73 research outputs found

    The Eschatology of the Dead Sea Scrolls

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    The Dead Sea sect represents a unique view of Second Temple Judaism at an important juncture with the beginning of Jewish Christianity. A study of the eschatological views of the sect provides an historical and theological background for comparison with the views of Jesus and of early Jewish Christianity recorded in the New Testament. It further illustrates why Jewish eschatology should be a course of study within Jewish Studies and New Testament studies

    Maskil(im) and Rabbim: from Daniel to Qumran

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    “Doing justice” (בעושי משפט) to the Dead Sea scrolls : reading 1QS 8:1-4 in literary and sectarian context

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    Abstract: Among the various Dead Sea Scrolls appears a document that was discovered in the first Qumran cave, commonly referred to as the Community Rule. Within that document appears the following rather positive passage: In the Community Council [there shall be] twelve men and three priests, perfect in everything that has been revealed about all the law to implement truth, justice, judgment, compassionate love and unassuming behaviour of each person to his fellow to preserve faithfulness on the earth with firm purpose and repentant spirit in order to atone for sin, doing justice and undergoing trials in order to walk with everyone in the measure of truth and the regulation of time ..

    Pesher: Towards A Description and Understanding of its Use by the Qumran Sect and the New Testament

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    Since the term pesher is a technical word in the vocabularly of New Testament research, a description of the “pesher method might be a profitable undertaking.. The problem undertaken in this paper is an effort to bring together a collection of information concerning pesher and to present it in such a manner that the reader will obtain an understanding of the midrash pesher as it was used in the Qumran Scrolls and even in a limited use in the N.T. itself

    The Spirit of the Lord and Obedience to God\u27s Law : an Exegetical, Intertextual, and Theological Study of Ezekiel 36:27

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    Problem In Ezek 36:27, God foretells that he will put his Spirit within his people and he will “do” so that Israel will obey his laws. Ezekiel 36:27 indicates a close relationship between the Spirit of God and Israel in observing the statutes and judgments of God in the Babylonian exile among the nations and after the exile. In this text, every major phrase and clause has varied interpretations or calls for further investigation. Not only do scholars have different interpretations of the verse, but also the English Bible versions vary in their translations. This leads to the following questions: What is the identity of the Spirit of God? What is the nature of the statutes and judgments of God? What is the precise relationship between the Spirit of the Lord and the people in observing the divine laws? When is the bestowal of the Spirit of God and obedience to the laws of God realized by Israel? The purpose of this research was to conduct an exegetical, intratextual, intertextual, and theological study in order to investigate further the Spirit of God in relationship to Israel in keeping the laws of God in the context of restoration in Ezek 36. Methodology This study uses the final form and close reading of the MT in its canonical text. The method entails analytical, inductive, synchronic, and diachronic approaches to v. 27, involving OT canonical and extra-canonical Hebrew selected texts. In chapter 1, various interpretive views by scholars regarding v. 27 are presented. The views differ concerning the identity of the Spirit of God, the precise relationship between the Spirit of God and Israel in obeying the laws of God, the concept of “within,” what God “does,” the nature of the statutes and judgments of God, and the role of Israel as God puts his Spirit within them. In chapter 2, an exegetical investigation is undertaken for the purpose of examining the identity of the Spirit of God and the nature of the statutes and judgments of God and their relationship. The structure of v. 27 is studied in order to analyze the logical progression of the thought and intent of the author. A semantic study of the meaning of words and phrases as well as the syntax of the text is examined to explore their relationship and how their significance and implication affect the translation and interpretation of the text. Chapter 3 deals with the intratextual analysis in order to examine the connection between Ezek 36:27 and selected texts with similar vocabulary within the book of Ezekiel. In chapter 4, an intertextual study is undertaken to compare v. 27 with other selected texts in the OT with similar vocabulary for the purpose of exploring how the OT texts highlight Ezek 36:27. Chapter 5 deals with the intertextuality of Ezek 36:27 in selected extra-canonical Qumran Hebrew texts to investigate how the Spirit of God and obedience to the laws of God inform the concept of the Spirit of God and obedience to the laws of God in Ezek 36:27. In chapter 6, a theology of Ezek 36:27 is constructed based on the exegetical analysis and intratextual and intertextual investigation stated above. Conclusions The conclusions reached by exegeting Ezek 36:27 are that: 1. The Spirit of God is God’s Holy Spirit, a personal being, whom God gives to the Israelites so that they can have abundant life, for they lament that they have no life. The Spirit of God empowers or strengthens Israel to obey the laws of God of life and maintain the life they have received from the Spirit of God. 2. The statutes and judgments of God are the praxis or practical aspects of the principles of the ten words or commandments of God through which God made a covenant with Israel. As Israel obeys the laws of God, they fulfill the principle of the ten commandments of love to God and humanity. 3. God influences the mind and motivation of his people by his Spirit through the word of God as proclaimed by the prophet Ezekiel. By his Spirit, God wants to renew and soften their stony heart to be a heart of flesh in order for them to have new desires, motives, and purposes of observing his divine laws. 4. God “does” or acts through his Spirit for the sake of his holy name, characterized by grace, mercy, forbearance, love, faithfulness, and forgiveness, in renewing the mind of Israel and giving back their land in the process of restoration. 5. Israel plays an active role in the process of responding to the grace, mercy, forbearance, love, faithfulness, and forgiveness of God and their willingness to obey the word of God to return to their land. 6. The bestowal of the Spirit of God is realized by Israel while in exile among the nations but particularly when they are restored to their land

    The “Three Nets of Belial” in the Dead Sea Scrolls: A Pre-Qumran Tradition

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    Explicit quotations and allusions to writings from the apocrypha and pseudepigrapha are rare in the Dead Sea Scrolls. For this reason, the two references to non-canonical writings in the Damascus Document (CD) are of particular importance. The first is a citation from the well-known Book of Jubilees in CD 16:3-4. Literature on Jubilees and CD is quite abundant. However, the second and more enigmatic passage in CD is the topic of this paper. It has much to tell us about the source of the theology and beliefs reflected in the Dead Sea Scrolls. In this citation, found in CD 4:15, the writer refers to the “three nets of Belial” taught by Levi, the son of Jacob. Many scholars since the early days of research on the Dead Sea Scrolls have classified CD as a sectarian document of the Qumran sect. The oldest fragment of CD (4Q266) dates to the first half of the first century B.C.E. This makes it earlier than the establishment of the site of Khirbet Qumran, although its presence in multiple copies there shows that it was a foundational document for this group for the duration of its existence. The paleographical dates and historical contents of the Dead Sea Scrolls suggest that the first century B.C.E. was the formative period for the community described in these writings. Few new texts were written or copied after this time. Yet, the Qumran settlement existed for nearly 150 years. Because numerous editions of identical writings such as CD were found in multiple caves, and espouse a similar theology, this suggests they were copied and/or brought to the site by a single group. Since the archaeological evidence shows that there was no break in Qumran’s occupation between Periods I and II, early works like CD are particularly important for understanding the Qumran community’s history. This makes the enigmatic citation to the “three nets of Belial” of great significance since it is not only found in a text that pre-dates the establishment of Khirbet Qumran, but the author copied it from an even earlier work. Later documents show that this tradition remained central to the theology of the Qumran sect for the entirety of its existence. This makes the “three nets of Belial” passage a key but neglected texts for understanding the history and pre-history of the Khirbet Qumran sect
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