Damascus Document
Dead Sea Scrolls

The Rule for the assembly of all the camps: They shall all be enrolled by name: first the Priests, second the Levites, third the Israelites, and fourth the proselytes. And they shall be inscribed by name, one after the other: the Priests first, the Levites second, the Israelites third, and the proselytes fourth. And thus shall they sit and thus be questioned on all matters. And the Priest who is appointed {to head} the Congregation shall be from thirty to sixty years old, learned in the Book of Meditation and in all the judgements of the Law so as to pronounce them correctly. The Guardian of all the camps shall be from thirty to fifty years old, one who has mastered all the secrets of men and the languages of all their clans. Whoever enters the Congregation shall do so according to his word, each in his rank. And whoever has anything to say with regard to any suit or judgement, let him say it to the Guardian. This is the Rule for the Congregation by which it shall provide for all its needs: They shall place the earnings of at least two days out of every month into the hands of the Guardian and the Judges, and from it they shall give to the fatherless, and from it they shall succour the poor and the needy, the aged sick and the man who is stricken (with disease), the captive taken by a foreign people, the virgin with no near kin, and the ma[id for] whom no man cares ... And this is the exact statement of the assembly ...

Acts 2:45

New Testament

42 They were devoting themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. 43 Reverential awe came over everyone, and many wonders and miraculous signs came about by the apostles. 44 All who believed were together and held everything in common, 45 and they began selling their property and possessions and distributing the proceeds to everyone, as anyone had need. 46 Every day they continued to gather together by common consent in the temple courts, breaking bread from house to house, sharing their food with glad and humble hearts, 47 praising God and having the good will of all the people. And the Lord was adding to their number every day those who were being saved.

Search: 4Q267, Acts, 4Q267, Acts 2:45
 Notes and References

"... Many scholars have observed striking similarities between the descriptions of the Essenes and the sectarian documents found among the Dead Sea Scrolls as described by Philo and Josephus. These parallels have led to the prevailing belief that the scrolls offer valuable insights into the beliefs and practices of the Essenes. The scrolls, at the very least, reflect a Jewish sectarian group that emphasized communal living and shared possessions. The Community Rule (1QS) outlines the admission process, which involved a year of study and probation during which candidates were prohibited from participating in certain communal activities. Upon acceptance, their property and earnings would be entrusted to the Bursar of the Congregation and recorded in their account, with expenditures strictly regulated. Only after a second year of probation would their personal belongings become merged with the community's resources. Interestingly, Iamblichus notes a similar probationary period in Pythagoras' group, with rejected candidates receiving double their property back. The Dead Sea sect, however, was not uniform in its practices, as indicated by variations in rules regarding marriage and communal possessions found in the Damascus Document (CD) and mentioned by Josephus ..."

Hutson, Christopher R. All Things in Common: Mutual Aid in Acts 2.42-47 and Acts 4.32-37 (pp. 1-6) Leaven, Pepperdine University, 2010

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