John C. Trever

The Manual of Discipline emerged from Cave 1 (see next photo) with little damage after some 2,000 years. It and other Dead Sea Scrolls help clarify the language and verbal formulas of the New Testament, because they provided Hebrew (and sometimes Aramaic) words that lie behind the New Testament Greek. This is important because Jesus and his early followers all spoke Aramaic or Hebrew. In the New Testament, for example, the Greek toµn pleioµn is usually translated “many” or “majority,” but it is also applied more specifically to groups of Jesus’ followers (for example, Matthew 26:28). The Manual of Discipline now gives a basis for this more specific meaning of toµn Pleioµn in a passage in column six, shown here. Lines 11 and 12 say: “And in an Assembly of the Congregation no man shall speak without the consent of the Congregation, nor indeed of the Guardian of the Congregation.” The Hebrew word hrbym here translated as “Congregation,” literally means “the many.” This exactly reflects the usage of toµn pleioµn, indicating that hrbym was the Hebrew original for this Greek expression and that the expression is therefore Jewish in origin.