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date: 24 August 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Since rhetorical criticism is a method that is all but absent from the study of the Dead Sea Scrolls, this article attempts to make the case for its usefulness. In order to do this, it defines the relevant terms and sets them in historical perspective, examines the distinctive features of Qumran literature that make rhetorical criticism both important and problematic, and discusses whether and in what way rhetorical criticism is in fact a method. The article presents two case studies to illustrate ways in which rhetorical criticism might be conducted. The first is on the Rule texts, which include the Damascus Document and the Community Rule. The second is on the Hodayot or Thanksgiving Hymns.

Keywords: Dead Sea Scrolls, Qumran literature, rhetorical criticism, Hodayot, Thanksgiving Hymns, Community Rule, Damascus Document

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