Dead Sea Scrolls / 4Q398

4QMMT/The Halakhic Letter

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Summary of 4Q398

Date: 150 B.C.E. - 100 B.C.E.

Description: 4QMMT is a reconstructed composite text from fragments of six separate manuscripts discovered in Cave 4 of Qumran. The text appears to be sent from the leader of the Qumran community to the leaders of the priestly establishment in Jerusalem. When the general substance of this manuscript was first announced to the public, this text was understood to be a letter written by the founder of the Qumran community, the Teacher of Righteousness, to his opponent the Wicked Priest, in order to explain the reasons for the Qumran community's existence. The purpose of the letter was to spell out the differences between the two parties, the Qumran community and the authorities at the Jerusalem Temple, and to summon the leadership of the Jerusalem Temple to a stricter interpretation and application of certain laws.

Vermes, Geza The Complete Dead Sea Scrolls in English, Penguin Books 2004

Dead Sea Scrolls

New Testament