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“Was the Dead Sea Sect a Penitential Movement?” in The Oxford Handbook of the Dead Sea Scrolls (2010), 501-513.
  21  Was the Dead Sea Sect a Penitential Movement? David Lambert The Scrolls and the Study of Religious Concepts In several important ways, the Dead Sea Scrolls provide an unusually rich context in which to investigate ancient religious phenomena.We have a sense of the place and date in which the pertinent texts were authored. The community that produced and/or preserved thememerges with some clarity through various kinds of evidence: ancient historical writers, archaeological remains, and, not least, the textsthemselves. Most significantly, the scrolls represent a variety of genres, both ritual and poetic/liturgical, that often allow us to see a singlephenomenon expressed in a variety of literary registers. Also useful is the way in which the findings at Qumran appear in the midst (from atemporal perspective) of other rich collections of canonical (and some non-canonical) literature—Hebrew Bible, Apocrypha,Pseudepigrapha, New Testament, and rabbinic literature. These collections hold out the promise of containing at least some analogousforms of religious worship. Studies in the religion of the sect, an excellent representation of which is to be found in the end p.501 other contributions to this section of the present volume, have been conducted profitably utilizing these special resources.The study of the religion of the scrolls does face, however, at least one particular challenge that, at times, has not been fully grasped.Both rabbinic Judaism and early Christianity made great strides in devising a vocabulary of religious experience that ultimately became thestandard for religious discourse in the West. By the second century of the Common Era, terms for virtues like humility, rituals like prayer,and beliefs like redemption, attained a quasi-technical status. Study of the scrolls stands to give us special insight into the historicaldevelopment of these religious concepts, but it also runs the risk of inappropriately absorbing terminological baggage of later religioussystems. As we now recognize in the study of religion, religious experiences are not universal: they are the social, cultural, and linguisticconstructions of particular religious communities.The present study will consider the case of repentance, a mainstay of Western religions and a concept that has been called upon toexplain aspects of various practices in the scrolls, such as initiation, punishment, and prayer (Nitzan 1999; Schiffman 1994: passim  ), allpractices that come to play a role in penitential rites at a later date. In particular, it has been said, perhaps through analogy with onecommon representation of the Jesus movement, that the Dead Sea sect was a penitential movement (Hengel 1974, 1: 179–80), thatIsrael's repentance was one of its central tasks. I will argue that, on the contrary, it is anachronistic to speak of repentance as a conceptoperative at Qumran and that the sect had recourse to a significantly different complex of terms, all related to what I will call a notion of‘divine re-creation’.Most religious movements, of course, favour rejecting one's former way of life, in some fashion, and adopting a new one. But what is atstake is the question of which theory   of human change a given movement adopts to account for and instil such transformation. Theprimacy of ‘divine re-creation’ ultimately provides a much more compelling account of the self-understanding of the sect and how variousaspects of sectarian religion function. It also helps us place the thought of the Dead Sea sect within a larger trajectory moving from thebiblical prophets through late Second Temple apocalypticism into early proponents of the Jesus movement and sets it againstdevelopments within rabbinic Judaism and early Christianity toward the end of the first century.In the past, studies focusing on the concept of repentance have attempted to emphasize its centrality to the biblical prophets, to theDeuteronomists, to the post-exilic Judaean community, to Jesus and the movement that he spawned, to the Rabbis, and to theapocalyptic-oriented sect at Qumran (e.g. Sanders 1977: 233–328). All of these are seen to be in some fashion reform movements, andrepentance, a fundamental component of a ‘common Judaism’, was thought to be at the centre of their redemptive visions. Recentresearch has picked away at this consensus. Claus Westermann has called into question the view of the