The Dead Sea Scrolls, discovered more than half a century ago, have proved to be the most important modern discovery related to biblical literature, Judaism of late antiquity, and nascent Christianity. The scrolls have made an important contribution to our understanding of the development of the text and canon of Scripture, including such issues as textual preservation and transmission. They have also contributed to our knowledge of doctrine, especially pertaining to law and eschatological expectations.
In this volume, six leading scholars—John Collins, Craig Evans, Martin Abegg, R. Glenn Wooden, Barry Smith, and Jonathan Wilson—examine some of the major issues that the Dead Sea Scrolls have raised for the study of early Christianity. Were first-century Jews expecting a messiah? Were other messiahs mentioned in the scrolls? Were key early Christian symbols also found in the Judaism of Qumran? Did the Jews of Jesus’ day believe in salvation by works? In the Holy Spirit? How did the New Testament authors think about inspired interpretation? These cutting-edge articles explore the impact of the Scrolls on Christianity, delving deeper than most surveys on the Dead Sea Scrolls.
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Praise for the Print Edition
To what extent have the Dead Sea Scrolls revolutionized scholars' comprehension of Christian origins? Authors have befogged a view of answers because they have rushed to print, and most of their conclusions are premature and absurd. Contributing to this volume, however, are scholars who can be trusted. Some of their insights reveal a paradigm shift in the understanding of early Judaism and early Christianity. These essays, often by luminaries in the field, are valuable and often exciting. Highly recommended.
—J. H. Charlesworth, George L. Collord Professor of New Testament Language and Literature, and editor and director of the Princeton Theological Seminary Dead Sea Scrolls Project
Out of the massive range of topics available from the Qumran and New Testament supermarkets, a very tasty six-course menu has been well chosen, ingredients finely blended, spices added at appropriate points, and all served up with Acadian quality, the whole very satisfactorily rounded off by a John Collins special liqueur—very appetizing indeed.
—James D. G. Dunn, Emeritus Lightfoot Professor of Divinity, University of Durham
Christian Beginnings and the Dead Sea Scrolls offers to the reader an unusual variety of essays. Some correlate texts in a historical manner, while others consider questions of a more theological nature. The result is an interesting, diverse, and profitable contribution to the study of both the Qumran scrolls and the New Testament.
—James C. VanderKam, John A. O'Brien Professor of Theology, University of Notre Dame
These stimulating essays will bring many readers up to date on several key issues where the Dead Sea Scrolls are important for a better understanding of the New Testament. What emerges clearly in these studies is that the communities behind the Scrolls and the New Testament writings appealed to a wide range of scriptural motifs that are the primary basis for their own self-understandings. It is the varied use of these motifs, not any kind of literary dependence that most obviously explains both the similarities and the differences between these communities. Sensible and detailed, clear and accessible, this is a worthwhile contribution to a better appreciation of one dimension of the Jewish context of Christian origins.
—George J. Brooke, Rylands Professor of Biblical Criticism and Exegesis, University of Manchester
- Title: Christian Beginnings and the Dead Sea Scrolls
- Editors: Craig A. Evans and John J. Collins
- Publisher: Baker
- Publication Date: 2006
- Pages: 144
About the Editors
John J. Collins is Holmes Professor of Old Testament Criticism and Interpretation at Yale Divinity School. He is also author of the commentary on Daniel in Hermeneia.
Craig A. Evans (Ph.D., Claremont Graduate University) is Payzant Distinguished Professor of New Testament Studies at Acadia Divinity College. He is the editor of The Interpretation of Scripture in Early Judaism and Christianity: Studies in Language and Tradition in the Hermeneutics Collection (12 Vols.),co-editor of four volumes in the Sheffield Reader Collection (12 Vols.), and author of Word and Glory: On the Exegetical and Theological Background of John's Prologue in Library of NT Studies: JSNTS on the Gospels and Acts (16 Vols.).