The Significance of
the Qumran Tobit Texts
for the Study of Tobit
The fragmentary Aramaic and Hebrew texts of Tobit from Qumran Cave 4 were acquired in 1952 along with many others from the same cave and were assigned for study and publication to Jósef Tadeusz Milik,1 but they remained unpublished until 1995.2 Milik was mainly responsible for identifying and piecing together the many tiny fragments that form the Tobit texts, and I am happy to recognize his contribution. Much of what I have to say here about the Qumran Aramaic and Hebrew texts depends on him, and I gladly acknowledge my dependence on his remarkable pioneering work.
1. See the report of J. T. Milik in P. Benoit et al., “Editing the Manuscript Fragments
from Qumran,” BA 19 (1956) 75-96, esp. 88 (French original in RB 63  49-67, esp.
60). There Milik spoke of only two manuscripts in Aramaic. See also his article, “Le travail
d'édition des manuscrits du désert de Juda,” in Volume du Congrès, Strasbourg 1956
(VTSup 4; Leiden: Brill, 1957) 17-26, esp. 23-24, where he mentions “un troisième ms. du
Tobie araméen”; andhis book, TYDWJ, 31-32. Eventually we learned something about the
contents of the Aramaic and Hebrew fragments in his article, “La patrie de Tobie,” RB 73
(1966) 522-30, esp. 522 n. 3.
2. See now J. A. Fitzmyer, “Tobit,” in Qumran Cave 4, XIV: Parabiblical Texts, Part 2
(DJD 19; ed. M. Broshi et al.; Oxford: Clarendon, 1995) 1-76 (pls. I-X): “196. 4QpapTobita
ar,” 7-39; “197. 4QTobitb ar,” 41-56; “198. 4QTobitc ar,” 57-60; “199. 4QTobitd ar,” 61-62;
“200. 4QTobite,” 63-76. The Aramaic and Hebrew texts of Tobit are reprinted in Chapter 9
below. Cf. my article, “Preliminary Publication of pap4QToba ar, Fragment 2,” Bib 75
Questia, a part of Gale, Cengage Learning. www.questia.com
Publication information: Book title: The Dead Sea Scrolls and Christian Origins. Contributors: Joseph A. Fitzmyer - Author. Publisher: W.B. Eerdmans. Place of publication: Grand Rapids, MI. Publication year: 2000. Page number: 131.
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