prophets as end p.502 preachers of repentance (Westermann 1967). Baruch Schwartz points out that redemption in the book of Ezekiel is deterministic and notbased on the people's repentance (Schwartz 1994). Most controversially, E. P. Sanders has maintained that the historical Jesus probablydid not preach repentance; it occurs mostly on the level of the synoptic editors, not their source materials (Sanders 1985: 106–13).Elsewhere, I have argued that biblical rituals such as fasting and confession are not meant to signify repentance as they come to do lateron in the penitential discipline of Judaism and Christianity (Lambert 2003, 2005). Most significant for the present discussion is the distinction that should be drawn between biblical shuv  , connoting a behavioural change(a turn away from sin) and rabbinic teshuva  , connoting an internal state (regret over sin). The distinction may seem subtle at first but it PRINTED FROM OXFORD HANDBOOKS ONLINE (www.oxfordhandbooks.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2009 - 2012. All Rights Reserved.Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a handbook in OHO for personal use (for detailssee http://www.oxfordhandbooks.com/oso/public/privacy_policy_oho.html).Subscriber: University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill Libraries; date: 16 October 2012 The Oxford Handbook of the Dead Sea ScrollsCollins, John J. (Editor), Holmes Professor of Old Testament Criticism and Interpretation, Yale UniversityLim, Timothy H. (Editor), Professor of Hebrew Bible and Second Temple Judaism, School of Divinity, University of EdinburghPrint publication date: 2010, Published to Oxford Handbooks Online: January 2011Print ISBN-13: 978-0-19-920723-7, doi:10.1093/oxfordhb/9780199207237.001.0001  bears great functional weight, for teshuva   derives from inside the individual and is, by necessity, an act of free will, whereas shuv   neednot be either. The term teshuva  , which, in this meaning, has no parallel in the Bible, appears to correspond quite closely to the Greek term metanoia   and its Latin equivalent, paenitentia  . The earliest, most compelling evidence for repentance comes not from ancient Judaism butcertain anti-Stoical trends within Hellenistic philosophical thought (Lambert 2004). The philosopher is not actually the one who never errs,but the one who regrets and learns from his mistakes when he does. It is this sense of repentance—repudiation of a past act—that findsits way into Judaism and Christianity, and it is of no small interest to determine which sense of shuv   is at work in Qumran. Sectarian Initiation Rites Initiation rites have been a focal point of those who would see a dominant role for repentance in sectarian religion. Indeed, protocol forentrance into the sect constitutes an important arena in which the group can define itself and its purposes. However, sustainedconsideration of these procedures suggests that their penitential assessment does not emerge from the textual representations of the sectitself, but from the ritual framework of later Judaism and Christianity. Let us then begin with the Community Rule, where depictions ofthese rituals are most densely clustered.The scroll itself begins with a series of infinitive clauses. They include such items as ‘doing what is good and just’ (1QS 1: 3), welcominginitiates ( mitnaddevim  ) (1: 7), and rejecting the ‘sons of darkness’ (1: 10). Scholars have understood these infinitives to be purposeclauses, as if they spell out the impact the book intends to have. It exists ‘in order to’ teach members how to serve God better. Thisreading end p.503 accords with what may be termed the disciplinary view of the Qumran sect: institutional practices, and indeed the sect's literature,consciously aimed to discipline members, to improve their spiritual status (Newsom 2004: 109). While such a reading is possible, apreferred reading would be that the infinitives merely spell out the contents of the book, not its purposes, which otherwise would render thework self-referential to an unusual degree for this period. It alludes to the basic categories of legal concern, focusing on behaviour towardwilling initiates and toward those who refuse to join the sect respectively. The implication is subtle, but significant for our purposes. TheRule is to be read as a compilation of law, rather than as a self-conscious guide to spiritual improvement.Next, we turn our attention to the main term used in the Rule to depict initiates: mitnaddevim  . Since the scroll was first