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This grows from the Dead Sea. The order of the community to seek God. To do what is good and upright before him as he commanded through Moses and through all his servants the prophets to love all that he has chosen and hate all that he has rejected to be far from all evil and cleave to all good. To do truth and righteousness and justice in the land. To walk no longer in the stubbornness of a guilty heart. Doing all evil. To walk before him perfectly and to be united in the counsel of God. This is an excerpt from the most famous of all dead sea scroll. The manual of discipline. One of the seven original large scrolls found in cave one near the Dead Sea. We're not certain who put this another parchment documents in the caves or what happened to their
owners but it is probable that one day in the fateful spring of 68 A.D. as the Roman legions swept down on Jerusalem the documents were placed in an earthenware jars and hidden in the caves which gave them refuge for almost two thousand years. These grows comprise twentieth century scholarships most fascinating find. The search for God in the wilderness program 9 of scrolls from the Dead Sea a radio exploration of the most significant archaeological find of our time. These programs are produced by radio station WAGA of the University of Wisconsin under a grant from the Educational Television and Radio Center in cooperation with the National Association of educational broadcasters. The discovery in one thousand forty seven of the Dead Sea Scrolls brought into focus for laymen
the studies of biblical specialist scholars and theologians. Besides the international team of scholars working directly with the scrolls and many others specialists in paleography archaeology in Semitic languages have been working on these documents. One of these scholars is Professor Menachem Mansoor chairman of the department of Hebrew and Semitic Studies at the University of Wisconsin. Recently Professor Mansoor traveled in Europe Israel and America collecting documentary materials for these programs. He tape recorded interviews with over 25 leading scholars and theologians and gauged in the work. Now back at the University of Wisconsin professor Mansoor has planned and written this series of programs exploring the meaning and content of the Dead Sea Scrolls. Professor Mansoor. In previous talks we discussed the fabulous discovery of the scrolls. The heated controversy over the age of the documents the significance of the Biblical text the Old Testament Studies and the contents of most of the large
non-biblical scrolls. We also pointed out that almost all scholars have by now fully accepted not only the pre-Christian date of these scrolls but also the seemingly irresistible conclusion that her bed Cameron was in fact an Essene monastery. It was here as their faithful followers came in their lifetime to learn piety and upon death to be led to eternal rest. Today are going to hear about one of the most exciting and perhaps the most important of all the scrolls because of its bearing upon New Testament studies and its significance to the background of Christianity. It is the most discussed and the most controversial of the scrolls. It was found in cave one with its title page missing. Professor Miller Barrows gave it a title that has stuck the manual of discipline.
He explained quote noting the combination of liturgical directions with the rules concerning procedure in the meetings of the group and the personal conduct of the members. I was reminded of the manual of discipline of the Methodist church unquote. The scroll tells the story of a sect or community of Jews who had withdrawn to the wilderness to lead a life and study the law. As someone put it they went to a God forsaken place to search for God. The scroll outlines the names of the sect. The rules and regulations which govern its daily life and the initiation ceremony through which each member must pass the members are volunteers who pledge themselves to do what's good and right before God as commanded by Moses and by all his servants the prophets they undertake quote to separate themselves from the society of working men to love all the sons of light and to hate all the sons of
darkness to practice in community truth and modesty to act righteously and justly love mercy and walk humbly in all their ways unquote. The manual implies though not definitively stated that celibacy was at here. Their leader who is not named was the teacher of righteousness who related that he had been sent by God to interpret the law and that he was persecuted by the enemies of the community. This leader was the founder of the organization and perhaps a composer of some of its him. It would appear that the sect had existed as a pious group for 20 years. Groping their way like a blind man and without adequate guidance before God brought them the teacher of righteousness in a future program. I shall discuss in detail the controversial problem relating to the identity of the Teacher of
Righteousness. At present it will suffice to say that the general view first strongly supported by the well-known French biblical scholars is that this teacher lived in the middle of the first century B.C. It is generally thought that this sect dissatisfied with the religious situation in the cities broke away from official Judaism about the 2nd century B.C. some time later the sect was very effectively organized by this leader. The Teacher of Righteousness with a system of priests and supreme supervisor a system which valued its own priests rituals and sacred meals higher than the Temple services. Let us first listen to the opening excerpt from the manual of discipline. The translation is that of our Barrows. The order of the community to seek God to do what is good and upright
before him as he commanded through Moses and through all his servants the prophets to love all that he has chosen and hate all that he has rejected to be far from all evil and cleave to all good works to do truth and righteousness and justice in the land. The walk no longer in the stubbornness of a guilty heart and eyes of fornication. Doing all evil to bring all those who have offered themselves to do God's statutes into a covenant of steadfast love to be united in the counsel of God and to walk before him perfect lay with regard to all the things that have been revealed for the appointed times of their testimonies to love all the sons of light each according to his lot in the counsel of God. And to hate all the sons of darkness each according to his guilt in vengeance of God. And all who have offered themselves for His truth show bring all their knowledge and strength and wealth into the community of God to purify their knowledge in the truth of God's statutes and to
distribute their strength according to the perfection of his ways and all their property according to his righteous counsel not to transgress in any one of all the words of God in their periods not to advance their times or postpone any of their appointed festivals not to turn aside from his true statutes going to the right or to the left and all who come into the order of the community shall pass over into the covenant before God to do according to all that he has commanded and not to turn away from following him because of any dread or terror or trial or fright in the domain of Bailey. And when they pass into the covenant the priests and the Levites shall bless the God of salvation and all his works of truth and all those who are passing into the covenant shall say after them amen amen.
