The Bible at Qumran (Studies in the Dead Sea Scrolls and Related Literature Series): Text, Shape, and Interpretation

Overview

The Bible at Qumran puts the Dead Sea Scrolls to use in exploring two principal themes: the text and shape of the "Bible" at Qumran and the interpretation of these scriptures in this fascinating Jewish community. Written by leading scholars in the field, these informed studies make an important contribution to our understanding of the biblical text at a pivotal period in history.Contributors: Martin G. Abegg Jr. James E. Bowley Craig A. Evans Peter W. Flint James A. Sanders James M. Scott Eugene Ulrich James C. ...

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Overview

The Bible at Qumran puts the Dead Sea Scrolls to use in exploring two principal themes: the text and shape of the "Bible" at Qumran and the interpretation of these scriptures in this fascinating Jewish community. Written by leading scholars in the field, these informed studies make an important contribution to our understanding of the biblical text at a pivotal period in history.Contributors: Martin G. Abegg Jr. James E. Bowley Craig A. Evans Peter W. Flint James A. Sanders James M. Scott Eugene Ulrich James C. VanderKam Robert W. Wall Bruce K. Waltke

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Editorial Reviews

Booknews
The Dead Sea Scrolls have been the focus of much interest in recent years, especially since the publication in 1991 of texts from Qumran Cave 4. In this volume, ten biblical scholars explore the text and shape of the "Bible" at Qumran and the interpretation of these scriptures by the Qumran community and other ancient Jews. Four of the essays were originally presented as papers at the Dead Sea Scrolls Institute of Trinity Western U., one is a reprint, and the others were written by invitation for this volume. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

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The Bible at Qumran

Text, Shape, and Interpretation

Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company

Copyright © 2001 Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company
All right reserved.

ISBN: 0-8028-4630-0


Introduction

As the title indicates, the eleven essays that follow have been collected around two principal themes: the text and shape of the "Bible" at Qumran, and the interpretation of these Scriptures by the Qumran community or other ancient Jews. Four of these essays (by J. Bowley, E. Ulrich, J. VanderKam, and R. Wall) were originally presented as papers at the Dead Sea Scrolls Institute of Trinity Western University, and one (by B. Waltke) is reproduced with permission from The New International Dictionary of Old Testament Theology and Exegesis (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1997). The remaining essays (by M. Abegg Jr., C. Evans, P. Flint, J. Sanders, and J. Scott) were written by invitation for this volume.

Part 1 is titled THE SCRIPTURES, THE CANON, AND THE SCROLLS, and consists of five essays. In "Canon as Dialogue" James A. Sanders defines canon as a constant dialogue (or discourse) within and outside itself, and as manifested in the intertextuality of the Bible and Qumran literature. He seeks to overcome the dialogical impasse that exists among different religions that worship the one and same God (Christianity, Judaism, Islam) through intertextuality, which serves to enhance our understanding of one another's religions. In his essay "How We Got the Hebrew Bible: The Text and Canon of the Old Testament,"Bruce K. Waltke provides an overview of Old Testament textual criticism and discusses the divergent interests that exist between textual and literary criticism. He then explores the main sources (the Masoretic Text, the Samaritan Pentateuch, the Septuagint, the Vulgate, and the Dead Sea Scrolls), provides a brief history of their textual transmission, and emphasizes textual criticism as an essential tool for exegesis.

In "The Bible in the Making: The Scriptures Found at Qumran," Eugene Ulrich focuses on the shape of the emerging Hebrew canon and Scripture in the late Second Temple period and discusses the new insights and information provided by the Dead Sea Scrolls. Ulrich recognizes multiple literary editions of biblical books that were preserved among - and equally respected by - various faith communities (Jewish, Samaritan, Qumranic, and Christian). He concludes that any one textual tradition is not necessarily superior to another, and that translations of the Bible should be based upon a critically established text. In "The Dead Sea Scrolls and the Canon of Scripture in the Time of Jesus," Craig A. Evans discusses the canon of Scripture in Jesus' day, especially whether the traditional tripartite structure of the OT (the Tanak) had been established by then. Among other things, Evans argues that the whole of Scripture (the Law, the Prophets, and the Writings) testify to and support the truth of belief in Jesus.

