The Dead Sea Scrolls (DSS) provide an important template for those wishing to study scripture or exegetical material of any Abrahamic tradition (whether Jewish, Christian, or Muslim) and its formation. The scrolls frequently reinterpret texts which highlight a "particular type of intertextuality which exists between an authoritative scriptural antecedent and its subsequent reuse in a type of rewriting, in which there is a close textual relationship between the scriptural predecessor and the rewritten work" (Petersen 2012: 485). This tradition of reinterpreted scripture, seen as a "textual strategy" (Petersen 484), is present within varying DSS literary genres of authoritative scriptural texts, legal rules, religious disputes, liturgical traditions, and even commentaries. Such a practice of reinterpreting earlier texts is found within not only Jewish scripture but is also similar to what one finds in early Christian and Islamic scriptural and exegetical traditions as' well. Having such a comprehension is helpful for exegesis and understanding the underlying purpose of any of the above scriptural and textual traditions. Thus this course undertakes a study of the practice of reinterpreted scripture as evidenced in the DSS genres of scripture, legal rules, religious disputes, liturgical traditions, and commentaries (pesharim). An introduction to the scrolls, their discovery and preservation, their sectarian nature and the related history of the Qumran site will also be addressed as an essential component of understanding the nature of the scrolls.
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