Why We Should be Looking for Ezra’s Legacy in the Dead Sea Scrolls

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This paper offers a fresh assessment of the scant profile of Ezra in the Dead Sea Scrolls against the context of the uneven reception history of Ezra and Nehemiah in the Second Temple period. There is little scholarly agreement on the extent, if any, of the literary contribution on the part of a historical Ezra to the book, and dates for the Ezra narrative range from the Persian to as late as the Hasmonean period. Recent research on the Teacher of Righteousness in the Scrolls has challenged the association of this figure with the remarkable literary legacy earlier scholarship attributed to him. By turning our attention beyond a focus on the singularity of the Teacher and Ezra as they emerge from the preserved literature, a compelling case can be made for circles of Judean legal scholars that played a significant part in the proliferation of both Ezra’s legacy and that of a sizeable constituent of the movement which curated the Dead Sea Scrolls.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)285
Number of pages307
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2020

Bibliographical note

Publication by l'Institut d'études sémitiques du Collège de France.


  • Ezra, Qumran, Dead Sea Scrolls, Second Temple Period


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