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Whether Qumran was a Male Only Celibate Community or Not - Research Paper Example

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Whether Qumran was a Male Only Celibate Community or Not

However, Qumran was not a male dominated society according to my intuition and analysis of some documented evidence regarding this community and in reading the arguments of other scholars. Research that has been done on the scrolls indicated the there is a linkage between the site and building complex, found immediately below the cliffs, and the caves, including the scrolls found inside them. The evidence gathered also does establish the way of life for this community. Qumran has been depicted as an aristocratic society as is opposed to the sectarian center. The available data shows that the inhabitants of this area took part in some communal activities and certain rites of religion. We need to establish the way this site could have influenced the lives of the community of Qumran as seen in some sectarian scrolls (Magness 8-56). Qumran and the issue of celibacy based on scrolls Qumran was initially established due to the need for a fortress for Hasmonaean, according to some scholars. It was then given to the Essenes following the taking over of power by Herod and immediately rituals of sacrifices came to rise up to until the period when the Essenes did leave the sacrifice rituals. This led to the use of the site by the Essenes as a cult center and was fully occupied with temple affairs and sacrifices. The coming of Judea’s destruction by romans led to the Essenes abandoning the sacrifices. Central to the purposes of this study are the cemeteries. This is because they have been singled out as being pivotal to verifying that indeed the sect occupying this site was celibate. In the main cemetery, there are 1100 graves that have been discovered marked with piles of stones and are neatly arranged. Twenty-six graves were excavated at the time of Jordanian occupation and found to have only males. However, female and children’s graves were identified outside the main cemetery. Other graves from secondary cemetery on the north side of Khirbet Qumran were excavated and out of the two that were opened, there was one male and one female. Another cemetery was located on the south of Wadi Qumran and noted to have thirty graves. One of these graves was found to have remains of a woman and three were for children. One question though still remains as to how this community would not have practiced celibacy when there is evidence of misappropriate male numbers. It is possible that Qumran did serve as the center for studies for the sectarians and thus the men did leave their families away to go for studies at Qumran. To that extend, we could argue that there was only a limited number of people who decided to fully live there and run family life hence the small number of women and children discovered (Charlesworth 213–33). It is true that we cannot dismiss the eventual emergence of the Essenes in the Qumran community. The only fact is that scholars who try to push for a celibacy thought as far as this community is concerned seem to have some inherent interest that could be alien to the practice of the mainstream Judaism. Even if we do tie the community to the existence of Essenes, we still reach a point where there is no congruency in our argument based on the two when it comes to the topic of marriage and celibacy. From the studies I have done on papers presented on the same issue, I find that the depiction of this community as one that had a total rejection of marriage is not founded on strong grounds since there have been records of those Essenes who were not ready nor willing to abandon marriage for the ...Show more


The true identity of these people who lived in Qumran, producing the sectarian literature and lived in the caves is still a subject of major debate by historians and archeologist alike…
Author : jerad78
Whether Qumran was a Male Only Celibate Community or Not
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