Melchizedek 11Q13

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dabber
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Melchizedek 11Q13

Post by dabber »

Hi Folks, apologies for posting another thread!.. but interested on opinions on Melchizedek 11Q13 from the DSS. Read estimated dating 1st C BCE.

However the DSS are carbon dated up to the first Roman Jewish war 66-74 CE. Could this actually be a proto Christian text?

The theology similar to Hebrews and Revelation but with Melchizedek as the messiah with role of judge, vengeance on Belial and his spirits. Melch proclaims peace and good news/salvation. Basically the roles assigned to Jesus in the NT.

Just wonder if this proto-messiah is the evidence of early Christianity in the DSS but simply ignored because doesn't fit easily into the NT understanding? Thanks
StephenGoranson
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Re: Melchizedek 11Q13

Post by StephenGoranson »

I don't think that there is evidence of early Christianity in the DSS.
11Q13 has not been ignored; there is a huge bibliography, including Fred L. Horton, The Melchizedek Tradition...
For updated bibliography,
http://orion.huji.ac.il/
is helpful
One item listed there, e.g., which I haven't yet read, but that may give further bibliography:

Author:
Williams, Logan
Year:
2023
Title:
Melchizedek, the Son of Man, and Eschatological Jubilee: The Sin-Forgiving Messiahs in 11QMelchizedek and Mark
Journal:
Journal for the Study of the New Testament
Volume:
46
Issue:
2
Pages:
111–149
Type of Article:
Essay/Monograph
Short Title:
JSNT
Primary Text:
11Q13
...Abstract:
This article asks why Jesus in Mk 2.10 interprets the authority (ἐξουσία/שלטן) of the Son of Man in Dan. 7.14 as the authority to forgive sins. I approach this question by looking at 11QMelchizedek (11Q13). Drawing on a constellation of texts pertaining to jubilee (Lev. 25, Isa. 61.1, Dan. 9.24–27), 11QMelchizedek portrays Melchizedek as forgiving Israel’s sins by his jubilean declaration of ‘liberty (דרור‎)’ (II 6). In light of similar intertextual moves being made in Mark, I suggest that Mk 2.10—‘the Son of Man has authority to forgive sins on the land (ἀϕιέναι ἁμαρτίας ἐπὶ τῆς γῆς)’—invokes the language of the jubilee legislation in Lev. 25.10: ‘you will declare forgiveness on the land (διαβοήσετε ἄϕεσιν ἐπὶ τῆς γῆς).’ I conclude that this interpretation of ‘authority’ in Dan. 7.14 stems from an assumed conflation between the Son of Man of Dan. 7.13–14 with the herald messiah of Isa. 61.1, as well as an interpretation of Isa. 61.1 in which the messiah enacts the eschatological forgiveness of Israel’s sins by his jubilean declaration of liberty.
ewhandler
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Re: Melchizedek 11Q13

Post by ewhandler »

"I don't think that there is evidence of early Christianity in the DSS."

I submit for your consideration...

DSS Thanksgiving Hymn 12

I thank Thee, O Lord,
for Thou hast illumined my face by Thy covenant,
I seek Thee,
and sure as the dawn
Thou appearest as perfect light to me.
Teachers of lies [have smoothed] Thy people [with words],
and false prophets have led them astray;
they perish without understanding
for their works are in folly.
for I am despised by them
and they have no esteem for me
that thou mayest manifest Thy might through me.
They have banished me from my land like a bird from its nest;
all my friends and brethren are driven far from me
and hold me for a broken vessel.

And they, teachers of lies and seers of falsehood,
have schemed against me a devilish scheme,
TO EXCHANGE THE LAW ENGRAVED ON MY HEART BY THEE
for the smooth things (which they speak) to Thy people,
and they withhold from the thirsty the drink of Knowledge
and assuage their thirst with vinegar.
that they may gaze on their straying,
on their folly concerning their feast days,
on their fall into their snares.
But Thou O God,
dost despise all Belial's designs,
it is Thy purpose that shall be done
and the design of Thy heart
that shall be established forever.

...For [they hearken] not to Thy [voice]
nor do they give ear to Thy word;
of the vision of knowledge they say, 'It is unsure',
and of the way of Thy heart, 'It is [not the way].

