T-S 10 K6

A page of Zadokite Document “A.” Called “the first Dead Sea Scroll,” the Zadokite document was found by Solomon Schechter in the Cairo Genizah. It consists of two incomplete manuscripts: Manuscript “B” and Manuscript “A” which dates to the 10th century. Because the language of both manuscripts is Biblical Hebrew, Schechter concluded that the original text must have been written before the Roman destruction of the Temple in 70 A.D.

These manuscripts (known as the Damascus Document) describe a highly structured sect that practiced communal property ownership and believed that they alone knew the proper interpretation of the laws of Moses. Schechter’s study of these manuscripts caused him to speculate that the sect must have possessed a manual of their rules. Fifty years later the “Manuscript of Discipline” was found in the Dead Sea caves at Qumran and was attributed to the same sect as the documents Schechter found. This conclusion became irrefutable when small fragments of the Zadokite Document itself were found in Caves IV and VI at Qumran.