Vision, Narrative, and Wisdom in the Aramaic Texts from Qumran – Københavns Universitet

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Vision, Narrative, and Wisdom in the Aramaic Texts from Qumran

International Symposium in Copenhagen, 14 - 15 August 2017

The Dead Sea Scrolls are often associated with a group, possibly the Essenes, within Second Temple Judaism, living a physically secluded life at Qumran and adhering to an ideologically exclusivist attitude to their fellow Jews. Some of their foundational texts, all written in Hebrew, are extant among the scrolls found at Qumran.

However, many other of the texts found there belong to the literature shared by many groups within the Judaism of that period, and some — about 10% of the entire Qumran finds — are even written in a different language than the holy Hebrew tongue, namely Aramaic.

These texts throw light on the world of religious thought that both later Judaism and eventually Christianity grew out of. They contain stories about prophets and patriarchs, but also visionary texts in which heavenly secrets are revealed to holy men and thus also to the reader.

With support from Johannes Pedersen’s Grant (the Carlsberg Foundation), The Biblical Studies Section of the University of Copenhagen is hosting an international symposium on these texts and their implications for Biblical scholarship.

Attendance is free, but please sign up in advance by e-mail


Monday 14 August

09.00–9.15 Welcome by the Organizers

09.15–10.00 Daniel Machiela: “The Compositional Setting and Implied Origins of Some Aramaic Texts from Qumran: A Working Hypothesis”

10.00–10.30 Coffee break

10.30–11.15 Torleif Elgvin: “The Background of the Priestly Figure in 4Q541 9”

11.15–12.00 Hugo Antonissen, “The Symposium Culture in the Letter of Aristeas and in Aramaic New Jerusalem”

12.00–14.00 Lunch break

14.00–14.45 Andrew Perrin: “Remembering the Past, Cultivating a Character: Memory, Pseudepigraphy, and Paratextuality in the Pseudo-Daniel Texts (4Q243–244; 4Q245)”

14.45–15.30 Melissa Sayyad Bach: “4Q246 and Collective Messianism”

15.30–16.00 Coffee break

16.00–16.45 Årstein Justnes: “The Story about Nine Fake Dead Sea Scrolls Fragments Written in Aramaic”

16.45–17.30 Peter Brylov Christensen: “Aborted Stories: The Flood Narrative in the Hebrew Book of Genesis as ‘Rewritten Enoch’ or Vice Versa?”

Relocation to Faculty of Theology, University of Copenhagen, South Campus, Karen Blixens Plads 16, Copenhagen.

19.15–20.00 Public lecture by George J. Brooke

Welcome by the Dean of Faculty

George J. Brooke: “A Summer’s Day? With What Shall We Compare the Dead Sea Scrolls?”

20.00–? Reception

Tuesday, 15 August

09.15–10.00 George J. Brooke: “Aramaic Traditions from the Qumran Caves and the Palestinian Sources for Luke's Special Material”

10.00–10.30 Coffee break

10.30–11.15 Mika Pajunen: “Patriarchal Voices and the Transmission and Status of Traditions”

11.15–12.00 Søren Holst: “Fragments and Forefathers: Reconstructing Visions of Amram”

12.00–14.00 Lunch break

14.00–14.45 Liora Goldman: "The Visions of Amram between Aaron and Moses"

14.45–15.30 Kasper Siegismund: “4Q543 2 1–2 and the verb ‘to give’ in Qumran Aramaic”

15.30–16.00 Coffee break

16.00–16.45 Mette Bundvad: Title TBA

16:45–17:30 Jesper Høgenhaven: “Geography in the Visions of Amram Texts”