n Journal for Semitics - Creating new contexts. On the possibilities of Biblical studies in contexts generated by the dead sea scrolls

Volume 18, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 1013-8471


The Dead Sea scrolls have a context, which is to be understood if their contents are to be understood. But the very nature of this context also generates further contexts within which the disciplines working with the Bible have to read both the Dead Sea scrolls and the Bible. It is argued that by virtue of this context the Dead Sea scrolls have opened up horizons for contemporary biblical studies that require reflection on issues beyond textual criticism and religious history. Using the concept of intertextuality, I argue that the inherent character of the Dead Sea scrolls necessitates fundamental issues of hermeneutics to be considered as part and parcel of their impact on biblical studies within the traditional disciplines of Judaic and Old Testament scholarship. In this regard matters of creativity, inventiveness and originality are highlighted as much as the traditionally emphasised questions of reconstruction and historical credibility.

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