discovered, theterm, sometimes translated as ‘those who freely volunteer’, has been taken to indicate that some notion of free will operated at Qumran,that the sectarians saw that no religion could persist, even for those inclined toward determinism, without a sense that people choose theirbehaviour and hence their fate (Licht 1957). It is unlikely though that this term is meant to suggest all that. Terms for the will in antiquityare notoriously difficult to unpack. To be sure, they should be seen as existing on a complex continuum. Our particular instance probablyindicates the presence of a desire to do something and, correspondingly, the absence of any external compulsion. New members are notconscripted from among the populace, but come forward on their own. Thus, in Exodus, the people willingly donate materials for thebuilding of the Tabernacle. However, a notion of desire should hardly be equated with free will. Note the literal phrase employed in Exodus:‘their hearts moved ( nadav  ) them’ (Exod. 35: 29). The term designates compulsion that arises from within rather than from without. Andindeed, in the case of our new initiates, it is most likely that, according to sectarian ideology, they are drawn by an inner compulsion, theirtrue nature, to join with the ‘sons of light’. They are ‘those who feel compelled/who desire to perform God's dictates’ (1: 7) and are to becontrasted with the one whose ‘soul loathes’ sectarian ways (2: 26–3: 1). Absent is any suggestion that the initiates have made a rational choice   to adopt sectarian ways over their own.We turn now to the first rite addressed in the Community Rule, an annual covenantal ceremony for new initiates and old, within which liesa confession of sin (1: 16–2: 18). In keeping with a common medieval   understanding of ritual as an external expression of internal feeling,most contemporary scholars view the participants' confession of sin as an expression of contrition, rendering the process as a whole aceremony of repentance. A careful reading suggests an alternative interpretation of confession's significance. The Levites' recitation ofIsrael's iniquities must be understood in conjunction with the priests' recitation of the just deeds of God—just as, in the continuation of thepassage, their respective recitation of blessings for sectarians and curses for outsiders correspond. The priests confess that all goodthings to have occurred for Israel are due only to God's mercy. As for end p.504 the bad things to have befallen Israel, the Levites lead the community representing Israel to a quasi-legal acceptance of responsibility forthem; their sins are to blame. We will find that many other scrolls found at Qumran develop this juxtaposition further. Acknowledgement ofsin exonerates God for Israel's suffering and thereby presents their current flourishing, manifested through the existence of the sectariancommunity, as a product of divine grace. The priestly blessings for initiates that follow perform that act of grace, raising those who have just labelled themselves as condemned because of sin to a new blessed status (2: 1–4, cf. 5: 6–7). Nowhere in the representation of this PRINTED FROM OXFORD HANDBOOKS ONLINE (www.oxfordhandbooks.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2009 - 2012. All Rights Reserved.Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a handbook in OHO for personal use (for detailssee http://www.oxfordhandbooks.com/oso/public/privacy_policy_oho.html).Subscriber: University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill Libraries; date: 16 October 2012 The Oxford Handbook of the Dead Sea ScrollsCollins, John J. (Editor), Holmes Professor of Old Testament Criticism and Interpretation, Yale UniversityLim, Timothy H. (Editor), Professor of Hebrew Bible and Second Temple Judaism, School of Divinity, University of EdinburghPrint publication date: 2010, Published to Oxford Handbooks Online: January 2011Print ISBN-13: 978-0-19-920723-7, doi:10.1093/oxfordhb/9780199207237.001.0001  ritual is there any indication that confession, or, perhaps more neutrally, acknowledgement of sin, acts as a ritual expression of contritionor marks the decision to turn away from sin. The desire among the newcomers to adhere to sectarian law is not ritually exercised butassumed to be a given; part of their identity as initiates. In confession, we do not have an inner experience of consciousness, but aperformance designed to highlight God's magnanimity and the sect's status as its recipient.Ritual immersion comes under discussion