Is the Testament of Qahat Part of the Visions of Amram? Material and Literary Considerations of 4Q542 and 4Q547 Academic Article uri icon

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abstract

  • Abstract The contents of 4Q542 and 4Q547 have been treated in previous scholarship as representing two, independent Jewish literary compositions dating to the Hellenistic period, the Testament of Qahat and the Visions of Amram. However, paleographic, scribal, and other manuscript features strongly suggest that 4Q542 and 4Q547 are, in fact, parts of one and the same scroll. Consequently, in this article I reconsider the relationship of the contents of 4Q542/547. It may be that two independent works were copied on the same scroll, as we find elsewhere among the Qumran manuscripts (e.g., 4Q203–204). Another possibility is that what scholars have considered to be an independent composition in the Testament of Qahat is actually a sub-section of the Visions of Amram. The latter option gains strong support from a contextual assessment of other Aramaic writings found among the Dead Sea Scrolls, especially the Isaac section of the Aramaic Levi Document.

publication date

  • December 23, 2020