The Bible and the Dead Sea Scrolls: V.3, The Scrolls and Christian Origins edited by J.H. Charlesworth (Waco: Baylor University Press, 2006). (Logos Edition)
Message of the Book:
A while ago I reviewed the V.1 (here) and V.2 (here) of The Bible and the Dead Sea Scrolls, specifically the Logos Editions. Today I will say a bit about the third and final volume. The first volume addressed how the DSS influence our understanding of the evolution of the Hebrew Scriptures. The second volume contained essays on the Qumran Community itself. This final volume connects the DSS to incipient Christianity.
Summary of the Content:
There are sixteen chapters in the final volume. Charlesworth himself provides the opening essay on “John the Baptizer and the Dead Sea Scrolls” attempting to answer to question of whether or not John would have had any connection to the Qumran Community. Richard Horsley examines parallels between the DSS and what we know of Jesus in “The Dead Sea Scrolls and the Historical Jesus”. Donal H. Juel focuses juxtaposes the community at Qumran with the Palestinian Christians in “The Future of a Religious Past: Qumran and the Palestinian Jesus Movement”.
Craig A. Evans is the first to focus on the DSS and NT literature in “The Synoptic Gospels and the Dead Sea Scrolls”. Charlesworth follows suit with “A Study in Shared Symbolism and Language: The Qumran Community and the Johannine Community”. Heinz-Wolfgang Kuhn compares the DSS to the Pauline Corpus in “The Impact of Selected Qumran Texts on the Understanding of Pauline Theology”. James D.G Dunn and Charlesworth coauthor an essay examining parallels between 4QMMT and Galatians in “Qumran’s Some Works of Torah (5Q394-399 [4QMMT]) and Paul’s Galatians. Harold W. Attridge compares the DSS to Hebrews in “How the Scrolls Impacted Scholarship on Hebrews”.
Adela Yarbro Collins moves things in the direction of the eschatological and apocalyptic with her essay “The Dream of a New Jerusalem at Qumran”. Loren L. Johns looks at the Book of Revelation in “The Dead Sea Scrolls and the Apocalypse of John”.
Enno E Popkes’ essay moves things back toward thematic essays with “About the Differing Approach to a Theological Heritage: Comments on the Relationship Between the Gospel of John, the Gospel of Thomas, and Qumran.” Gordon M. Zerbe’s “Economic Justice and Nonretaliation in the Dead Sea Scrolls: Implication for New Testament Interpretation”, Paul Garnet’s “Atonement: Qumran and the New Testament”; Gerbern S. Oegema’s “‘The Coming of the Righteous One’ in 1 Enoch, Qumran, and the New Testament”; and Krister Stendahl’s “Qumran and Supersessionism — and a Road Not Take” round out essays comparing worldview and theology.
Jörg Frey’s essay is the final one: “The Impact of the Dead Sea Scrolls on New Testament Interpretation: Proposals, Problems, and Further Perspectives”. This both wraps things up and points forward. As with the other two volumes the primary benefit of these large books are their usefulness as reference resources, though one could sit down and read through each essay if they’d like to do so!
If you haven’t seen my previous posts I recommend reading them. As I’ve said elsewhere, these volumes are large and it is quite nice to be able to connect them directly to translations of the DSS through Logos. Also, the ability to search these books makes research a lot easier. For students of the NT this volume should have contributions from many recognizable names. As a NT student myself this volume is and will be the most useful.
This book was received from Logos Software in exchange for a bias free review.