The Tradition of the 364-Day Calendar versus the Calendar Polemic in Second Temple Judaism


The article presents the major hypotheses concerning the emergence of the 364-day calendar within Judaism and the related calendrical controversy, which presumably caused the separation of a certain group of Jews, known to us as the Qumran Community, from the temple cult in Jerusalem. It is not known whether the 364-day calendar tradition is older than that of the Astronomical Book, or whether the adoption of this tradition was accompanied by conflicts. The Qumran texts do not provide unequivocal evidence for any calendrical polemics. The only witness to these polemics is The Book of Jubilees, copies of which were found in the Qumran library. However, the Qumran Community itself did not share the radical line of The Book of Jubilees, which condemns reliance on the moon in time-keeping. The 364-day calendar is presumed to have been a distinctive feature of the Qumran Community, which however did not arouse any controversies within Second Temple Judaism.


calendar; 364-day; polemics; Qumran

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Published : 2020-12-21

Klukowski, M. (2020). The Tradition of the 364-Day Calendar versus the Calendar Polemic in Second Temple Judaism. Verbum Vitae, 38(1), 79–105.

Michał Jarosław Klukowski
Katolicki Uniwersytet Lubelski Jana Pawła II  Poland

Michał Klukowski, a graduate of the Faculty of Theology of Opole University, from which he received S.T.M.; since 2013, a doctoral student at the Institute of Biblical Studies of the John Paul II Catholic University of Lublin. In 2018, he received a Licentiate in Theology: Biblical Studies (S.T.L.). On 21 September 2020, he defended his doctoral dissertation (S.T.D. & Ph.D.) entitled 4QMMT – „Niektóre Uczynki Prawa”. Rekonstrukcja tekstu – tłumaczenie – komentarz.

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