... and there shall be no more seers of error;
for in Thy works is no folly
no guile in the design of Thy heart
But those who please Thee
shall stand before Thee forever;
those who walk in the way of Thy heart
shall be established for evermore.

...Thou hast revealed Thyself to me in Thy power as perfect light
and Thou has not covered my face with shame...

=========
StephenGoranson
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Re: Melchizedek 11Q13

Post by StephenGoranson »

Wasn't that hymn written before Christianity existed?
StephenGoranson
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Re: Melchizedek 11Q13

Post by StephenGoranson »

...
Last edited by StephenGoranson on Thu Mar 21, 2024 8:32 am, edited 1 time in total.
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MrMacSon
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Re: Melchizedek 11Q13

Post by MrMacSon »

The Wikipedia entry for Melchizedek 11Q13 appears to give its full, albeit partly-reconstructed text from the 2003 edition of The complete Dead Sea scrolls in English by Géza Vermès (originally published in 1997).

The Wikipedia entry notes (slightly modified here):

[11Q13] mentions Melchizedek as leader of God's angels [the Sons of Light] in a war in Heaven against the angels of darkness [led by Belial] instead of the more familiar Archangel Michael. The text is an apocalyptic commentary on the Jubilee year of Leviticus 25. [hyperlink added by me]

and

"the term "Elohim" appears a dozen times, mainly referring to the God of Israel, but commentary on "who says to Zion "Your Elohim reigns" (Isa. 52;7) 11Q13 states that Zion is the congregation of all the sons of righteousness; while [at the end] Melchizedek is "Your Elohim" who will deliver the sons of righteousness from Belial."

The text:


... And concerning that which He said, In [this] year of Jubilee [each of you shall return to his property (Lev. xxv, 13); and likewise, And this is the manner of release:] every creditor shall release that which he has lent [to his neighbour. He shall not exact it of his neighbour and his brother], for God's release [has been proclaimed] (Deut. xv, 2). [And it will be proclaimed at] the end of days concerning the captives as [He said, To proclaim liberty to the captives (Isa. lxi, 1). Its interpretation is that He] will assign them to the Sons of Heaven and to the inheritance of Melchizedek; f[or He will cast] their [lot] amid the portions of Melchize]dek, who will return them there and will proclaim to them liberty, forgiving them [the wrong-doings] of all their iniquities. And this thing will [occur] in the first week of the Jubilee that follows the nine Jubilees.

And the Day of Atonement is the e[nd of the] tenth [Ju]bilee, when all the Sons of [Light] and the men of the lot of Mel[chi]zedek will be atoned for. [And] a statute concerns them [to prov]ide them with their rewards. For this is the moment of the Year of Grace for Melchizedek. [And h]e will, by his strength, judge the holy ones of God, executing judgement as it is written concerning him in the Songs of David, who said, ELOHIM has taken his place in the divine council [in the assembly of El]; in the midst of the gods [ELOHIM] he holds judgement (Psalms lxxxii, 1). And it was concerning him that he said, (Let the assembly of the peoples) Return to the height above them! EL (god) will judge the peoples (Psalms vii, 7-8). As for that which he s[aid, How long will you] judge unjustly and show partiality to the wicked? Selah (Psalms lxxxii, 2), its interpretation concerns Belial and the spirits of his lot [who] rebelled by turning away from the precepts of God to ...

And Melchizedek will avenge the vengeance of the judgements of God... and he will drag [them from the hand of] Belial and from the hand of all the sp[irits of] his [lot].And all the 'gods [of Justice'] will come to his aid [to] attend to the de[struction] of Belial. And the height is ... all the sons of God... this ... This is the day of [Peace/Salvation] concerning which [God] spoke [through Isa]iah the prophet, who said, [How] beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of the messenger who proclaims peace, who brings good news, who proclaims salvation, who says to Zion: Your elohaikh [ELOHIM] [reigns] (Isa. lii, 7).

