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The Qumran Community


Admission requirements

Regular MA admission requirements; Biblical Hebrew 1 and 2 or a comparable degree of familiarity with Biblical Hebrew (at the discretion of the teacher) and, if Aramaic texts are to be read, Biblical Aramaic.


This course will offer an in-depth introduction to a selection of Hebrew and/or Aramaic texts from Qumran, regularly on the basis of photographs of the original manuscripts and in comparison with the authoritative scholarly editions. The selection is meant to cover various important genres (e.g., commentaries, liturgical poetry, religious law, etc.). Close reading of these texts, with due attention to philological matters, will take place against the wider background of exegetical practices and religious views current in the Second Temple period.

Course objectives

Students will learn to study written sources from Qumran in their original language both critically and independently. They will thus acquire a general idea of their linguistic and cultural context as well as the most important scholarly tools. They will also gain hands-on experience with epigraphy and palaeography.


Please consult the Classics and Ancient Civilizations website.

Mode of instruction


Course Load

Total course load is 10 × 28h= 280 hours, of which:

  • 13 tutorials of about 2 hours (26 hours);

  • Preparing lectures, including reading (127 hours);

  • Writing a paper (127 hours).

Assessment method

  • Preparation for classes and oral participation (40%);

  • Written paper (60%).


The final grade for the course is established by determining the weighted average.


Should the overall mark be unsatisfactory, the paper is to be revised after consultation with the lecturer.


Blackboard will be used for:

  • Additional study materials.

Reading list

Texts and further bibliography will be announced during class.


Enrolment through uSis is mandatory.

General information about uSis is available in English and Dutch

Registration Studeren à la carte and Contractonderwijs

Not applicable.


Prof. dr. H. Gzella


MA students will be expected also to study original photographs of the texts.

Research MA students will be expected to read additional secondary literature on the cultural and religious background when preparing the texts and to write their paper on a somewhat more ambitious topic than regular MA students.