Ethical Dualism: Predestination of the Righteous and Wicked in The Community Rule

from The Community Rule (1QS) is an ethical treatise intended for the Dead Sea Scrolls sect’s teachers that offers instruction on the rules the community should follow such as liturgical ceremonies, organization and discipline structures, a penal code, and an outline of religious duties of the Master and his disciples. Scholars date the text’s origin to around 100BCE, making it one of the oldest to be found within the sect.

One of the interesting concepts developed in 1QS is the predestination of mankind into two categories – those of the “righteous” and the “wicked.” Theologians have struggled for centuries with the problem of evil: how could an all powerful, sole Creator God create pain and suffering along with the good? 1QS explains that while Good created both a Prince of Light and an Angel of Darkness, mankind is free to choose which to follow. But God warns that he hates the Angel of Darkness and those who follow him. At the same time, God appointed those who would follow the Prince of Light and the Angel of Darkness at the time of Creation, so whether someone would follow the Prince of Light or the Angel of Darkness was predetermined.

Leave a Reply