O que aprendemos com os Manuscritos do Mar Morto?

Um texto bem didático de John J. Collins, professor da Yale University, publicado no Huffington Post em 22.10.2012.

Leia: Dead Sea Scrolls: What Have We Learned? [Manuscritos do Mar Morto: o que aprendemos com eles?]

Os 4 primeiros parágrafos do texto dizem:

“The Dead Sea Scrolls, discovered near the site of Qumran, south of Jericho in the years 1947-1956 were dubbed ‘the academic scandal of the 20th century’ because of the long delay in publication. Over the last 20 years or so, however, they have been fully published, except for occasional scraps that continue to come to light. Ever since their discovery, they have aroused passions on a scale that is extraordinary for an academic subject. Now that those passions have cooled, the time is ripe to ask what we have really learned from this remarkable discovery.

First, it may be well to recall some basic facts. Fragments of approximately 930 manuscripts, dating from the late third century B.C.E. to the first century C.E. have been discovered — 750 in Hebrew, 150 in Aramaic and a small number in Greek. Before the discovery of the Scrolls we had no extant literature in Hebrew or Aramaic from Israel in this period. The Scrolls, then, shed unprecedented light on Judaism around the turn of the era, at the time when Christianity was born.

Since the initial batch of scrolls included a rule for a sectarian religious community, the immediate assumption was that the scrolls had been the property of that community. This assumption appeared to be confirmed by the excavation of the ruins at Qumran. Consequently, the corpus of texts became known as ‘the library of Qumran.’ But it is difficult to believe that a community at this remote location had a library equal to that of the largest Mesopotamian temples. The scrolls do seem to be a sectarian collection, but they were probably brought from diverse sectarian communities to be hidden in advance of the Roman army during the Jewish revolt of 66-70 C.E. [sublinhado meu].

The Scrolls, then, were not the property of a small secluded community. They contain much that reflects Judaism of the time. They include copies of all the Hebrew Bible except Esther, but we cannot be sure that they regarded them all as ‘biblical’ in our sense of the word. They included editions of some ‘biblical’ books that differ from those that came down to us, and had multiple copies of several books that are not in our Bibles. They show that the process of the formation of the Hebrew Bible was not yet complete around the turn of the era”.

Leia o texto completo e veja as 21 fotografias no final.

E, para se divertir, uma “pérola” de um comentário ao texto acima recolhida por Deane Galbraith, e que mostra como as teorias conspiratórias continuam soltas por aí, pode ser vista em John J. Collins in the Huff Post: Dead Sea Scrolls are Great for Knowledge about Ancient Judaism, Even Better for Fueling Conspiracy Theories.

:: Quem é John J. Collins?


:: Um livro de John J. Collins sobre os Manuscritos do Mar Morto?

COLLINS, J. J.  The “Dead Sea Scrolls”: A Biography. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2012, 288 p. – ISBN: 9780691143675.

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