as part of the privileges denied to those who cannot adhere to the sect's dictates (3: 4–12).Scholars have been quick to point out parallels between the Qumran sect's use of water for initiation and John the Baptist's desertactivities, prompting them to designate the Rule's ritual a ‘baptism of repentance’ (e.g. Pfann 1999). This nomenclature proves to besomewhat misleading, for it shifts attention away from the actual force of the act, as it is represented in the scroll. Unlike for Josephus( Ant.  18: 116–19), the inner decision or experience of the initiate while immersing appears to be quite beside the point, for the sect.Rather, in conjunction with proper sectarian practice (1QS 3: 8), the waters produce an effect   upon the initiate; they ‘atone for his sin’ (3: 6 –7) ‘purify his flesh’ (3: 8). It is true that only the committed sectarian may gain access to them, but that is precisely because of theirpeculiar power. The transformation enacted through the initiate's immersion draws its strength not from individual human consciousnessbut from the ‘holy spirit of the community’ (3: 7), the power God has invested in the sect. Reconstituted, the initiate is now fit to join in thecommunity.Following the discussion of immersion, the Community Rule presents an elaborate treatise (3: 13–4: 26) to be taught to the ‘sons of light’(3: 13) by the Instructor. It contains the secrets of creation that are to be vouchsafed to initiates. The implication of the currentarrangement—baptism and then special knowledge—is that the treatise's contents should be viewed on the model of a revelation to thenow purified member of the sect. Newly remade, the initiate gains access to divine secrets. The logic of this ritual and its effects fit betterwith a notion of re-creation with its focus on external agency than with the penitential framework that presently dominates. Its peculiarefficacy may be seen to derive from the concretization of an eschatological promise for divine intervention: ‘I will sprinkle clean waterupon you, and you shall be clean: I will cleanse you from all your uncleanness and from all your fetishes’ (Ezek. 36: 25). end p.505 As scholars now recognize, the scroll of the Community Rule found in Cave 1 may be a composite document. No trace of the columnscontaining the rituals just discussed were found among the Cave 4 manuscript fragments of the Rule (cols. 1–4), and column 5 seems tomark the beginning of a new document (Metso 1997: 113). Most prominent among the initiation procedures of this document is the vow.The initiate must commit himself to adopt sectarian law and eschew the company of non-sectarians:Whoever enters the council of the Community...shall swear with a binding oath to revert to the Law of Moses, according to all thathe commanded, with whole heart and whole soul, in compliance with all that has been revealed of it to the sons of Zadok...Heshould swear by the covenant to be segregated from all the men of injustice... (1 QS 5: 7–10)The temptation may be great to interpret this ritual act as an expression of the initiate's contrite conscience, especially since it employs shuv   terminology to depict the turn   to sectarian practice. However, the functional, as opposed to expressive, aspects of this vow areclearly paramount: it marks a public embrace of sectarian identity, an official adoption of sectarian law. Therefore, special mention is madeof the initiate's newly established distance from non-sectarians. Now, the initiate can be expected to uphold the norms of his new groupand can be punished accordingly. We find a similar treatment of the vow in the Damascus Document: ‘And on the day on which one hasimposed upon himself to return to the law of Moses, the angel Mastema will turn aside from following him, if he upholds his words’ (CD-A16: 4–5). Verbal commitment to join the sect results   in Mastema's retreat. He flees not because the initiate now wills that he leave, butbecause the initiate only now possesses the status necessary to fend him off (Cf. Kister 1997: 173–4).Also prominent in column 5 and elaborated further in column 6 is the process of testing to which initiates are subjected at various stagesand members undergo yearly (5: 23–4, 6: 13–23). Analogous are the tests that members are subjected to during the process ofreadmission after their banishment for some infraction against sectarian law (e.g. 9: 2). Most have seen these tests as tests ofcompliance or even conscience. Is the candidate/errant member truly following the community's standards? Has he sincerely