The Israel Science Foundation, (ISF)



The Genesis Apocryphon, one of the first seven scrolls discovered in Cave 1 from Qumran, is one of the earliest known examples of the interpretation of biblical narrative. Although aspects of this important text have received considerable scholarly attention, a comprehensive commentary on the work as a whole remains a desideratum. The aim of the proposed project is two-fold: to present a complete updated edition of the Genesis Apocryphon, and to produce a commentary that provides detailed textual analysis and discussion of the overall composition and its significance. In the half-century since the initial publication of a portion of the Genesis Apocryphon, there has been significant progress in the recovery of additional sections of the manuscript. Only five columns appeared in Avigad and Yadin's 1956 edition. In the 1990's, with the aid of advanced photographic technology, scholars succeeded in deciphering additional portions of the text, and all 23 of the extant columns were published in1995. However, the task of reading, reconstructing and preparing an integrated commentary of this badly damaged manuscript remains unfulfilled. In preparing this proposed edition, I will incorporate new readings and corrections derived from my examination of the original negatives taken during the early 60s and the new photographs from the 90s, as well as many small hitherto unpublished fragments, which I have located at the Shrine of the Book. Together with Dr. Bruce Zuckerman, we plan to do further image-documentation of the Genesis Apocryphon. We hope that his new technology will significantly increase the quality of imaging for the Genesis Apocryphon from that which was previously available, and clearer, more high-resolution images of the known text will also aid significantly in improving these readings as well. The completion of an accurate and comprehensive edition of the scroll will serve as the basis for an English translation and a detailed commentary that will address the content, form, and language of the text, with particular attention to its use of the Bible. Numerous articles have been published on various aspects of the Genesis Apocryphon, advancing our understanding of the text well beyond the point at which it stood when Fitzmyer's insightful commentaries were published in 1966 and 1971 on the then-available portions of the text, cols. 2 and 19-22. Whereas earlier studies tended to focus upon specific elements of the composition, the production of a commentary generates a broader perspective. In the last decades, with continuing developments in Qumran studies in general, and the study of the Aramaic texts found in Qumran in particular, as well as the study of Second Temple Judaism and its literature, there is the opportunity to bridge variety of resources and techniques. The proposed commentary will offer further original contributions to the interpretation of the text, as well as a synthesis of previous scholarship on the scroll.
Degree of recognitionLocal
Granting OrganizationsBar-Ilan University, Israel