• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Give an Account of the Main Beliefs and Practices of the Qumran Community.

Extracts from this document...


LAH 7th October 1999 HWK Carol Mooney 13HH Give an Account of the Main Beliefs and Practices of the Qumran Community. Qumran, in the wilderness of Judea, had been the place of exile of the Essenes since at least the second century BCE. They were the old aristocrats who longed for a return to the great days of Israel, when a David was on the throne and a Zakodite high priest was in the Temple. While they waited and prayed for such a restoration, their priests performed all the services in a courtyard on a barren plateau, acting as if it were a temple. The Qumran covenants had isolated themselves from other Jews (who they considered to be doomed) in order to carry out the requirements of the law more faithfully than they believed was possible in 'corrupt' and 'impure' Jerusalem. An essential and principal argument for identifying the people of Qumran as Essenes is that the beliefs and practices of the Essenes agree well with those depicted and reflected in the Dead Sea Scrolls. Joesephus and other ancient writers noted Essene beliefs on several topics, many of which occur in the scrolls. One point on which descriptions of the Essenes and the contents of the Manual of Discipline and other Qumran texts shows striking harmony is the doctrine of fate or pre-determinism. ...read more.


Sun and Moon operated according to strict, schematic laws that the covenanters understood but others, who followed the ways of the Gentiles did not. The revealed calendar called for a solar year of 364 days and a lunar on 354 days. Qumranites accepted only a solar calendar of 364 days and rejected the lunar reckoning that the authorities in Jerusalem followed. The importance of the Qumran calendars is that they differed from whatever one was used in the Temple in the second century BCE and after. One result was that the residents of Qumran and some of their spiritual ancestors observed a unique festival cycle. That is, they did not celebrate on the same days those holidays they shared with other Jews. Moreover, they marked as festivals several occasions that other Jews seem not to have celebrated. There is no evidence that Jesus or the Early Church movement used the Qumran solar calendar. The Qumran community believed at the end of history the Almighty Lord will intervene. He will then send the great leaders of the future - a prophet and the Davidic and priestly messiahs- who along with the hosts of the sons of light and, will take part in the ultimate divine victory over evil. The Manual of Discipline gave the first unambiguous evidence that the people of Qumran expected not one messiah, but two. ...read more.


The Rule of the Congregation also depicts a meal, one that characterised the last days. At that meal too, all must sit in their appropriate rank, and the priest blesses the bread and wine before anyone eats. Josephus also relates the toilet habits of the Qumran Community. He states they are stricter than the Jews in abstaining from work on the seventh day in that they do not venture to remove any vessel or even to go to stool. And though this discharge of excrements is a natural function, they make it a rule to wash themselves after it, as if defiled. Finally, both Josephus and the Manual of Discipline mention a small detail. The historian writes: "They are careful not to spit into the midst of the company, or to the right" (Jewish Manual). The Manual stipulates "Whoever has spat in an Assembly of the Congregation shall do penance for thirty days". Why both mention this minor rule is not known, although it must have been sufficiently unusual to call attention to itself. In conclusion, the Qumranites can be called an eschatological community in the sense that they were convinced the end was near and ordered their beliefs and community practices accordingly. They had many beliefs and practices which were particular to them, and others they had adapted from Jewish customs. The Qumran Community would appear to be thorough and organised, with an established set of rules and regulations. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Existence of God section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Existence of God essays

  1. Good and Evil

    bread and drink wine, the bread symbolises Jesus' body and the wine symbolises his blood. By taking this Holy Communion Christians believe that they can become closer to God. When Holy Communion is taken place Roman Catholics believe in transubstantiation, here they believe that part of Jesus is in them, therefore God is in them.

  2. Discuss and evaluate the ways in which the beliefs of researchers might count as ...

    rebirth��, like: if you do lots of bad things in your life, , you may became a dog, when you rebirth. If you help more people you will become a god. Why he believe that ,because the book first noble truth say that ,why he says is true?

  1. 'Knowledge Of Angels' Essay.

    In the final face-off between Beneditx and his adversary, he decides to let him do all the convincing. Palinor begins by saying that as the fish in water cannot possibly know of air, humans cannot possibly know of God because he exists outside time and space, and we cannot know

  2. A 'Mandir' is Hindus' temple.

    SMURTI books, such as Ramayana are also read whilst worshipping. These tell stories of the Gods and Goddesses. The stories contain key believes that Hindus must carry out. There are certain books that are read out on certain occasions like Diwali.

  1. "By discovering something new, a character can change for the better." Is this ...

    the advanced level of concepts that Gaarder succeeds in imparting to his audience. Gaarder causes the reader to reflect on the world through this story of magic and mystery despite the fact that the events explained are so foreign to everyday life.

  2. Explain the Ontological argument.

    Secondly, in looking at the animal race he found nothing to support such a complex. The role of the mother and father are equal. Malinowski argued that instead the complex is governed by strict rules of religion-rather than being caused by them.

  1. To what extent the Hare Krishna movement can be described as a cult

    There are many examples of how cults redefine terms. When a Christian Scientist reads the Bible, it is only through the filter of Mary Baker Eddy's definitions (i.e., God is Mind, Jesus is not the Christ, Baptism is submergence in truth, etc.)

  2. In which ways has science challenged religious beliefs? There are hundreds of disputes since ...

    containing the fossil record as having being laid down during the Great Flood thus the fossils do not represent the evolution of the species of animals and birds. Though science is challenging these religious beliefs, religious followers have adapted or argued against these challenges that science has developed.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work