repentedand reformed his ways (Shemesh 2002: 59)? But, even at the very beginning of his candidacy, the initiate is tested, better: measured, for‘his mind and deeds’ (6: 14)—before compliance   would be an issue. It seems fairly clear then that we are dealing with a test of mettle  rather than compliance. Is the individual of a sufficient quality to be a member of the community? If so, at what level? The issue at stakeis a sort of innate power, a freedom from Belial's meddling, that has more to do with the sectarian's essential being than any mentalprocesses he has undergone. Over time, one's status could alter, but there appears to be no presumption on the part of the sectarians ofgrowth. The sectarians looked for something constant in human nature, what propelled the initiate to join the sect and the member tofaithfully adhere to its end p.506 PRINTED FROM OXFORD HANDBOOKS ONLINE (www.oxfordhandbooks.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2009 - 2012. All Rights Reserved.Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a handbook in OHO for personal use (for detailssee http://www.oxfordhandbooks.com/oso/public/privacy_policy_oho.html).Subscriber: University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill Libraries; date: 16 October 2012 The Oxford Handbook of the Dead Sea ScrollsCollins, John J. (Editor), Holmes Professor of Old Testament Criticism and Interpretation, Yale UniversityLim, Timothy H. (Editor), Professor of Hebrew Bible and Second Temple Judaism, School of Divinity, University of EdinburghPrint publication date: 2010, Published to Oxford Handbooks Online: January 2011Print ISBN-13: 978-0-19-920723-7, doi:10.1093/oxfordhb/9780199207237.001.0001  dictates. For grave sins, the individual who strayed was given no chance to return, having revealed his true (lack of) worth; repentancewas without significance. Even those who were given an opportunity to come back were tested not for their contrition but to see whethertheir spiritual level was such as to merit them a position in the sect. Shuv   Terminology at Qumran The most significant (and ultimately misleading) factor in the interpretation of Qumran as a penitential movement comes from the sect'suse of shuv   terminology to depict itself, a use common to the Community Rule, the Damascus Document, and the Hodayot. As notedearlier, recent research has revealed that this root takes on a new   meaning in rabbinic Hebrew, one that focuses on regret—probably acalque from the Aramaic tuv  . Qumran's use of the term resembles that of biblical Hebrew, in that it focuses on behavioural practice, but isunique in that it refers, not to a turn away from generic sin, but specifically to a turn away from non-sectarian practice. The propertranslation of the phrase shavey yisra'el   is most likely not ‘the penitents of Israel’ but ‘those who have turned away from Israel’, i.e. fromthe transgression of Israel, as represented by the more complete version of the phrase shavey pesha'  , namely shavey pesha' ya'akov  ,‘those who have turned away from the transgression of Jacob’ (CD-B 20: 17). Likewise, the phrase shavey yisra'el   is explained as ‘thosewho turned aside from the path of the people’ (CD-A 8: 14–16) (cf. Kister 1999: 349–50).At Qumran, shuv   terminology serves as a technical term for the adoption of sectarian practice, not for the painful internal struggle overone's sins that comes to be known respectively in Hebrew, Greek, and Latin as teshuva  , metanoia  , and paenitentia  . Likewise, it does notrefer to a continual practice of penitential discipline. The phrase shavey pesha'   does not apply to anyone currently engaged in a processof turning away from sin, but rather to those who have already   done so. We see this, for instance, in the Hodayot, where the phraseappears opposite the terms ‘offenders’ and ‘traitors’ and parallel to ‘those on a straight path’ (1QH a  10: 9–10). Indeed, such is the srcinalcontext of the phrase, where it appears not as an exhortation but a promise that redemption will come to those who are righteous at thetime of God's intervention: ‘He [God] shall come as redeemer to Zion, to those in Jacob who have turned back from sin’ (Isa. 59: 20).Why does Qumran choose shuv   terminology to depict the adoption of sectarian ways? The above-mentioned verse from Isaiah may haveplayed some role in that choice—it could be read as indicating that only those who have turned away from end p.507 non-sectarian practice will be redeemed—but more important are the two references to shuv   