Qumran, Its Hellenistic Context, and the Jewish Greek Literature of Its Time


This research unit seeks to provide a venue for the study of the literature from Qumran and its relationship to the Hellenistic culture and Greek literature of its day. Relationship between the sectarian community and the prevailing Hellenistic culture of its day will be examined both through textual (i.e., Jewish Greek literature such as that which makes its way into the so-called Septuagint as well as interpretatio graeca such as found in Philo and Josephus) and cultural comparisons. This latter category may be comprised of Hellenistic schools of thought, such as non-Jewish philosophical traditions like that of the Stoics or Greek Jewish cultural manifestations such as the Therapeutai, whose structural and cultural facets find related expression in the Qumran community’s organization and culture. To this end, the research unit will attempt to address 1) methodological matters as to how comparison between Qumranic literature and Hellenistic culture and writing is to be undertaken, 2) philological matters, such as the possibility of Greek influences on the language of Qumran, and 3) cultural and literary influences (e.g., such as the use of Greek military traditions and implements in the composition of the War Scroll) or the similarities between sectarian society and that of certain, Hellenistic schools of thought.


Brad Embry, Regent University.

Dr. Patrick Pouchelle, Centre Sèvres - Paris.


Leuven 2016

The chairs envision two sessions as follows.

The first will address the topic of Jewish Greek literature and Qumran and the exploration of the relationship between these two bodies of texts and will be by invitation only.

The second will be an open session, inviting papers that address the possible intersection between any Hellenistic literature or societal expression (e.g., philosophical school) and the literature and society of Qumran.

The Annual Conference 2021
takes place 2-5 August
in Wuppertal. Read more.