Neal A. Maxwell Institute for Religious Scholarship

Studies in the Bible and Antiquity


Hugh Nibley


Hugh Nibley, late professor of ancient history and religion at Brigham Young University and one of the foremost scholars of the ancient world in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, discussed the Rule of the Community in an appendix to his 1975 book The Message of the Joseph Smith Papyri. The Joseph Smith Papyri is an initiatory text; the Rule of the Community is both an initiatory text, enumerating details for entrance into the Essene community at Qumran, and a covenant document, listing elements in the covenant made between God and individuals entering the Essene community at Qumran. This piece is an excerpt from the appendix of his text mentioned above and outlines the various aspects of this Rule of the Community as found in the Dead Sea Scrolls (1QS).