found in the book of Deuteronomy (4: 28–31,30: 1–10). Often read as exhortations to repent, these passages were understood by the sectarians as prophecies, divine promises ofredemption (Brettler 1999). The people would sin and be exiled; they would then turn back to God and have their prosperity restored. Whatpromised ‘turn’ in the ways of the people does Deuteronomy depict? The formation of the sect, of course! It alone constitutes the fulfilmentof God's promise. It is precisely this point that lies at the heart of the so-called exhortation in 4QMMT. After reminding its audience of thesect's unique position on a variety of legal matters, the letter asserts: ‘And this   is the end of days, when they, among Israel, will turn backto the L[aw]’ (C 21). The writer of this letter uses the verse from Deuteronomy not to exhort others to repent (as the Rabbis later do), butto establish that the advent of sectarian law, what is happening right now, is the fulfilment of Moses' prophecy.Thus, shuv   does not constitute a desideratum incumbent upon the individual or even the nation, but a foreordained component of God'seschatological plan, a perspective that also emerges clearly in the Words of the Luminaries. There we see that the process of ‘turning’ isenvisioned as a one-time (already completed) act of divine intervention rather than a result of human agency. The author of these prayerspraises God for ‘bringing it to the people's mind’ (4QDibHam a  frs. 1–2 5: 12–13) to turn back to him and ‘pouring forth’ his ‘holy spirit’ uponthem (4QDibHam a  frs. 1–2 5: 15). We will return to this language of the spirit shortly, but it is essential to see for now that the sect's useof shuv   terminology does not speak to its penitential concerns but its eschatological self-definition. The sect is the fulfilment of God'spromise. The Notion of Divine Re-creation How then did they actually conceptualize processes of human transformation? One need not claim that they saw no role for human will,but the question concerns what they chose to emphasize in their rhetoric. To answer such a question, we need to attend with special careto repeating linguistic patterns and images found in the writings of the sect and its library, how the sect itself represents transformativeexperience. The following passage from the Community Rule is, in many ways, typical:God...has determined an end to the existence of injustice and on the appointed time of the visitation he will obliterate it forever...Atthat time, God will refine, with his truth, all man's deeds, and will purify for himself the structure of man, perfecting the spirit ofinjustice from PRINTED FROM OXFORD HANDBOOKS ONLINE (www.oxfordhandbooks.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2009 - 2012. All Rights Reserved.Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a handbook in OHO for personal use (for detailssee http://www.oxfordhandbooks.com/oso/public/privacy_policy_oho.html).Subscriber: University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill Libraries; date: 16 October 2012 The Oxford Handbook of the Dead Sea ScrollsCollins, John J. (Editor), Holmes Professor of Old Testament Criticism and Interpretation, Yale UniversityLim, Timothy H. (Editor), Professor of Hebrew Bible and Second Temple Judaism, School of Divinity, University of EdinburghPrint publication date: 2010, Published to Oxford Handbooks Online: January 2011Print ISBN-13: 978-0-19-920723-7, doi:10.1093/oxfordhb/9780199207237.001.0001  end p.508 the innermost part of his flesh, and cleansing him with the spirit of holiness from every wicked deed. He will sprinkle over him thespirit of truth like lustral water (in order to cleanse him) from all the abhorrences of deceit and (from) the defilement of the uncleanspirit, instructing the upright ones with knowledge of the Most High, and making understood the wisdom of the sons of heaven tothose of perfect behaviour. For those God has chosen for an everlasting covenant and to them shall belong all the glory of Adam.