- Sanders 1965. DJD 4: 1-99.
- Garcia Martinez, Tigchelaar, van der Woude 1998. DJD 23: 28-36.
This manuscript of the book of Psalms contains many distinctive features. The first is the use of the ancient paleo-Hebrew script to write the Tetragramaton (name of God) while the rest of the text is written in the standard Hebrew/Aramaic square script. This phenomenon is also found in several other biblical Dead Sea Scrolls, as well as in a manuscript of the LXX (Septuagint; the Greek translation of biblical texts) of the Minor Prophets. The ordering of the psalms and their version are also unique. Of the 150 psalms found in the Hebrew Masoretic Text, approximately 40 appear in this scroll, although in a different order than that found in other versions of Psalms. The Syriac version of Psalms includes a group of five additional psalms (151–155), which are sometimes referred to as the Non-Canonical Psalms. Three of these (151, 154, 155) appear on this scroll. Another psalm in this manuscript appears in the book of Ben Sira 51. The manuscript also contains three psalms unattested to in any other source, which have been named Plea for Deliverance, Apostrophe to Zion, and Hymn to the Creator. In addition to the psalms, the manuscript contains a short text know as David’s Compositions; no other versions of this text exist. The text praises David for composing the Psalms, and classifies the hymns and prayers he wrote. According to the this list, David composed 3,600 “psalms”; 364 “songs” to be performed each day of the year during the regular sacrifice; another 52 “songs” for the weekly Sabbath sacrifice; 30 “songs” for the sacrifices of the annual festivals and the new moon; and four “songs for making music over the sick”. The total sums up to 4,050 compositions. Scholars have offered different explanations for the differences between this manuscript, the Great Psalms Scroll, and all other versions of Psalms. Many see it as proof that when it was written, during the Second Temple period, the book of Psalms was not yet standardized, and different versions of the book were in circulation. Others have suggested that the scroll is a version of the book unique to the Dead Sea Scrolls community. The main argument in favor of this theory is the number of songs for each day of the year mentioned in the list of David’s compositions: 364. This number conforms to the calendars found in several of the distinctively sectarian texts among the Dead Sea Scrolls. It is also possible that this manuscript was never intended to be a biblical text, but rather a collection of hymns and prayers attributed to King David.