Show Summary Details

Page of

Printed from Oxford Classical Dictionary. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a single article for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

date: 25 February 2024

Dead Sea Scrollslocked

Dead Sea Scrollslocked

  • Martin Goodman


Documents made of leather and papyrus, and, in one case, of copper, found between 1947 and 1956 in caves near Qumran by the Dead Sea. The scrolls, written by Jews, are mostly in Hebrew and *Aramaic , but a small number are in Greek. Many are fragments of biblical texts from the Old Testament and from Jewish religious compositions otherwise only preserved through Christian manuscript traditions. The scrolls were written in the last centuries bce and 1st cent. ce.

Of particular significance in the study of *Judaism in this period are the texts composed by sectarians, whose relationship to the nearby settlement site at Qumran is debated. These texts include community rules, hymns, liturgical texts, calendars, and works of bible interpretation. Among this last group is found the pesher type of interpretation, characteristic of this sect and rarely found elsewhere in Jewish literature, in which the real meaning of scriptural passages is alleged to lie in hidden allusions to more recent events.


  • Jewish Studies

You do not currently have access to this article


Please login to access the full content.


Access to the full content requires a subscription