Now the manual is mostly concerned with rules of conduct for the members of the sect or the community as they call themselves the usage of the word. Yeah in Hebrew for community it's confined almost exclusively to the sect. The importance of the word community may be seen by the frequency with which it appears throughout the manual. The central idea of the sect was the new covenant or the New Testament. Some scholars prefer to call it this new covenant bound the members of the sect into a closely knit community. It involved an oath which all the members of the sect had to take. Entry into the community was strictly regulated. It entailed a lengthy period of probation before a man might share in the common already practices and privileges and take his place in the assemblies of the community. One section of the manual of discipline describes
what appears to be an initiation ritual a period of two years was necessary before full membership in the sex could be obtained. The sect had three classes of members with different privileges and responsibilities for each. This does not this did not constitute a sort of a class system because the division was based upon to one year probation and the new initiate was in the lower class. At the end of the year he gained new status and at the end of two years he received full membership listened to the relevant passages from the manual. When he is the new initiate has completed a year within the community. The master shall be questioned about his affairs as to his understanding and his deeds in the law. And if the law determines that he shall be admitted to the assembly of the community as directed by the priests in the majority of the men of their covenant his wealth
and his wages shall be put at the disposal of the man who has supervision over the wages of the Masters and he shall enter it in the account of his disposal. But shall not spend it for the Masters. The new member shall not touch the sacred drink of the Masters until he has completed a second year among the men of the community. But when he's completed the second year he shall be examined with questioning by the masters. If the law determines that he is to be admitted to the community he shall be registered in the order of his position among his brethren for law and for judgment and for the sacred food and for the sharing of his property and the community shall have his counsel and his judgment. The community was very highly organized they no doubt regarded themselves as the true elected people of Israel the faithful remnant of God's people of which the prophets spoke. As such the community was divided and subdivided into groups of
thousands hundreds fifties and tens. Each member had his assigned place within the community in which he must strictly remain. Let every man of Israel know the status of his office in God's community according to the eternal Council. Let no one step down from the status of his office or rise up from his allotted place. The manual also refers to the annual general assemblies at which all members were required to observe the order of precedence of their respective groups. It is clearly stated that every group of 10 was governed by a priest. These priests had the authority in matters of laws and properties. They took proceedings over all their brethren and the community usually called the great ones. The governmental structure of the community is ideally Democratic. All qualified members had a share
in the government of the community. They were present together with the priests at the councils. Their vote was required to admit new members. They had their sect in the tribunals which judged various offenses and inflicted penalties. They could even pronounce sentences which would exclude members of the community or which would under certain conditions reintegrate members previously excluded. It is interesting to note here that the manual makes no reference to appoint the judges. It is possible therefore that all members exercised that office. Their authority of the Superior could not be questioned. They had the right to be obeyed. Those who disobeyed them might have incurred the penalty of even being excluded forever. To refuse to obey involved very serious consequences.
