The Dead Sea Scrolls & the New Testament

Discussion about the New Testament, apocrypha, gnostics, church fathers, Christian origins, historical Jesus or otherwise, etc.
John2
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The Dead Sea Scrolls & the New Testament

Post by John2 » Sat Jan 07, 2017 12:12 pm

...everyone knows Simon Peter wrote the Qumran texts.
Actually, I've lately started to suspect that 1 Peter is genuine (as I do with the Letter of James). To me 1 Pet. 2:4-6 sounds similar to something in col. 8 of the Community Rule (and bearing in mind that it follows references in chapter 1 to the sufferings of the letter's recipients -who seem like Jews to me- and of Jesus).
As you come to him, the living Stone—rejected by humans but chosen by God and precious to him— you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. For in Scripture it says: “See, I lay a stone in Zion, a chosen and precious cornerstone, and the one who trusts in him will never be put to shame.”
1QS col. 8:
In the Council of the Community there shall be twelve men and three Priests, perfectly versed in all that is revealed of the Law, whose works shall be truth, righteousness, justice, loving kindness, and humility. They shall preserve the faith in the Land with steadfastness and meekness and shall atone for sin by the practice of justice and by suffering the sorrows of affliction. They shall walk with all men according to the standard of truth and the rule of the time.

When these are in Israel, the Council of the Community shall be established in truth. It shall be an Everlasting Plantation, a House of Holiness for Israel, an Assembly of Supreme Holiness for Aaron. They shall be witnesses to the truth at the judgment, and shall be the elect of Goodwill who shall atone for the Land and pay to the wicked their reward. It shall be that tried wall, that precious corner-stone, whose foundations shall neither rock nor sway in their place.

It shall be a Most Holy Dwelling for Aaron, with everlasting knowledge of the Covenant of justice, and shall offer up sweet fragrance. It shall be a House of Perfection and Truth in Israel that they may establish a Covenant according to the everlasting precepts. And they shall be an agreeable offering, atoning for the Land and determining the judgment of wickedness, and there shall be no more iniquity.


When I first read 1 Peter it struck me as being exactly what I would write if I wanted to make up a letter that appears to be associated with the DSS. I had already thought that about the Letter of James, so it was curious, if nothing else, to look at 1 Peter (which I had previously neglected) in that light.

Another thing that stood out was 1 Pet. 1:5-11:
...until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time. In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the end result of your faith, the salvation of your souls.
This reminds me of something from the Damascus Document regarding the coming of the Messiah in the last days (I can't tell what the column number is in the Vermes translation I'm using):
...a book of reminder shall be written before Him of them that fear God and worship His Name, against the time when salvation and righteousness shall be revealed to them that fear God ... they shall rejoice and their hearts shall be strong, and they shall prevail over all the sons of the earth. God will forgive them and they shall see His salvation [yeshua] because they took refuge in His holy Name.
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arnoldo
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Re: John T

Post by arnoldo » Sat Jan 07, 2017 1:41 pm

Metaphorically/Metaphysically speaking there are similarities between 1 Peter2:5 and 2 Cor3:3.

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arnoldo
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Re: John T

Post by arnoldo » Sun Jan 08, 2017 6:24 am

1 Peter2:5 also correlates to Matthew 24:2 which would resonate in the minds of the readers/hearers of these scriptures/sayings.

John2
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Re: John T

Post by John2 » Mon Jan 09, 2017 9:42 am

arnoldo wrote:
Metaphorically/Metaphysically speaking there are similarities between 1 Peter2:5 and 2 Cor3:3.
Do you mean 2 Cor. 6:16-17?

"What agreement is there between the temple of God and idols? For we are the temple of the living God. If anyone destroys God's temple, God will destroy that person; for God's temple is sacred, and you together are that temple."

There is also 1 Cor. 6:19:

"Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God?"

And Rom. 12:1:

"Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God--this is your true and proper worship."

And Rom. 15:16:

"He gave me the priestly duty of proclaiming the gospel of God, so that the Gentiles might become an offering acceptable to God, sanctified by the Holy Spirit."

And Php. 2:17:

"But even if I am being poured out like a drink offering on the sacrifice and service coming from your faith, I am glad and rejoice with all of you."

Nelson writes:
Gartner has shown quite convincingly that one not need to look to the influences of Stoicism and the works of Philo in order to understand the manner in which Paul uses the Temple as a description of the Christian community. It was one of Gartner's major concerns to illustrate the resemblance of what he calls the 'temple symbolism' of the Qumran sect to Paul's use of the Temple. While that is not our present task we do certainly acknowledge that Paul's description of the Church as the new Temple does 'resemble the temple symbolism and overall ideology of the Qumran community.'

https://books.google.com/books?id=FoDQu ... le&f=false
See Gartner, "The Temple and the Community in Qumran and the New Testament":

https://books.google.com/books?id=V7uPV ... an&f=false

And Charlesworth notes:
Outside Qumran and the Christian literature in the Hellenistic-Roman period or earlier, there seems to be no parallel to an understanding of a group as temple.

https://books.google.com/books?id=axIMo ... an&f=false
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spin
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Charlesworth etc.

