Here is the abstract for the essay for our second seminar to be held later today:
The Songs of the Sabbath Sacrifice (4Q400-4Q405, 11Q17 and Mas1K) raise a number of questions for scholars. This paper sets out to demonstrate the arguments for a non-sectarian view of the Songs of the Sabbath Sacrifice by Carol A. Newsom. Furthermore, I will demonstrate that Crispin Fletcher Louis's definition of the angels within the songs as members of the Qumran community can only be held if one perceives the texts as sectarian documents. I wish to suggest that the Songs themselves are not sectarian but whose influence is reflected within other Qumranic texts such as the Songs of the Sage (4Q510-11) and Berakhot (4Qberakhot a,b,f). Moreover, I will demonstrate how the title 'Maskil' gives us an insight into the worship of the Qumran community. The final section will demonstrate that the Songs of the Sabbath Sacrifice are part of a religious tradition based on the exegesis of Jewish Merkavah mysticism and Hekhalot literature. A further comparison will relate the Songs of the Sabbath Sacrifice to the Book of Revelation.
By looking at these issues that are raised when studying the Songs of the Sabbath Sacrifice one is able to gain an insight into the worship of the community, see how the Songs have utilised the religious tradition of which they were a part and how these arguments strengthen the case for a non-sectarian reading of the texts.