The number 4 indicates that it was found in the fourth cave, Q refers to Qumran, and the letters MMT are an abbreviation for the Hebrew words Miqsat Ma‘ase Ha-torah (Some of the works of the Torah) which the editors, John Strugnell and Elisha Qimron, have suggested as a title for the work. These words appear near the end of the text.


C.E. (Common Era) and B.C.E. (Before the Common Era) are the scholarly alternate designations corresponding to A.D. and B.C.


There may be one or two other exceptions. The Psalms of Solomon are thought by some to be Pharisaic.


The teacher of Righteousness was the early leader and revered teacher of the Qumran group; he is credited with being an inspired interpreter of the prophets.



Josephus, Jewish Antiquities, transl. Ralph Marcus, Loeb Classical Library (London: Heinemann/Cambridge, MA: Harvard Univ. Press, 1966), 13.5, 9, 171–172.


Pliny, Natural History 2, transl. H. Rackham, Loeb Classical Library (London: Heinemann/Cambridge, MA: Harvard Univ. Press, 1969), 5.15, 73.


The work, which was dedicated to Titus before he became emperor, was completed in about 77 C.E. (Pliny, Natural History 1 [1938], Preface, p. viii). The settlement at Qumran was destroyed about 68 C.E.


Pliny, Natural History 1, p. ix. A possible source for the passage under discussion is Marcus Agrippa, who wrote before 12 B.C.E.; he is the first authority whom Pliny lists for the information in Book 5 (the lengthy catalogue of sources constitutes the first book of Pliny’s composition). See the comments of J.J. Tierney, “The Map of Agrippa,” Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy, vol. 63, section C, no. 4 (Dublin: Hodges, Figgis, 1963), p. 155. I thank my colleague Stephen Goranson for this reference.


The Dead Sea Scrolls of St. Mark’s Monastery, vol. II, fasc. 2: Plates and Transcription of the Manual of Discipline, ed. Millar Burrows (New Haven, CT: American Schools of Oriental Research. 1951).


Josephus, Antiquities, 13.5, 9, 171–173.


All translations from Qumran texts are those from Geza Vermes, The Dead Sea Scrolls in English (Sheffield, UK: JSOT Press, 3rd ed. 1987); Vermes refers to the Manual of Discipline (1QS) as the Community 3.15–16.


Vermes, The Dead Sea Scrolls, 3.21–23


Josephus, The Jewish War, transl. H. St. J. Thackeray, Loeb Classical Library (London: Heinemann/Cambridge, MA: Harvard, 1976), 2.8, 3, 122.


Vermes, The Dead Sea Scrolls, 6.17–22.


Josephus, The Jewish War, 2.8, 9, 147.


Vermes, The Dead Sea Scrolls, 7.13.


Todd Beall, Josephus’ Description of the Essenes Illustrated by the Dead Sea Scrolls, Society for New Testament Studies Monograph series 58 (Cambridge, UK: Cambridge Univ. Press, 1988).


Vermes, The Dead Sea Scrolls, 14.12–13, cf. 9.10–16.


See the valuable recent study of Carol Newsom, “ ‘Sectually Explicit’ Literature From Qumran,” in The Hebrew Bible and its Interpreters, ed. William H. Propp, Baruch Halpern and David Noel Freedman, Biblical and Judaic Studies 1 (Winona Lake, IN: Eisenbrauns, 1990), pp. 167–187.


Frank Moore Cross, “The Early History of the Qumran Community,” in New Directions in Biblical Archaeology, ed. Freedman and Jonas C. Greenfield (Garden City: Doubleday, 1971), pp. 77.


See Elisha Qimron and John Strugnell, “An Unpublished Halakhic Letter from Qumran,” in Biblical Archaeology Today, ed. Janet Amitai (Jerusalem: Israel Exploration Society, 1985), pp. 400–407.


Schiffman deals with this subject in his Bible Review, essay mentioned above. For a fuller elaboration, see his “The Temple Scroll and Systems of Jewish Law of the Second Temple Period,” in Temple Scroll Studies, ed. George J. Brooke, Journal for the Study of the Pseudepigrapha Supplement Series 7 (Sheffield: Sheffield Academic Press, 1989), pp. 245–251.


Emil Schürer, The History of the Jewish People in the Age of Jesus Christ, revised and edited by Vermes, Fergus Millar and Matthew Black (Edinburgh: T. & T. Clark, 1979), p. 410, n. 31. MMT shows that the authors did in fact embrace one position—regarding the liquid stream discussed in the sidebar to this article—that Schürer thought was a joke.


David Daube, in “On Acts 23: Sadducees and Angels,” Journal of Biblical Literature 109 (1990), pp. 493–497), has recently made the interesting suggestion that Acts 23:8—the only ancient passage which says the Sadducees denied there were angels and spirits—means that the Sadducees rejected the notion of an angelic or spirit-like interim phase for the departed prior to the general resurrection (which they also rejected). I am not convinced that he is correct and that his theory explains the Pharisaic jibe in Acts 23:9, but it would have been strange for the Sadducees to deny there were angels when their Bibles were full of them. It has been suggested that Acts 23:8 means only that they denied there were vast armies of angels while accepting the existence of a smaller number.