I came across the hilarious fact that Dorothy Parker, the poet and screen writer, named her parakeet Onan because he was always spilling his seed. This joke, based on the KJV of Genesis 38:9, would go right over the heads of not only the biblically illiterate, but people who read Genesis in contemporary translations. It is a reminder that once there were generations of people whose education steeped them in biblical language.
In the Meaning of the Dead Sea Scrolls VanderKam and Flint have a long discussion about the kind of biblical interpretation practiced by the teachers and scribes of Qumran. One thing we can say about them is that everything they wrote was steeped in biblical language. Another thing we can say is that being steeped in biblical language doesn’t necessarily make their interpretations right.
It seems that one of the titles of the Teacher of Righteousness was…
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