The Dead Sea Scrolls and Christianity

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John2
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Re: The Dead Sea Scrolls and Christianity

Post by John2 » Tue Jan 09, 2018 9:25 am

I suppose if the followers of Theudas had had a Paul and attracted Gentiles and survived after 70 CE (and Christianity didn't) we might be talking about "Theudism" today (and that it might even still be called "Christianity," in its particular way). I see it as like how we used to think our galaxy was the entire universe, but now we see that there are numerous other galaxies, made up of more or less the same stuff rearranged into different configurations around other black holes.
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John2
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Re: The Dead Sea Scrolls and Christianity

Post by John2 » Tue Jan 09, 2018 10:21 am

And like the Fourth Philosophy, Christians are also said to have had members who were Pharisees in Acts 15:5:
Then some of the believers who belonged to the party of the Pharisees stood up and said, “The Gentiles must be circumcised and required to keep the law of Moses.”
And as Josephus says of the Fourth Philosophy in Ant. 18.1.1, "the nation was infected with this doctrine to an incredible degree" and "the infection ... spread thence among the younger sort, who were zealous for it," which is similar to what Jewish Christian leaders say in Acts 21:20:
Then they said to Paul: “You see, brother, how many thousands of Jews have believed, and all of them are zealous for the law."
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John2
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Re: The Dead Sea Scrolls and Christianity

Post by John2 » Wed Jan 10, 2018 10:26 am

In addition to the prohibition against Gentile sacrifices (or "food sacrificed to idols") in 4QMMT, the Fourth Philosophy and Christianity, VanderKam and Flint note another similarity between 4QMMT and Christianity:
The phrase works of the law apparently occurs nowhere else in ancient writings other than once in MMT (C 26-27) and eight times in Paul's letters (in the Greek form erga nomou: Rom. 3:20, 28; Gal. 2:16 [3 times], 3:2, 5, 10).

https://books.google.com/books?id=SBMXn ... MT&f=false
Dunn sees this and other similarities in MMT as being relevant to the Antioch incident in Galatians:
That parallel [between MMT and Galatians] is indicated not only by the phrase 'works of the law', but by two other points of contact between MMT and Galatians ... The writers of MMT remind the addressees that 'we have separated ourselves from the multitude of the people [and from all their impurity]' ... The letter itself is obviously intended at least in some measure to provide an explanation of why they had thus 'separated' themselves. The verb used is precisely equivalent to the verb used by Paul to describe the action of Peter, followed by the other Jewish believers, who 'separated himself' ... from the Gentile believers in Antioch, having previously eaten with them (Gal. 2:12-13). The point is that the attitude behind both 'separations' is the same ... in each case the primary concern on the part of the 'separatists' was their own purity: they 'separated' because they feared the defilement which would be contracted by associating with those who did not maintain the same degree of purity. In short, the motivation and theological rationale were the same in MMT and Antioch: that it was necessary for Torah-true, covenant-loyal Jews to separate themselves from impurity, whether the impurity of apostate Jews or the impurity of Gentiles. That is what Paul objected to.

The parallel extends to the idea of righteousness as dependent on observing such regulations: 'This will be "reckoned to you for righteousness" in doing what is upright and good before him' ... with the same echo of Gen. 15.6 which was central to Paul's reasoning on the subject (Gal. 3.6; Rom. 4.3-12). Clearly the letter writer(s) believed that those who followed Qumran's halakhoth would be 'reckoned righteous'; that is, they would be 'reckoned righteous by reference to their ma'ase hatorah', or, in the term used by Paul, they would be 'justified ex ergon nomou'. In both cases, that is to say, what was seen to be at stake by the separatists was their own righteousness/justification; their own righteousness/justification would somehow be imperiled by association with those who did not so understand and practice the Torah, that is, by the impurity of these others. And, once again, it is precisely that attitude and praxis to which Paul objects ...