The final essay in this section is "Noncanonical Writings in the Dead Sea Scrolls: Apocrypha, Other Previously Known Writings, Pseudepigrapha" by Peter W. Flint. He begins by pleading for a stricter definition of terms, especially of Apocrypha (as "Jewish works of the Second Temple period that are excluded from the Hebrew Bible but included in the Old Testaments of some but not all churches"). This definition allows for the inclusion of several works that are usually termed Pseudepigrapha (e.g., Psalm 151, 4 Maccabees, 1 Enoch, Jubilees,) in the category Apocrypha. Flint then surveys three categories of writing in the Scrolls - Apocrypha, other previously known writings, and Pseudepigrapha - and considers which of these writings were regarded as Scripture by the Qumran community.

Part 2, BIBLICAL INTERPRETATION AND THE DEAD SEA SCROLLS, consists of six essays. In "The Interpretation of Genesis in 1 Enoch," James C. VanderKam discusses the first book of Enoch and its influence and role in explaining the origin and the continued pervasiveness of sin in the antediluvian and diluvian age. The finds in the Dead Sea Scrolls now furnish the textual evidence for the earliest layer of the work, which was originally written in Aramaic but mostly survives in Ethiopic, Greek, and Latin. In "Abraham in the Dead Sea Scrolls: A Man of Faith and Failure," Craig A. Evans considers the figure of Abraham in the Dead Sea Scrolls. Although this patriarch does not feature prominently in the Scrolls, there are a few works (especially 1QapGen) that - together with other Jewish pseudepigraphal books - provide a fuller picture of Abraham and answer questions that are not provided in the Bible. One such question is why Abraham was chosen to be the ancestor of the people of Israel.

In "Moses in the Dead Sea Scrolls: Living in the Shadow of God's Anointed," James E. Bowley examines the treatment of Moses in the Qumran corpus and outlines the towering significance of Moses and the central role that he plays in Qumranic literature. Moses dominates many of the sectarian texts of the community whose members were to abide in God's law that was given through him. In "Korah and Qumran" James M. Scott delves into the meaning of the judgment of Korah in 4Q423 fragment 5. This text harkens back to the wilderness period of Israel's salvation history and warns against schism inside the community; it may well reflect the self-understanding and the past history of the Qumran community itself. Scott suggests that the reference to Korah describes the divine judgment expected on the schismatics within the congregation and serves to urge enlightened members of the community to understand the divinely ordained plan for the future.

In "4QMMT, Paul, and 'Works of the Law'," Martin G. Abegg, Jr. examines Miqsat Ma'ase Ha-Torah and shows how this important document can both aid and confuse our understanding of the phrase "works of the law" in the New Testament, especially in the Pauline Epistles. While it is difficult to imagine that 4QMMT and Galatians, which both employ this term, were directly related, it seems plausible that they were dealing with a common theological issue. In the final essay, "The Intertextuality of Scripture: The Example of Rahab (James 2:25)," Robert W. Wall discusses how, in an intertextual manner, James joins Abraham and Rahab as the prime examples of merciful deeds toward needy neighbors as the means of justifying one's professed faith. Abraham the great patriarch and Rahab the Canaanite prostitute - although seemingly disparate and heterogeneous - actually complement each other in demonstrating God's mercy and justification to all who believe in God and treat their poor neighbors mercifully.

The volume closes with a select bibliography and two indices (Modern Authors and Ancient Literature).

Peter W. Flint

(Continues...)



Excerpted from The Bible at Qumran Copyright © 2001 by Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company . Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
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Table of Contents

Preface vii
Contributors viii
Diacritical Marks, Sigla, and Abbreviations x
Introduction 1
Part 1 The Scriptures, the Canon, and the Scrolls
Canon as Dialogue 7
How We Got the Hebrew Bible: The Text and Canon of the Old Testament 27
The Bible in the Making: The Scriptures Found at Qumran 51
The Dead Sea Scrolls and the Canon of Scripture in the Time of Jesus 67
Noncanonical Writings in the Dead Sea Scrolls: Apocrypha, Other Previously Known Writings, Pseudepigrapha 80
Part 2 Biblical Interpretation and the Dead Sea Scrolls
The Interpretation of Genesis in 1 Enoch 129
Abraham in the Dead Sea Scrolls: A Man of Faith and Failure 149
Moses in the Dead Sea Scrolls: Living in the Shadow of God's Anointed 159
Korah and Qumran 182
4QMMT, Paul, and "Works of the Law" 203
The Intertextuality of Scripture: The Example of Rahab (James 2:25) 217
Bibliography and Indices
Select Bibliography 237
Index of Modern Authors 241
Index of Ancient Literature 246
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