Damascus Document
Dead Sea Scrolls

They shall be inscribed in the order, one after another, each according to his understanding and his deeds in the Law, that all may obey one another, the man of lesser rank the greater. And they shall examine their spirit and their deeds in the Law yearly so that each man may be advanced in accordance with [his] un[derstanding] or moved down in accordance with his aberrations. They shall rebuke one another (in) loving-kindness. Let no man address his companion with anger or ill-temper or wicked envy. Also let no man accuse his companion before the Congregation without having rebuked him before witnesses. These are the ways in which all of them shall walk, each man with his companion, wherever they dwell. [The man of lesser rank] shall ob[ey] the greater in matters of work and pro[perty. And they shall e]at [in common] and bless in common and delibera[te] in common. Hear now, my sons, and I will uncover your eyes that you may see and understand the works of God, that you may choose that which pleases Him and reject that which He hates, that you may walk perfectly in all His ways and not follow after thoughts of the guilty inclination and after eyes of lust. For through them, great men have gone astray and mighty heroes have stumbled from former times till now. Because they walked in the stubbornness of their heart the Heavenly Watchers fell; they were caught because they did not keep the commandments of God. And their sons also fell who were tall as cedar trees and whose bodies were like mountains. All flesh on dry land perished; they were as though they had never been because they did their own will and did not keep the commandment of their Maker so that His wrath was kindled against them.

Matthew 18:16

New Testament

15If your brother sins, go and show him his fault when the two of you are alone. If he listens to you, you have regained your brother. 16 But if he does not listen, take one or two others with you, so that at the testimony of two or three witnesses every matter may be established. 17 If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church. If he refuses to listen to the church, treat him like a Gentile or a tax collector. 18 “I tell you the truth, whatever you bind on earth will have been bound in heaven, and whatever you release on earth will have been released in heaven. 19 Again, I tell you the truth, if two of you on earth agree about whatever you ask, my Father in heaven will do it for you.

 Notes and References

"... Not only in the terms in which the Sect describes itself but also in the discipline which it imposed on itself are we recalled to the New Testament. Here again I can only refer to the most striking instance. In Matthew 18:15-17, where we have a discussion of church discipline, we find rules laid down which have almost an exact equivalent in the Damascus Document ... As we shall have occasion to note later, much in the practice of the Sect is very similar to what emerged in the early Church ..."

Davies, W. D. Christian Origins and Judaism (p. 103) Westminster Press, 1962

 User Comments

Do you have questions or comments about these texts? Please submit them here.