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Abstract

Amidst the various disputes and controversies in the history of Qumran scholarship, scholars have generally neglected the stylistic study of the poetic texts of the Dead Sea Scrolls. What studies do exist are saddled with outmoded metrical schemes and other systems of analysis created ad hoc for the study of biblical Hebrew poetry. These systems are shown to be incapable of adequately describing the stylistic innovations of post-biblical authors in general and poetic figuration that lies outside of traditional forms of parallelism in particular.,This study approaches the stylistic study of the hymnic poetry of the Dead Sea Scrolls by installing a new methodology for stylistic analysis that aims to be both cross-linguistically and diachronically applicable. This is accomplished by building upon the structuralist foun- dations of poetic analysis derived by Roman Jakobson and building upon that foundation with the system of rhetorical tropes designed by a group of Belgian scholars writing under the collective nom de plum Group μ. This system reorients poetic figuration along more linguisti- cally precise criteria doing away with certain ambiguities that plagued earlier systems of He- brew poetic analysis. This system of "metaboles" is applied to the hymn at the end of the Rule of the Community, the Thanksgiving Hymns, and the Songs of the Sabbath Sacrifice with par- ticular emphasis on describing the nature of parallelism as a two-step process of combining two or more synecdoches in order to create either a metaphoric or metonymic relationship that comprises the whole parallel colonic group. This study also examines the structural fea- tures of parallelism and how it varies from biblical models to create new stylistic patterns. Furthermore, non-parallelistic stylistic features are contextualized within the same system of rhetorical tropes in order to comprise a comprehensive description of post-biblical poetic style within the range of continuity with canonical forms and innovative expressions.

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