What has proved so interesting about 4QMMT at this point is that it has used the very same phrase, 'the works of the law', in the very same way as does Paul in characterizing the attitude of Peter, and with the very same implication that such 'works of the law' were deemed by the observant to be necessary bulwarks to sustain and preserve their self-definition, their identity.

https://books.google.com/books?id=ZJDKs ... on&f=false
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Ben C. Smith
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Re: The Dead Sea Scrolls and Christianity

Post by Ben C. Smith » Wed Jan 10, 2018 10:28 am

John2 wrote:
Wed Jan 10, 2018 10:26 am
In addition to the prohibition against Gentile sacrifices (or "food sacrificed to idols") in 4QMMT, the Fourth Philosophy and Christianity, VanderKam and Flint note another similarity between 4QMMT and Christianity:
The phrase works of the law apparently occurs nowhere else in ancient writings other than once in MMT (C 26-27) and eight times in Paul's letters (in the Greek form erga nomou: Rom. 3:20, 28; Gal. 2:16 [3 times], 3:2, 5, 10).

https://books.google.com/books?id=SBMXn ... MT&f=false
I have this in some notes of mine:

4Q398, fragments 14-17, column 2, lines 2b-4: 2b And also we have written to you 3 some of the works of the law [מעשי התורה] which we think are good for you and for your people, for we s[a]w 4 that you have intellect and knowledge of the Law.

Romans 3.20: 20 ...because by the works of the Law [ἐξ ἔργων νόμου] no flesh will be justified in His sight; for through the Law comes the knowledge of sin.

Romans 3.28: 28 For we maintain that a man is justified by faith apart from works of the Law [χωρὶς ἔργων νόμου].

Galatians 2.16: 16 ...nevertheless knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the Law [ἐξ ἔργων νόμου] but through faith in Christ Jesus, even we have believed in Christ Jesus, that we may be justified by faith in Christ, and not by the works of the Law [ἐξ ἔργων νόμου]; since by the works of the Law [ἐξ ἔργων νόμου] shall no flesh be justified.

Galatians 3.2: 2 This is the only thing I want to find out from you: did you receive the Spirit by the works of the Law [ἐξ ἔργων νόμου], or by hearing with faith?

Galatians 3.5: 5 Does He then, who provides you with the Spirit and works miracles among you, do it by the works of the Law [ἐξ ἔργων νόμου], or by hearing with faith?

Galatians 3.10: 10 For as many as are of the works of the Law [ἐξ ἔργων νόμου] are under a curse; for it is written, "Cursed is everyone who does not abide by all things written in the book of the law, to perform them."

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John2
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Re: The Dead Sea Scrolls and Christianity

Post by John2 » Wed Jan 10, 2018 10:53 am

Thanks for that, Ben.

Regarding Josephus' statement in Ant. 18.1.1 that the Fourth Philosophy was a "system of philosophy, which we were before unacquainted withal" and that "the customs of our fathers were altered" by it, since Josephus was a Pharisee I take his reference to "the customs of our fathers" as meaning the oral Torah of the Pharisees, given that this is commonly how the oral Torah is described (including in the NT), and it is in keeping with what he says about the Pharisees in Ant. 13.10.6:
What I would now explain is this, that the Pharisees have delivered to the people a great many observances by succession from their fathers, which are not written in the laws of Moses; and for that reason it is that the Sadducees reject them, and say that we are to esteem those observances to be obligatory which are in the written word, but are not to observe what are derived from the tradition of our forefathers.


And this is the same thing that Jesus does in the NT. As Mk. 7:1-13 says:
The Pharisees and some of the teachers of the law who had come from Jerusalem gathered around Jesus and saw some of his disciples eating food with hands that were defiled, that is, unwashed. (The Pharisees and all the Jews do not eat unless they give their hands a ceremonial washing, holding to the tradition of the elders. When they come from the marketplace they do not eat unless they wash. And they observe many other traditions, such as the washing of cups, pitchers and kettles.)

So the Pharisees and teachers of the law asked Jesus, “Why don’t your disciples live according to the tradition of the elders instead of eating their food with defiled hands?”

He replied, “Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you hypocrites; as it is written: “ ‘These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. They worship me in vain; their teachings are merely human rules.’ You have let go of the commands of God and are holding on to human traditions.”

