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By Martin G. Abegg Jr. / Faithlife / 2002–2003
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The Dead Sea Scrolls are a collection of about 1000 documents averaging about 2000 years old, mostly found in caves near Khirbet Qumran, northwest of the Dead Sea, between 1946 and 1956. The Dead Sea Scrolls are primarily religious documents written in Hebrew, Aramaic, and some Greek. They represent some of the most significant sources for understanding Judaism in the Second Temple Period, the era that also produced the New Testament. The Scrolls are cited in many, if not most, modern Bible commentaries.
The Dead Sea Scrolls are divided into two collections. The first collection is the biblical scrolls - pieces of books found in the Hebrew Bible. The second collection is called 'sectarian manuscripts', which is all of the non-biblical scrolls. This includes commentaries on scripture, common books that would have been considered canonical by the Qumran community, even though they aren't in the Hebrew canon today (such as the Book of Enoch), and religious documents that were specific to the Qumran sect, and probably weren't used elsewhere (such as the Rule of the Community).
Dr. Martin Abegg's database for the Qumran Sectarian Manuscripts provides nearly all of this second collection of texts (seven hundred thirty seven manuscripts) in the original Hebrew and Aramaic. Each word in the database is given a tag for the dictionary form of the word, to aid in lexicon look-up and searching for other instances of the same word. Homograph numbers distinguish between words that are spelled the same, but have different meanings. Because most of the Hebrew and Aramaic lexicons in the Logos library are designed for use with the biblical texts, a special lexicon was also made from Dr. Abegg's database, providing short definitions for every word in the Sectarian Scrolls, and the English glosses also display when hovering over each Hebrew and Aramaic word.
The QSM database also tags each word with a morphology code to allow users to search by grammatical feature, or to help the reader interpret the form of a given word. The morphology tags follow the same format as the Westminster Hebrew Morphology (see BHW 4.18 for the latest version), making it easy to run one search across both the Hebrew Bible and the Sectarian Manuscripts.
Running a Bible Word Study report in Logos (from BHW or from one of the other Hebrew Bibles) will also find hits for biblical words in the Sectarian corpus, aiding the reader in finding biblical words used in a wider variety of contexts.
More information regarding similar resources can be found in the Product Guide for Study of the Dead Sea Scrolls.