous scribes and teachers constructed a textual community of a highly intellectual and scholarly character. The textual community behind the Dead Sea Scrolls was not only an ancient Judean phenomenon but also an ancient Mediterranean phenomenon. Taking multilingualism, multiscripturalism, and knowledge transfer as key issues will provide us with an entry into this ancient Mediterranean textual community and also show its entangled history with other intellectual and scholarly communities, both near and far.
|Title of host publication||Sharing and Hiding Religious Knowledge in Early Judaism, Christianity, and Islam|
|Editors||Mladen Popović, Lautaro Roig Lanzillotta, Clare Wilde|
|Place of Publication||Berlin|
|Number of pages||26|
|ISBN (Print)||978-3-11-059571-0, 978-3-11-064373-2|
|Publication status||Published - Aug-2018|
|Name||Judaism, Christianity, and Islam – Tension, Transmission, Transformation|