Strict of observances of the rules of the covenant had to be drastically imposed for no communal life would have been otherwise possible. No half measure was therefore tolerated. Those who volunteered and dedicated themselves had to pledge themselves absolutely and conditionally they shall bring all their knowledge all their mind their property into the community of God. To clarify their knowledge by the truth of God's ordinances to regulate the use of their mind according to the perfection of his ways and the use of their property according to his righteous counsel. Thus the members had no personal wealth. Everything was owned in common thus creating a strong feeling of unity communal life for this sect meant a common doctrinal practice and virtues
such as brotherly love humility honesty and modesty. It also meant communal observances such as common meals constant communal bathing for purification communal prayers and assemblies court. They shall eat communally bless calm and take counsel calmly in a way unquote. There is no doubt that much significance has been attached to these common old meals to begin with. Only those who had been definitely admitted might have access to the commoner meals. The so called the banqueting of the great ones it is reasonable therefore to assume that those meals were of a sacred character. Let us listen to an excerpt from a fragment relating to the common our own meal. When they solemnly meet at the table of communion or drink the wine and the communion table is arranged and the wine is mixed for drinking. One shall not
stretch out his hand on the first portion of bread or of the wine. Therefore the Messiah a priest for he shall bless the first portion of the bread in the wine and shall stretch out his hand on the bread first of all. Afterwards the Messiah of Israel shall stretch forth his hands on the bread and after giving a blessing all the congregation of the community shall partake each according to his rank and they shall follow this prescription. When ever the meal is arranged when as many as ten meet together sunrise and sunset where among others they appointed times for communal prayer. This was added the night watch of the great ones. The third of every night throughout the year devoted to the reading of the book studying the law and blessing coming away one man out of it then was specially appointed to study the law then continually. He was relieved from any other occupation or
duty in order to devote himself wholly to the study of the Bible. To search and discover hidden things which was to reveal to his brother and for the improvement of all. Another section of this incredibly interesting text clearly points to the democratic way of life and the community. This is also clearly seen from the fact that all decisions concerning their life had to be made at the general meetings of the community. Everything was carefully arranged and the order of precedence is strictly observed. The priests shall said first the elders second and the rest of the people shall set each according to his position strict orders throughout their discussions. Members could express their views one after the other according to their respective seniority. It was the duty of everyone present to listen attentively and patiently to the speech. However long and tedious it might
be an interruption of his speech would in ten days penitence and war to the poor fellow who would fall asleep during the speech. He was punished for thirty days. No member was allowed to leave the assembly without permission and any one who would leave the meeting more than twice had to spend repentance lasting from ten days to a month. Regulations concerning good manners modesty and behavior are clearly prescribed not only at meetings but at any time it was forbidden for instance to spit before the members making irrelevant and vain speeches or laughing publicly and restrained were punishable modesty rules were very strict. One who walks before his neighbor naked when he does not have to do so shall be punished six months. A man who spits into the midst of the session of the Masters
shall be punished thirty days. One who brings his hand out from beneath his robe when it is torn so that his nakedness is seen shall be punished thirty days. One who laughs foolishly making his voice heard shall be punished thirty days one who brings out his left hand to gesticulated with it shall be punished ten days. A man who gossips about his neighbor shall be separated for a year from the sacred food of the Masters and he shall be punished. And a man who gossips about the Masters is to be dismissed from among them and shall not come back again. A man who murmurs against the institution of the community shall be dismissed and shall not come back. But if he murmurs against his neighbor without justification he shall be punished. Six months. Incredible as this may seem these rules and regulations of behavior
belongs not to modern civilized society of the 20th century but to an ancient pre-Christian Jewish monastic sect which lived in the wilderness of Judea how little has society progressed in this direction during the last 2000 years. One final point about the contents of the manual. One of the significant doctrines of the man of discipline and then General of the other texts is that of dualism. The philosophy of the scrolls is closely associated with this dualistic attitude. Light and Darkness truth and perversity the wicked person of the Old Testament is recognizing his disobedience of God. But here are the scrolls teach that man is predestined to be either wicked or righteous. I'm quoting that thou has created the righteous and the wicked. We have here to constantly warring camps our lots as they are called the Children of Light and the children of darkness. They are righteous.