Post by spin » Tue Jan 10, 2017 11:53 pm

John2 wrote:And Charlesworth notes:
Outside Qumran and the Christian literature in the Hellenistic-Roman period or earlier, there seems to be no parallel to an understanding of a group as temple.

https://books.google.com/books?id=axIMo ... an&f=false
Except of course the priesthood, the sons of Zadoq and the sons of Aaron... and isn't it strange that these torah observing people think they have the sons of Zadoq and the sons of Aaron amongst them? But Charlesworth is too straight-laced to consider such a wacky idea as that these people were telling the truth. They're strange enough to have temple litanies, temple rosters, temple visions, records of temple treasures. You could say they were temple-centric, though the only temple-centric people on record are priests.
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Re: Charlesworth etc.

Post by Charles Wilson » Wed Jan 11, 2017 4:55 am

spin wrote:Except of course the priesthood, the sons of Zadoq and the sons of Aaron... and isn't it strange that these torah observing people think they have the sons of Zadoq and the sons of Aaron amongst them? But Charlesworth is too straight-laced to consider such a wacky idea as that these people were telling the truth. They're strange enough to have temple litanies, temple rosters, temple visions, records of temple treasures. You could say they were temple-centric, though the only temple-centric people on record are priests.
Thank you, spin.

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John2
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Re: John T

Post by John2 » Wed Jan 11, 2017 9:53 am

spin wrote:
Except of course the priesthood, the sons of Zadoq and the sons of Aaron... and isn't it strange that these torah observing people think they have the sons of Zadoq and the sons of Aaron amongst them? But Charlesworth is too straight-laced to consider such a wacky idea as that these people were telling the truth. They're strange enough to have temple litanies, temple rosters, temple visions, records of temple treasures. You could say they were temple-centric, though the only temple-centric people on record are priests.
The Damascus Document has an esoteric understanding of the priesthood, which, as Eisenman points out, involved altering Ezk. 44:15 by adding vavs to it (one of which is not rendered in Vermes' translation, which I must resort to at the moment, so I will add it in brackets; and Vermes' "the Levites are" (in parenthesis) is not in the Hebrew, only nilvim, or joiners, which is a word play on Levites, thus they turn Ezekiel's description of one thing, "the priests, the Levites, the sons of Zadok," into three things, none of which are literally priests, Levites or sons of Zadok.
As God ordained for them by the hand of the Prophet Ezekiel, saying, 'The Priests [and] the Levites and the sons of Zadok who kept the charge of my sanctuary when the children of Israel strayed from me, they shall offer me fat and blood.' The Priests are the converts of Israel who departed from the land of Judah, and (the Levites are) those who joined them. The sons of Zadok are the elect of Israel, the men called by name who shall stand at the end of days.


Regarding the meaning of nilvim as gentiles, not only is this how the word understood in the OT (and in an eschatological context), this meaning is confirmed by the statement that follows a few lines later: "And with the completion of the Era of these years, there will be no more joining to the House of Judah, but rather each man will stand on his own watchtower" (CD 4:10-12).

As Cohen notes, this word is used in the OT to describe gentiles who convert to Judaism or attach themselves in some manner to Israel.
Isaiah 14:1 [for example] ... prophesizes that "strangers (hager) shall join (venilvah) them and shall cleave to the House of Jacob" ... these passages address the eschatological age, when the earth is filled with knowledge of the Lord, and a new cosmic order is being created ... The first and only passage in the Tanakh that would seem to refer clearly to the social integration of the gentile in the historical present is Esther 9:27: "The Judeans undertook and irrevocably obligated themselves and their descendants, and all who might join them, to observe these two days in the manner prescribed and at the proper time each year." Here we have Judeans (yehudim), and gentiles who attach themselves (nilvim aleihem) to them; all alike constitute the community of those bound by the law of the Purim festival.

https://books.google.com/books?id=cvWq4 ... en&f=false
So, in the Damascus Document anyway, the priests are not literally priests, the Levites are not literally Levites, and the sons of Zadok are not literally sons of Zadok, and the OT is altered to support this interpretation.
Last edited by John2 on Wed Jan 11, 2017 2:17 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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spin
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Re: John T

Post by spin » Wed Jan 11, 2017 2:13 pm

John2 wrote:So,...
"So" usually requires argumentation and evidence preceding it.
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John2
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Re: John T

Post by John2 » Wed Jan 11, 2017 2:21 pm

spin wrote:
So" usually requires argumentation and evidence preceding it.
I thought I had ("The Damascus Document has an esoteric understanding of the priesthood, which, as Eisenman points out, involved altering Ezk. 44:15 by adding vavs to it ...").
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John2
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Re: John T

Post by John2 » Wed Jan 11, 2017 2:42 pm

I see the situation as being somewhat similar to the idea of the priesthood in Heb. 7:
If perfection could have been attained through the Levitical priesthood—and indeed the law given to the people established that priesthood—why was there still need for another priest to come, one in the order of Melchizedek, not in the order of Aaron? For when the priesthood is changed, the law must be changed also. He of whom these things are said belonged to a different tribe, and no one from that tribe has ever served at the altar. For it is clear that our Lord descended from Judah, and in regard to that tribe Moses said nothing about priests. And what we have said is even more clear if another priest like Melchizedek appears, one who has become a priest not on the basis of a regulation as to his ancestry but on the basis of the power of an indestructible life. For it is declared: “You are a priest forever, in the order of Melchizedek.” The former regulation is set aside because it was weak and useless (for the law made nothing perfect), and a better hope is introduced, by which we draw near to God.
Not to say that there weren't any actual priests associated with the DSS sect (just as, despite the above, there were still actual priests in early Christianity, at least according to Acts 6:7: "So the word of God spread. The number of disciples in Jerusalem increased rapidly, and a large number of priests became obedient to the faith").
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