My dissertation, From Ink Traces to Ideology: Material, Text, and Composition of Qumran Community Rule Manuscripts takes up a careful analysis of a central group of texts that were discovered in 1947 in the northwest regions of the Dead Sea, commonly known as Qumran. One of these scrolls (1Q28) is among the few scrolls that was discovered nearly in tact. Several other copies were discovered, but are very fragmentary. A comparison of these scrolls and their compositional development open an important window into the issues concerning legal disputes, developments, and authority in the Second Temple Jewish era. I am currently working to revise my thesis for publication into two separate books. One volume focuses on digital humanities and editorial issues related to fragmentary corpora, and the second volume focuses on issues of legal authority in the pre-Rabbinic era.
Title: Reading and Reconstructing the Qumran Community Rules
In this monograph, I provide a fresh material analysis and reconstruction of a collection of scrolls and fragments that scholars have grouped under the rubric, The Community Rule or Serekh ha-Yaḥad. In their extant forms, the scrolls attest to issues of legal dispute, political authority, and community formation in the Second Temple era. The fragmentary nature of the scrolls and the textual diversity attested therein, however, pose significant problems for reconstructing and reading these scrolls. In this study, I present 2D and 3D reconstructions of these scrolls by drawing on advanced methods of digital material reconstruction. I argue that it is best to consider some of the manuscripts under a heading of Midrash of the Maskil and some others under a rubric of The Community Rule. The editions presented here offer novel insights into the nature and function of the scrolls, thereby shedding new light on the socio-political issues of the scribes and tradents who put ink to parchment. This proposal is a revised form of an accepted dissertation by the committee As it Stands. The revised version will incorporate suggestions of the committee.
My Master’s Thesis, Incorporating Syntax into Theories of Textual Transmission: Preliminary Studies in the Judaean Desert Isaiah Scrolls and Fragments, takes up a cross-variable examination of the Judaean Desert manuscripts of Isaiah in comparison to medieval Hebrew manuscripts containing Isaiah. I am currently revising this study into a monograph length analysis of computational linguistics and cross-variable textual analysis.
Digital Humanities Projects
Schriftenmetric: Digital Methods for Reconstructing Fragmentary Artefacts
With the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls and Cairo Genizah, scholars are fortunate to hold a piece of history in their hands. Thousands of manuscripts have emerged from their dormant state. While the manuscripts sat dormant, these precious artefacts of a bygone era have suffered extensive damage. The Qumran scrolls and the Cairo Genizah codices are fragmentary and frail. The problem we face, therefore, is how to piece together these manuscripts? How do we make sense of the thousands of fragments? Can we reconstruct the manuscripts? How can computational methods aid our study and understanding of these fragmentary corpora? In this project, I provide a website to host a suite of tools and algorithms, called Schriftenmetric, for the digital reconstruction of fragmentary artefacts.
The Tosefta: A Digital Edition
Description Coming Soon!