Its interpretation; the mountains are the prophets... and the messenger is the Anointed one of the spirit, concerning whom Dan[iel] said, [Until an anointed one, a prince (Dan. ix, 25)] ... [And he who brings] good [news], who proclaims [salvation]: it is concerning him that it is written... [To comfort all who mourn, to grant to those who mourn in Zion] (Isa. lxi, 2-3). To comfort [those who mourn: its interpretation], to make them understand all the ages of t[ime] ... In truth ... will turn away from Belial... by the judgement[s] of God, as it is written concerning him, [who says to Zion]; your elohaikh [ELOHIM] reigns ((Isa. lii, 7; again). Zion is ... those who uphold the Covenant, who turn from walking [in] the way of the people.

And your ELOHIM is [Melchizedek, who will save them from] the hand of Belial. As for that which He said, Then you shall send abroad the trump[et in] all the land (Lev. xxv, 9 ["have the trumpet sounded everywhere on the tenth day of the seventh month; on the Day of Atonement"]) ...

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/11Q13#Content




The standouts for me are:

This is the day of [Peace/Salvation] concerning which [God] spoke [through Isa]iah the prophet, who said, [How] beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of the messenger who proclaims peace, who brings good news, who proclaims salvation, who says to Zion: Your [elohaikh] [ELOHIM] [reigns] (Isa. lii, 7)


the messenger is the Anointed one of the spirit, concerning whom Dan[iel] said, [Until an anointed one, a prince (Dan. ix, 25)*] ... [And he who brings] good [news], who proclaims [salvation]

and

.And your ELOHIM is [Melchizedek, who will save them from] the hand of Belial

* the LXX of course has χριστοῦ (or perhaps originally a nomen sacrum) for 'the anointed one' https://www.blueletterbible.org/verse/lxx/dan/9/25/
ewhandler
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Re: Melchizedek 11Q13

Post by ewhandler »

Stephen wrote: Wasn't that hymn written before Christianity existed?

When did Christianity begin?

When we consider Noah, Abraham, and Job, we find a formula in the biblical text that indicates a man who has made the self-sacrifice can be identified because he is described with an absolute(s) accompanied by a phrase indicating he is in God’s presence.

Genesis 5:24
Enoch faithfully (absolute) walked with God (in God's presence); then he was no more, because God took him away. Genesis 5:24

Genesis 6:9
Noah was a righteous man (absolute), blameless (absolute) in his generation. Noah walked with God (in God’s presence).

Genesis 17:1
[God to Abram] “I am God Almighty. Live always (absolute) in my presence (in God’s presence) and be perfect (absolute).”

Job 1.1
There lived in the land of Uz a man of blameless and upright life (absolutes) named Job, who feared God and set his face against wrongdoing (absolute).

There are three absolutes in Job 1.1, the very beginning of the book of Job, but there is nothing to suggest Job is in God’s presence until the moment of his self-sacrifice.

Job 42:5-6
...Now I see thee with my own eyes (in God’s presence). Therefore, I melt away (my “self” is sacrificed – an absolute). I repent (absolute) in dust and ashes.

Men who have made the self-sacrifice are wholly spirit and enter the presence of God.

Everything has to fold back up into unity. Melchizedek is the pastoral archetype whose compound name indicates he has combined his wisdom with his courage, (his warrior with his priest) by memorizing the oral traditions of pastoral Genesis. Jesus has also combined his wisdom with his courage, (his warrior with his priest) by memorizing the written Law.
You become wholly spirit when you overlay your heart's desires with God's commandments (making your learned behaviors intuitive).

And now, in Thanksgiving Hymn #12 of the DSS we find a man(men?) at Qumran "engraving the Law on their hearts." They are being persecuted because of their knowledge which the "teachers of lies and seers of falsehood" have rendered obsolete.

When did Christianity begin?
Does it begin in Genesis with Enoch, Noah, Abraham, or later, in the Book of Job? Or does it begin in Qumran with Thanksgiving Hymn #12 whose singer(s) have the law engraved on their hearts?
When did Christianity begin? I'd like to know.
StephenGoranson
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Re: Melchizedek 11Q13

Post by StephenGoranson »

"When did Christianity begin?"--ewhandler's question.
I used (above) the conventional definition of "Christianity," a religion started in the first century ad/ce.
Christians obviously value, e.g., the Book of Genesis and also Job and others.
But, generally, I think, these books, as well as 1QHodayot, and some even earlier 4QH copies, are regarded as pre-Christian.
ewhandler
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Joined: Thu Jan 11, 2024 1:50 pm

Re: Melchizedek 11Q13

Post by ewhandler »

Stephen wrote: I used (above) the conventional definition of "Christianity," a religion started in the first century ad/ce.

