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Title: They shall be neither early nor late : a study of the time reckoning system in the Qumran Calendrical Documents
Author: Se, Heng-Kei
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 2001
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The study of the calendar has always been on of the key subjects in Qumran research. Eighteen Qumran manuscripts devoted solely to the calendar constitute an indispensable source of material for probing this important role. The aim of this thesis is to analyse a basic but vital aspect of the calendrical data in these Qumran Calendrical Documents: their system of time reckoning. The research of the thesis consists of two stages with different objectives. The first stage of textual study aims to provide a comprehensive and reliable reading for each document concerned. The second stage targets producing a well-evidenced perception of the time reckoning system in these documents. The aim of the initial stage is achieved by a detailed fragment study of each manuscript, comparing the best available readings with the photographs of the original fragments. The results form the requisite foundation for the subsequent analytical work. The target of the succeeding stage is accomplished by investigating three independent but interrelated areas of time reckoning. The investigation of the structure of the calendar confirms that all the Calendrical Documents agree on only one single calendrical structure that has 364 days a year, a fourth day of the week beginning for every year, and an identical quarterly structure of 30-30-31 days months. The analysis of the lunar material of these documents shows that they reckon the lunar cycle with a highly schematic model which is best represented by the formula: 364 days x 3 = 18 x 29 days + 18 x 30 days + 29 days + 1 day. The lunar cycle only functions as the object of enumeration but never as the regulator of the calendar in these texts. The search on the question of intercalation proves that there is no evidence in these documents that the calendar was ever intercalated to match the true solar cycle. The only scroll which is thought to provide the intercalary scheme turns out to be evidence for the non-intercalary nature of the calendar in these scrolls.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available