And he continued, “You have a fine way of setting aside the commands of God in order to observe your own traditions! For Moses said, ‘Honor your father and mother,’ and, ‘Anyone who curses their father or mother is to be put to death.’ But you say that if anyone declares that what might have been used to help their father or mother is Corban (that is, devoted to God)— then you no longer let them do anything for their father or mother. Thus you nullify the word of God by your tradition that you have handed down. And you do many things like that.”
This is also how I take Paul's statement in Gal. 1:13-14 about his previous life in Judaism, since he says he had been a Pharisee in Php. 3:5.
For you have heard of my previous way of life in Judaism, how intensely I persecuted the church of God and tried to destroy it. I was advancing in Judaism beyond many of my own age among my people and was extremely zealous for the traditions of my fathers.
This alone, in my view, would be enough to explain why the Pharisees are presented as wanting to kill Jesus in the NT, since they regarded the oral Torah as being divine and, as Josephus notes, it was the law of the land at the time (and in most forms of Judaism to this day), to such a degree that Josephus says that even the Sadducees had to go along with it in Ant. 18.1.4:
But they [the Sadducees] are able to do almost nothing of themselves; for when they become magistrates, as they are unwillingly and by force sometimes obliged to be, they addict themselves to the notions of the Pharisees, because the multitude would not otherwise bear them.
Last edited by John2 on Wed Jan 10, 2018 11:19 am, edited 2 times in total.
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John2
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Re: The Dead Sea Scrolls and Christianity

Post by John2 » Wed Jan 10, 2018 11:10 am

And as I mentioned above, the DSS sect were also arguably opposed to the oral Torah of the Pharisees, as noted, for example, by VanderKam and Flint.
"Seekers of smooth things" is the name the Scrolls community gave to their opponents, who are almost certainly the Pharisees ... it is likely that the word for smooth things (halaqot) is a word play for the Pharisaic term halakhot (laws).

https://books.google.com/books?id=i2i5h ... t&f=false0
I've also wondered if the reference to the "builders of the wall" in the Damascus Document could be another attack against the Pharisees, in this case as a reference to the "fence" that the Pharisees put around the Torah, and I see that Moyise and Charlesworth suspect this as well (in note 32).
The 'wall' may be a reference to the 'fence' which the Pharisees put around the law (m. Abot 1:1) ... Charlesworth suggests that the similar phrase at CD 8.12 may also refer to the Pharisees ...

https://books.google.com/books?id=tdHeB ... es&f=false
Schiffman appears to see it this way too:
Although talmudic sources consider this “fence” (siyyag in mishnaic Hebrew) a positive feature of rabbinic halakhah, the authors of the Zadokite Fragments oppose this approach, not only because they disagreed with the specific laws that resulted but also because they did not accept expanding the law in this manner in the first place ...

To the sectarians, the Pharisaic polemic was not only fierce, but worse—an abomination.

We find another mention of the Pharisees’ lack of understanding, here again referring to them as “builders of the wall,” later in the Zadokite Fragments ...

http://cojs.org/pharisees_and_sadducees ... hia-_1994/
M. Avot 1:1:
Moshe received the [oral] Torah from Sinai and transmitted it to Yehoshua, and Yehoshua to the Elders, and the Elders to the Prophets, and the Prophets transmitted it to the Men of the Great Assembly. They said three things: Be deliberate in judgment, raise up many disciples and make a fence for the Torah.

https://www.sefaria.org/Pirkei_Avot.1?lang=bi
They're not directly from the Torah, but they are Torah nevertheless—because the Torah itself commands us to build fences around its prohibitions when they are necessary.

http://www.chabad.org/library/article_c ... -Torah.htm
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Secret Alias
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Re: The Dead Sea Scrolls and Christianity

