Subject details

  • Topics
    • Discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls
    • The return from Babylonian exile
    • The community rule (1QS)
    • The Persian period: Ezra and Nehemiah
    • The Bible at Qumran
    • Alexander and the Hellenistic kingdoms
    • The Bible at Qumran
    • The Septuagint
    • The Damascus document (CD)
    • Seleucid Period
    • The Damascus document
    • The Maccabaean revolt and the Hasmonaean kingdom
    • Pesher and Biblical interpretation at Qumran
    • Daniel and apocalyptic literature
    • The temple scroll (11QT)
    • The Herodian and Roman period
    • The identity of the Sectarians at Qumran
    • The archaeology of Khirbet Qumran
    • Religious sects within Judaism
    • The war scroll (1QM)
    • The first revolt
    • Masada
    • Christianity and the Dead Sea sect
    • Diaspora Judaism
  • Study resources
    • Instructional Methods
      • Disscusion forum/Discussion Board
      • Online assignment submission
      • Podcasting/Leacture capture
      • Standard Media
      • Web links
    • Online Materials
      • Resources and Links

At the completion of this subject students will be able to:

  1. understand the political, social and religious developments in Palestine from the Persian through to the Roman periods
  2. have an in depth understanding of the ancient sources (literary, documentary and epigraphic) that relate to Jewish communities, Jewish values and attitudes, and the events that occurred in the period of time in question
  3. synthesise knowledge by relating different ancient sources to find common themes, viewpoints and attitudes that can be thought to be characteristic of Jews in Palestine in this period. This includes the critical use of current methodologies within the discipline of practice
  4. critically evaluate scholarship on the ancient sources, focusing on such aspects as: use of and interaction with ancient sources; discerning and critiquing methodology and its impact on the arguments and conclusions presented; and bias (overt or hidden)
  5. present findings in a professional manner, through developed written and/or oral communication skills.
  • Assignment 1 - Essay (50%)
  • Assignment 2 - Online Discussion — Forum Posts (10%)
  • Assignment 3 - Paper 1 (20%)
  • Assignment 4 - Paper 2 (20%)

Textbooks are subject to change within the academic year. Students are advised to purchase their books no earlier than one to two months before the start of a subject

Entry Requirements

Equivalent Subjects

You cannot enrol in this unit if you have successfully completed any of the following subject(s) because they are considered academically equivalent:

  • MAQ-HST245

Special requirements

No special requirements

This subject was previously known as HST245 The Dead Sea Scrolls: Context and Content.

Since their first discovery in 1946 the Dead Sea Scrolls have been a constant focus of interest and intrigue. What did the first century sect that produced and transmitted these scrolls actually believe? What sort of Judaism was it? What was the sect's relationship to Christianity? Were the modern authorities withholding publication? We will study in detail the most important texts of the sect and contextualise them against the historical movements and trends that transformed the centuries that we now call the second Temple Period, a period out of which both Judaism and Christianity were to emerge.

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