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Before the BibleThe Liturgical Body and the Formation of Scriptures in early Judaism$
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Judith H. Newman

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780190212216

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190212216.001.0001

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The Hodayot and the Formative Process of Performing Scripture

The Hodayot and the Formative Process of Performing Scripture

Chapter:
(p.107) Chapter 4 The Hodayot and the Formative Process of Performing Scripture
Source:
Before the Bible
Author(s):

Judith H. Newman

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/oso/9780190212216.003.0005

This chapter evaluates the Qumran Hodayot (Thanksgiving Hymns) in the manuscript 1QHa. Although the poems never entered anyone’s Bible, they nonetheless exhibit many of the dynamics seen in other texts that become scripture. Certain psalms within the collection are connected to the Maskil, the principal leader of the Yaḥad movement who claims possession of the divine spirit. The Maskil confesses esoteric knowledge reflecting a sectarian interpretation of scripture. The Maskil is called to prostrate himself like Moses, thus enacting an intercessory role for the community. The revelatory claims of the Maskil serve to sacralize the text. The youngest and most refined scroll of hodayot, 1QHa is scripture-like in the refined character of the manuscript. The intimate and intricate relationship between liturgy and scriptural interpretation, wisdom and prophecy, and their mediation by a leader cannot be separated from a consideration of the continuing performed enactment of the hodayot.

Keywords:   textual community, Maskil, Hodayot, performance, Yaḥad, mirror neurons, ritualization of text, psalms

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