Post by Secret Alias » Wed Jan 10, 2018 11:22 am

And Ephesians uses the same fucking word (= Peshitta) to speak about a fence. But here is what annoys me about you. YOU KNOW THAT A SIYAGA IS A FLIMSY BARRIER NOT A BRICK WALL typically separating fields or paths from fields. It is not the same term used at Qumran. Stop this fucking disinformation exercise!! You're just using the fact that 99% of people don't have a clue what the terminology means in order to further the idiotic Eisenman agenda. A syaga is basically a couple of stakes set around a garden or path and a string strong between the stakes. It might be a hedge, it might be a couple of stones - but in all cases it's not a solid 'wall.' It basically says 'this is mine' but does not effective prevent anyone from going to 'my area.' My god I hate being the policeman but ...
Last edited by Secret Alias on Wed Jan 10, 2018 11:27 am, edited 1 time in total.
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John2
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Re: The Dead Sea Scrolls and Christianity

Post by John2 » Wed Jan 10, 2018 11:26 am

Jesus' opposition to the oral Torah is even more apparent in the Shem Tov Hebrew Matthew, as noted here:
Our Bibles (which are translated from the Greek Manuscripts) read in Mat 23:3 regarding the Pharisees as follows:

All therefore whatsoever they [i.e., the Pharisees] bid you observe, that observe and do; but do not ye after their works: for they say, and do not.

The Hebrew Manuscripts of Matthew read the same verse as follows:

Therefore all that he [i.e., Moses] says to you, diligently do, but according to their [i.e., the Pharisees'] reforms (Takanot) and their precedents (Ma’asim) do not do, because they talk, but do not do.

If you are familiar with what the Pharisees taught and believed you would know what “Takanot” and “Ma’asim” refer to. These are traditions and customs that they added into God’s Word (The Holy Scriptures). “Takanot” and “Ma’asim” were sometimes even regarded more important or higher than God’s Word. Examples for Takanot and Ma’asim are, the “Washing of Hands” mentioned in Mat 15:2 and “The Breaking of the Sabbath by plucking corn” mentioned in Mat 12:2. The Hebrew Matthew gives us a better understanding of what went on in such instances, while our own Bible translations are silent on these issues.

https://biblethingsinbibleways.wordpres ... ag/maasim/
Nehemia Gordon discusses this issue in his excellent book The Hebrew Yeshua vs. the Greek Jesus.

https://www.kirkusreviews.com/book-revi ... eek-jesus/
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Re: The Dead Sea Scrolls and Christianity

Post by Secret Alias » Wed Jan 10, 2018 11:32 am

'The oral law' - like there was just one. Like there were these people walking around with no traditions associated with interpreting the Torah. The Samaritans oppose the Jewish 'oral law' but have their own interpretations of the Torah (= the writings of Marqe). The followers of Sabbatai pissed on the Gemara but had kabbalah. This is just so fucking typical. The tactic of 'sameness' by (a) an utterly superficial analysis which ignores the actual multiplicity of other options available for explaining something with (b) all efforts used to show how similar two wholly different things are really the same thing.

This stupid theory has a threefold superficiality

1. saying that (a) the Qumran texts are (b) the product of the Essene community
2. saying that the (b) the Essene community were (c) early Christians
3. ignoring the obvious fact that the Qumran texts were produced before early Christianity.

Who would continue to buy into this stupidity other than one man or people who are so ignorant they'd buy into anything? But to keep coming into the forum ignoring the obvious difficulties and relentlessly pushing a stupid, ignored theory - can only be one (retired) man. I gave a list of activities to occupy yourself in retirement. Might be useful to consult that list. This is getting stupider and stupider by the day.
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John2
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Re: The Dead Sea Scrolls and Christianity

Post by John2 » Wed Jan 10, 2018 11:47 am

I took a look at the first of Stephan's comments above since I've got a lot of internet time today, and I thought I'd cite Wacholder regarding the expression "builders of the wall" in CD 8.12:
Here in 5:20 the text deals with the rise of the opposition, the מסיגי הגבול (the Shifters of the Boundaries), a sobriquet for the Pharisees or Rabbanites, introduced in this section [8.12] as החיץ בוני (the builders of the wall).

https://books.google.com/books?id=ZZ58U ... ES&f=false
Last edited by John2 on Wed Jan 10, 2018 1:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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