Book Review: John J. Collins, Scriptures and Sectarianism: Essays on the Dead Sea Scrolls (Part 2)


Reading Acts

Collins, John J. Scriptures and Sectarianism: Essays on the Dead Sea Scrolls. WUNT 2/332; Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2014. 329 pp. HB; 119,00 €.  Link to Mohr Siebeck

Due to the length of this review, part one appears here.

Part two of Scriptures and Sectarianism collects four essays on history and sectarianism in the Scrolls. First, Collins examines historiography in the Dead Sea Scrolls (chapter 8). This seems like an impossible task since there are no historical narratives in the DSS comparable to the books of Maccabees or Josephus. There are, however, several apocalyptic texts which are quasi-historiographical (CD 1:3-11, 4Q390, two pseudo-Daniel texts). The pesherim interpret the prophets in terms of recent history. For example, the pesher on Nahum 2:13 interprets the “lion who tears enough for her cubs” as a reference to Alexander Jannaeus crucifying 800 Pharisees, the “seekers of soft things” in the Scrolls. The second chapter…

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