(4: 18–23)Paramount here is the range of purificatory imagery that emphasizes God's agency in the human transformation described. God does notsimply forgive past sin; his purification literally changes human nature, enabling members of the sect to attain a new kind of glory, ‘theglory of Adam’, which may even have a visible dimension. Here a cultic metaphor is employed, but other images for a similaranthropological reconstruction also figure among the scrolls, including the circumcision of the heart and the removal of demons. All resultin the revelation of special knowledge; transformed, mere mortals attain access to the secrets of the divine realm. The scrolls usually usethese kinds of images when contemplating a single eschatological moment—the time God has chosen to fix human nature and end theexistence of sin—and locate that moment in the formation of a particular group. A nice example of this can be found in the Barkhi Nafshitexts, which employ the imagery of circumcision in a manner suggesting that the re-creation has occurred already (4Q434 a  frs. I 1: 4). Theabove passage appears at the end of the esoteric history of good and evil revealed to the initiate, apparently after his immersion.Undoubtedly, the sect associates this moment in history with the opportunity for transformation made available by entrance into the sectand, in particular, participation in its baptismal rites, which are presented here as an instrument of that transformation.The belief in a reconstitution of human nature at the end of time was common to the writings available to and treasured by the sectarians.The Book of Jubilees (1: 7–25), interpreting Deut. 30: 1–10, maintains that the process of shuv   promised by God will take place as acircumcision of the heart and a removal of the threat of Belial, that is to say, a re-creation of human nature (Lambert 2006: 631–46). Both 1Enoch (10: 1–11: 2) and Jubilees (5: 12, 10: 1–14) maintain that, through the removal of demons, some transformation of human natureoccurred at the time of Noah, a ‘first end’ (1 Enoch 93: 4), a type of what will transpire in the second and final end. Likewise, there areseveral fine instances of apotropaic prayer found among the scrolls, e.g. the Aramaic Levi Document (4Q213 a  1: 8–18). This genre neverfocuses on repentance, but rather puts forward the subtly different request that divine intervention transform the petitioner, usually throughpurification and removal of the demons that beset him. That apotropaic prayers are found among the scrolls, but not among explicitlysectarian documents, may suggest that sectarians felt such prayer to be no longer pertinent; the awaited transformation had alreadytranspired at the time of initiation into the sect.The Hodayot Scroll gives particularly clear expression to the link between initiation, divine re-creation, and the removal of inherent humansinfulness: end p.509 The iniquitous spirit you purified from great depravity, thereby letting me join the array, with the host of the holy; and enter the group, with the congregation of the heavenly sons. You cast for a person an eternal lot with the enlightened ones; to join the glorifying community in praise of your name and in telling of your wonders in front of all your creatures. But I, a creature of clay, what am I? Mixed with water, as whom shall I be considered? What is my strength? For I find myself at the boundary of wickedness and share the lot of the scoundrels. (1QH a  11: 20–25) This passage, like many others in the Hodayot (e.g. 1QH a  11: 29–38), juxtaposes a divine act of human transformation with the author'scontinued sense of worthlessness, a juxtaposition that one scholar has labelled the ‘masochistic sublime’ (Newsom 2004: 229). The effectis clear: it is only through God's intervention that the worshipper is purified, forever susceptible to falling back on his true nature. Thesense of sin in such passages serves to identify and highlight the extent of divine grace, not to indicate penitent contrition, as many haveassumed. The author of this text clearly associates this transformative experience with initiation; the initiate is purified, thereby rising to PRINTED FROM OXFORD HANDBOOKS ONLINE (www.oxfordhandbooks.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2009 - 2012. All Rights Reserved.Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a handbook in OHO for personal use (for detailssee http://www.oxfordhandbooks.com/oso/public/privacy_policy_oho.html).Subscriber: University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill Libraries; date: 16 October 2012 The Oxford Handbook of the Dead Sea ScrollsCollins, John J. (Editor), Holmes Professor of Old Testament Criticism and Interpretation, Yale UniversityLim, Timothy H. (Editor), Professor of Hebrew Bible and Second Temple Judaism, School of Divinity, University of EdinburghPrint publication date: 2010, Published to Oxford Handbooks Online: January 2011Print ISBN-13: 978-0-19-920723-7, doi:10.1093/oxfordhb/9780199207237.001.0001
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