An Interview with Craig Evans
Craig Evans, Payzant distinguished professor of New Testament at Acadia Divinity College of Acadia University, is one of Pastorum Live’s distinguished speakers. Dr. Evans taught for 21 years Trinity Western University, where he directed the graduate program in biblical studies and founded the Dead Sea Scrolls Institute. Author and editor of more than 60 books and hundreds of articles and reviews, Dr. Evans regularly speaks at conferences and retreats. He has also served as a consultant for the National Geographic Society.
We talked to Dr. Evans about his session, The Dead Sea Scrolls and New Testament Christology; here’s what he had to say.
Logos: How would you describe the importance of the Dead Sea Scrolls?
Dr. Evans: It is, without a doubt, the most important discovery relating to the Bible. The Dead Sea Scrolls are hugely important for the OT, NT, and what lies between.
Logos: What significance do the Dead Sea Scrolls have for biblical studies?
Dr. Evans: Two basic things:
- For Old Testament studies, the Dead Sea Scrolls provide invaluable information relating to the text of the Hebrew Bible in the time of Jesus and just before. The scrolls supply missing materials (e.g., Ps 145:13; 1 Samuel 10–11) and confirm disputed readings (e.g., Ps 22:16). The Dead Sea Scrolls also give us some insight into the formation of the canon of Scripture at the time of Jesus.
- For New Testament studies the Dead Sea Scrolls provide invaluable backdrop information relating to the teaching of Jesus and several New Testament passages. The scrolls also provide backdrop info relating to criticisms directed against the ruling priests in Jerusalem—a priesthood Jesus encountered.
Logos: What can you tell us about your Pastorum Live session?
Dr. Evans: My lecture will focus on the contribution that the Scrolls make to our understanding of first-century Jewish messianic expectation. I look at the expectation of one who will be called a “Son of God” and “Son of the Most High” (4Q246), a Messiah, whom heaven and earth will obey, who will heal the wounded, give sight to the blind, raise the dead, and announce good news (4Q521). Also of significance is the Melchizedek figure in 11Q13, who will announce the jubilee, forgive sins, defeat Satan and his allies; in some sense, he represents God on earth. Here lies something very significant for New Testament Christology.