They hate evil. They are evil. They hate truth. The manual of discipline even gives the ways are the distinguishing marks of these two spirits or lots. Not only men but the engines too are divided into two great camps. Here is a striking excerpt from the manual on this doctrine of dualism. The translation is that of Gen.. He created man to have dominion over the world and made for him two spirits that he might walk by them until the appointed time of his visitation. They are the spirits of truth and of error in the abode of light are the origins of truth and from the source of darkness are the origins of error in the hand of the Prince of light is dominion over all sons of righteousness in the ways of light. They walk and in the hand of the angel of darkness is all dominion over the sons of ever. And in the ways of darkness they walk. And
by the angel of darkness is the straying of all the sons of righteousness and all their sins and their iniquities and their guilt and the transgressions of their works in his dominion according to the mysteries of God until his time and all their reflections and the appointed times of their distress in the dominion of his enmity. And all the spirits of his lot tried to make the Sons of Light stumble. But the God of Israel and his angel of truth have helped all the Sons of Light for He created the spirits of light and of darkness and upon them he founded every work and upon their ways every service one of the spirits. God loves for all the ages of eternity and with all its deeds he is pleased forever. As for the other he abhors its company and all its ways. He hates forever. Therefore passing to the question of the identity of the Qumran sect and the scenes I wish to discuss an important and relevant document known in the scholarly world as the
Damascus covenant. Upon the publication of the first text from the Dead Sea Scrolls several scholars immediately observed that they are similar to those of the famous Damascus covenant also known as the fragments. These documents were discovered in 1897 in an old synagogue storeroom in Cairo. Together with seven together were several thousand of other manuscripts. It required only a short examination to show that these documents are very closely related to the data scrolls especially to the manual of discipline. Both works make use of expressions which are not only similar but entirely identical. The contents of both works are very similar and often one work completes our information about the other. Moreover several fragments of that very Damascus covenant were actually found among the Qumran scrolls. Finally the leader of the sect in each instance is referred to as the Teacher of Righteousness and his followers
are called the sons of Zeta. Now here is Dr John's Dragon of the University of Oxford. A member of the international team working on the scrolls to explain to us the connection between the manner of discipline and the Damascus government Dr struggle. Well it's a complicated story. When it was first found of course we had no other literature that might have been a scene or might have come from the time of Christ from the Jews except the New Testament. And it was presented an enigma. People had thought that since the laws prescribed in this document were very closely similar to the laws of the carry out sect the Jewish reformed sect which started in about the eighth century after Christ they had imagined that it might be a carry out document. And there were points to be said in favor of this. It was found in the synagogue in Cairo in company with other carry out material at the synagogue itself wasn't carried out
well after the discovery of the first manuscripts from Coomera. And people had noticed the similarity between the main language and everything else. And then by chance someone noticed a tale recorded by an early Syriac church father which mentioned the discovery of manuscripts near Jericho in about the eighth century. And the story was very similar. A Bedouin who followed his dog into a cave had found books and the Jews had recognized these as copies of the Old Testament and other works. Well then we had now we had a discovery near Jericho then. We find people who write about the carry ites and people who write about a sect called the cave men so-called because their books were found in a cave and the many similarities between the carrier in the cave men. It was it is a reasonable assumption because of some of these similarities that the carry lights were influenced by this discovery
and incorporated some of the caveman's practices into their own practices. And it is one of the books of the cavemen. The Damascus Document which was copied again by the carry outs and finally landed up in the synagogue in Cairo. I think you will agree that it is fitting to conclude this program with an excerpt from the closing sound of the manual of discipline. An excerpt which reflects upon the religious beliefs of this sect with nothing but the will of God shall a man be concerned and with all the words of his mouth shall he be pleased he shall not desire anything which he did not command but to the ordinance of God he shall look continually in every period that is to come. He shall bless his maker and in whatever state he is he shall recount his righteousness. Next week we shall talk about that density of this sect and the similarities and
differences between the teachings of the sexts literature and the teachings of the New Testament which had also discussed the burying of the Dead Sea Scrolls upon the background of Christianity scrolls from the Dead Sea program not in a series of radio explorations of the most significant archaeological find of the century. These programs are produced by radio station WAGA of the University of Wisconsin under a grant from the Educational Television and Radio Center professor Menachem Mann sword chairman of the department of Hebrew and Semitic Studies at the University of Wisconsin is the author already and narrator for the series. The reader is Carl Simmons heard in tape recorded inserts was Dr. John struggle of Oxford production and editing by Carl Schmitt and Clare Prothero. These programs are distributed by the National Association of educational broadcasters. This is the N.A. E.B. Radio Network.
Scrolls from the Dead Sea
The search for God in wilderness
Producing Organization
University of Wisconsin
WHA (Radio station : Madison, Wis.)
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University of Maryland (College Park, Maryland)
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Episode Description
This program focuses on the scroll entitled "The Manual of Discipline," which governed a pre-Christian ascetic sect.
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The story of the Dead Sea Scrolls, featuring interviews with 30 leading scholars, scientists, archeologists and theologians.
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Composer: Voegeli, Don
Producing Organization: University of Wisconsin
Producing Organization: WHA (Radio station : Madison, Wis.)
Production Manager: Schmidt, Karl
Speaker: Schmidt, Karl
Speaker: Stribling, Don
Speaker: Strugnell, John, 1930-2007
Writer: Mansoor, Menahem
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University of Maryland
Identifier: 57-21-9 (National Association of Educational Broadcasters)
Format: 1/4 inch audio tape
Duration: 00:29:15
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Chicago: “Scrolls from the Dead Sea; The search for God in wilderness,” 1957-01-01, University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed June 21, 2024,
MLA: “Scrolls from the Dead Sea; The search for God in wilderness.” 1957-01-01. University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. June 21, 2024. <>.
APA: Scrolls from the Dead Sea; The search for God in wilderness. Boston, MA: University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from