Biblical Archaeology Society

“Miqsat Ma‘ase Ha-Torah” read the words highlighted in the Dead Sea Scroll fragment above. The phrase gives the document its shorthand name—MMT. But what does it mean? Scholars have varyingly translated it as “some precepts of Torah” or “some legal rulings of Torah.” Both translations miss the mark, writes Martin Abegg, who suggests the proper rendering is “pertinent works of the law.” If Abegg is right, MMT casts important new light on the thinking of Paul, who uses the expression “works of the law” in his letters to the Galatians and the Romans.