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Encyclopedia > Community Rule

The Community Rule is the name given to one of the documents found in the caves at Qumran, and as such is one of the Dead Sea Scrolls Qumran (Khirbet Qumran) is located on a dry plateau on the northwestern shore of the Dead Sea in Israel. ... The current version of the article or section reads like an essay. ...

The most complete manuscript was found in Cave 1, and is given the document reference name 1QS (which stands for : "Cave 1 / Qumran / "Serekh" = 'rule'). Numerous other fragments of this document, containing variant readings, were found in caves 4 and 5 (4QSa-j, 5Q11, 5Q13).

There is some debate whether the community for which it legislates and describes is Utopian or real and, if real, whether it refers to a community that may have been resident at the adjacent settlement of Qumran. The current majority opinion is that the document describes, together with the rest of the scrolls, the theology of of a Jewish Essene sect resident at Qumran. See Utopia (disambiguation) for other meanings of this word Utopia, in its most common and general meaning, refers to a hypothetical perfect society. ... The word Jew ( Hebrew: יהודי) is used in a wide number of ways, but generally refers to a follower of the Jewish faith, a child of a Jewish mother, or someone of Jewish descent with a connection to Jewish culture or ethnicity and often a combination... The Essenes (Issiim) were a Jewish religious sect of Zadokites that flourished from the 2nd century BC to the 1st century AD. The name Essene, itself, is either a version of the Greek word for Holy, or various Aramaic dialect words for pious, and is probably not what the... A sect is generally a small religious or political group that has branched off from a larger established group. ...

Key theological themes:

  • Yahad, or 'Union' The belief in a direct link between the community and the angels in heaven.
  • Determinism and Dualism Treatise on the two spirits. The righteous chosen ones of the group pitted against those not reckoned in God's covenant.
  • Covenant On freely entering the community one and swears the covenant before God, and crosses over into the covenant, and joins the Yahad.
  • Priestly primacy Priests preside and judge. Essential for quorum gatherings of the community.
  • Community as Temple Righteousness and prayer replace the sacrificial cult of mainstream Judaism. Sacral status of meals.
  • Zadokite affinities Aedificatory language. Military language. (compare 1QM & Leontopolis project).
  • Knowledge The mystical Union results in seven-fold blessings of hidden heavenly knowledge for the members of the community.
  • The Law of Moses To be absolutely followed, and studied, according to its correct interpretation as revealed to the community. The rule is full of often obscure scriptural allusions.
  • Eschatalogical expectations Messianic expectations. Destruction of the wicked. cf 1En91.



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