The Qumran Opisthograph 4Q509/4Q496/4Q506 as an Intentional Collection of Prayers

Ayhan Aksu*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)
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Abstract

4Q509/4Q496/4Q506 is the only opisthograph from Qumran with extant evidence for three different compositions: the recto preserves a copy of Festival Prayers (4Q509), and the verso contains copies of the War Scroll (4Q496) and Words of the Luminaries (4Q506). This article investigates the circumstances under which these texts were written down together, and explores a potential performative setting for this manuscript. Palaeographic and codicological examination indicates that the manuscript preserves extracts of these three compositions and shares similar scribal features on both the recto and verso. Literary and form-critical analysis suggests a performative context for Festival Prayers, Words of the Luminaries, and the War Scroll. Based on these considerations, I argue that different scribes wrote 4Q509, 4Q496, and 4Q506 intentionally together in order to create a liturgical collection on a single manuscript—highlighting the scribe as a collectionneur that purposely selected passages from different texts that were of importance.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)292–324
Number of pages33
JournalDead Sea Discoveries
Volume29
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 10-Nov-2022

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