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A short presentation of the content and importance of discoveries in Qumran! This short book composed of 4 small essays written by Biblical scholars gives us a brief explanation of the importance of the Dead Sea scrolls discovered in Qumran both in our understanding of Christian and Jewish origins. These documents remain as the only and greatest evidence of 1st century's Palestinian Judaism and give us a better understanding of the birth of Christianity. The Christian ideas about a "Son of God", a mass of bread and wine, a final Apocalypse and some literary similarities in the interpretation of Old Testament prophecies are proof of a relation (although complicated) between Christians and Essenes. Also, the authors explain how the content of the scrolls leave rational Christian faith unaffected and that the sensational documents about "a dying Messiah" or "Mark's little apocalypse" may have been ill-interpreted by their translators. Still, I would have liked to read a more extensive explanation of these matters, because I believe that there still remains more to be said. For instance, James Charlesworth was quite brief in dismissing Allegro's ideas about Christian origins and I would like to have read a better discussion of this subject. This reading defied several of my thoughts and beliefs about the nature of the discoveries at Qumran and gave me a better view of their content and importance.
Interest in the Dead Sea Scrolls is unparalleled, and that interest often arises from their possible challenge to traditional Christian faith. Do the Dead Sea Scrolls hinder or undermine Christian faith? Why are the scrolls so significant for a better understanding of Christian origins? How and in what ways do these ancient Jewish scrolls alter or reshape Christian perceptions of Jesus and his earliest followers? What is the proper method for comparing these scrolls with the writings in the New Testament? How do the scrolls help us understand prophecy and messianic beliefs during the time Jesus taught in Galilee and Judea? Four leading biblical and Dead Sea Scrolls scholars here consider these questions. Joseph A. Fitzmyer, S.J., discusses how to compare the scrolls and the New Testament; David Noel Freedman surveys the history of prophecy after the Maccabean revolt, as evidenced in the scrolls and in the life and teachings of Jesus and his followers; John J. Collins shares insights into Qumran messianism and the possible impact of the scrolls upon early Christian messianism; and James H. Charlesworth assesses how and in what ways the scrolls challenge and help shape Christian faith. James H. Charlesworth is George L. Collord Professor of New Testament Language and Literature at Princeton Theological Seminary and Director of the seminary's Dead Sea Scrolls Project. Walter P. Weaver is former Chair of the Humanities Division and Department of Religion and Philosophy at Florida Southern College, Lakeland.
Buy The Dead Sea Scrolls and Christian Faith: In Celebration of the Jubilee Year of the Discovery of Qumran Cave I (Faith and Scholarship Colloquies) by James H. Charlesworth from our Christian Books store - isbn: 9781563382321 & 1563382326
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