Did "Christianity" start in the 1st century or did one man's deliberate self-sacrifice in the first century preserve the self-sacrifice, the core of what came to be known as "Christianity?" If we read Thanksgiving Hymn #12 plainly, the "law engraved on the heart" (the self-sacrifice) already existed and its adherents were under political duress because of their self-sacrificial practice.

Stephen wrote: Christians obviously value, e.g., the Book of Genesis and also Job and others.

Do they see that Melchizedek's compound name (warrior/priest or divine king) coupled with Abraham's perfection and his being in the presence of God as a symbol of the self-sacrifice? They do understand the words of Jeremiah @ 31:31-34 because they call it the "gospel before the gospels." But I have seen no indication they appreciate the biblical context as an invocation of the ancient self-sacrifice for its utility in diaspora when the temple, priesthood and written law are threatened by the pending Babylonian conquest?
Do they know the formula I provided above that ties these "pre-Christian" books including Job together?

Stephen wrote: But, generally, I think, these books, as well as 1QHodayot, and some even earlier 4QH copies, are regarded as pre-Christian.

I agree, but if you can entertain the idea that the self-sacrifice is the core of Christianity, it appears in the Torah as early as the Fall of Adam and Eve.

The story of Adam and Eve describes the transition from instinct to learned behavior (the Fall @ Genesis 3:6-7).
Logion 37 of the Gospel of Thomas describes the transition from learned behavior to instinct (the Return).

====

List the discrete variables from Genesis that describe the cognitive state of Adam and Eve after eating the forbidden fruit. After the Fall

• Adam and Eve’s eyes are opened,
• they cover their nakedness,
• and hide from God.

Now, arrange the italicized variables in an equation. Put the self and its status on one side of the equation, and aspects of the self, as they exist after the Fall, on the other.

+Self (eyes are opened) = +shame (cover their nakedness) +fear (hide from God)

• The formula for the Fall is (+self = +shame +fear).

Which is to say: once your eyes are opened to “the knowledge of good and evil,” the shame and fear of evil and death appear.

Now, turn to logion 37 of the Gospel of Thomas to find the key to the Return from the Fall as seen through the eyes of a religious man of the 1st−2nd century AD who is versed in the theology of Genesis.

His disciples said, “When will you become revealed to us and when shall we see you?” Jesus said, “When you disrobe without being ashamed and take up your garments and place them under your feet like little children and tread on them, then [will you see] the son of the living one, and you will not be afraid.”

Here are the discrete variables from logion 37 with the self’s status on one side of the equation and aspects of the self on the other, arranged just as they were before the Fall.

-Self (see the son of the living one) = –shame (without being ashamed)
-fear (you will not be afraid).

• The formula for the Return is (–self = –shame –fear).

Which is to say: once your eyes are opened to the “son of the living one,” the shame and fear of evil and death disappear.

The self has been sacrificed (-self) eliminating the ego shame and ontological anxiety that had naturally appeared as self-consciousness developed.
Notice. In logion 37 Jesus uses the qualities (-shame -fear) to describe the ontological state of the Return from the Fall, the same qualities the author of Genesis 3:7 defined for the Fall, in reverse (+shame +fear).
Logion 37 provides additional information. Jesus says, “When you disrobe without being ashamed... like little children...”

Notice Jesus’ use of the absolute never. Unless all of us become like little children we will never enter the kingdom of Heaven. Why does Jesus favor little children and how do we become like little children and enter the Kingdom of Heaven?

Little children are not self-conscious. They do not yet have the knowledge of good and evil.

"According to the Messianic Rule, members of the covenant were permitted to marry at the age of twenty when they were estimated to have reached adulthood and to know good and evil."
The Community page 35 The Complete Dead Sea Scrolls, Geza Vermes

Letter of Barnabas 6:10-12 “Having renewed us through the remission of our sins, he has made us of new character. He wills that we should have the spirits of children since, in fact, he is the one who formed us anew.”

The self-sacrifice, the core of Christianity, is the pastoral theology of Torah Judaism.
================

I hope you have the patience and have gotten this far. I will stand down. Thank you.
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