Monday, April 25, 2005

Essay Abstract: Biblical Interpretation in the Damascus Document

Biblical Interpretation in the "House of Torah": Scripture in CD 1.1-2.1

My contention is that the Damascus Document -- in particular the admonition, with special attention on 1.1-2.1 -- has a complex relationship to its scriptural tradition, but that while it takes many (and perhaps most) of its interpretive cues from this tradition, its exegesis is inherently post-biblical, and distinctively sectarian. In other words, CD mobilizes scripture to address its present much as the Hebrew Bible does, but its methods depart from that tradition in two ways. In the first section, I demonstrate CD 1.1-2.1's densely allusive composition, and relate this to intertextuality in the Bible -- or in Michael Fishbane's term, inner-biblical exegesis. Next, I characterize CD's hermeneutic, as inspired esoteric interpretation. Finally, I discuss three instances of distinctively sectarian interpretation in CD's admonition.

Daniel R. Driver

In this case I have been scooped by Daniel himself. On his own blog, Figured Out, he not only posted the abstract over the weekend, he also made the entire essay available online in a PDF file.