--- In firstname.lastname@example.org
, Bob Schacht <bobschacht@i...>
> >From: "Richard H. Anderson" <randerson58@c...>
> >To: <bobschacht@i...>
> >Date: Wed, 3 Dec 2003 16:29:41 -0500
> >De Wit's site 4Q521
> >Richard H. Anderson
>My thanks to Richard for this online resource with its very
>detailed analysis of 4Q521 and the OT and NT parallels.
Likewise. Richard forwarded this site to me as well, and as Jeffrey
noted, the text is in Hebrew not Greek. This raises many very
interesting questions, in particular, whether or not Matthew was
familiar with Hebrew himself, and may have been dependent upon
Hebrew sources. In his site De Witt argues against direct
dependence, however, and I would have to agree.
>Just to highlight a few conclusions:
> * There are noteworthy parallels with Psalm 146 and Isaiah 61
>(Chapter 2.1.3): "Psa 146 is certainly quoted in 2 ii 8 setting
>prisoners free, giving sight to the blind, straightening out the
>bent, and to the poor he will bring a good tiding in 2 ii 12 is
>most probably a reference to Isa 61:1. " [N.B.: these are not the
>OT texts that Brian has relied on.]
Brief pause here, but you had specifically said that there were no
references to a raising of the dead in the OT, and I responded by
offering those passages that directly speak of a general
resurrection of the dead at the end of times. I also asked how your
source had understood these passages.
>* "Because of the shared tradition, it is unlikely that parallels
>between 4Q521 and New Testament are mere accidents. " (Chapter
I have become increasingly interested in the possible links between
the Essene and early Christianity, especially as many of the beliefs
found in the DSS do appear also in Christian works like GJohn and
Hebrews. If we find them also within Matthew and Luke then this
would obviously make the connection look even stronger. I like how
De Wit puts in:
"In fact, one should distinguish between parallels and parallels.
Firstly, there are merely accidental parallels. Secondly, there are
parallels because of a common background, but not because of
dependence of one text on another. Thirdly, there are parallels that
are so striking that dependence is to be assumed. This trichotomy
can be refined much further, but suffices for our purposes. Because
of the shared tradition, it is unlikely that parallels between 4Q521
and New Testament are mere accidents. Most of what we will discuss
in §3.2 and §3.3, belongs to the second category."
This does seem very likely, but also argues against Richard
Anderson's claims of dependence of Matt 11:2-6/Luke 7:18-23 on
4Q521. This point is made even more powerfully in the next
chapter. If I may, I would like to add my own comments to some of
what De Witt tells us in his paper.
Chapter 4: Conclusion
"As is often noted, we have no testimonies that a miracle-working-
Messiah was expected in early Judaism. In the Old Testament,
especially in Isaiah, God was expected to do wondrous deeds in the
future. Even when an anointed one is involved, in Isa 61:1, there is
not an explicit role for a Messiah."
This agrees with Rikk Watts' earlier statement, and related question
about Jewish expectations for a miracle working Messiah. De Witt
tells us that there is no evidence of any such expectations. He
then goes on to say:
"If one reads Mat 11:5 || Luke 7:22 with 4Q521 at the back of mind
and knows that Jesus has performed the miracles he mentions, one
cannot avoid the conclusion that here God's Messiah is speaking.
4Q521 makes clear: Jesus cannot be called a Messiah because he was a
miracle worker as such, but because he understood his miracles as
God's work, as the fulfillment of the Old Testament expectations."
This too seems quite reasonable. Finally:
"4Q521 sustains the assumption that Jesus was in the first place a
prophetic Messiah (prophetic in word and deed, as e.g. Elijah and
Elisha). At the same time, it may be one of the texts that makes the
transition to a much more exalted interpretation of messiahship
fluent. It takes some steps to come from the heavens and the earth
will listen to his anointed one (4Q521 2 ii 1) to for example all
authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth (Mat 28:18
NASB), but the way is conceivable."
Thus we see that Matt and Luke have developed the expectation found
in 4Q521 well beyond what the author of 4Q521 was thinking himself,
and that they intended to present Jesus as much more than just a
prophetic messiah like Elijah or Elisha.
>* Chapter 3.4 begins, "In 1997, Craig Evans stated: '4Q521
>significantly supports the traditional view that Jesus did indeed
>see himself as Israel's Messiah.' The pericope Mat 11:2-6 ||
>Luke 7:18-23 plays an important role in Evans' argument for this
>interesting conclusion." But 3.4.2 ends with the observation
>that "All together, there are strikingly parallel motifs in 4Q521
>2 ii and Mat 11:2-6 || Luke 7:18-23 (in addition to what is said
>above, the concept of waiting / expecting can be mentioned: 4Q521
>2i+3 9, 2 ii 4,9, Mat 11:3, Luke 7:19,20), but in the
>light of the wealth of Old Testament backgrounds especially for
>Mat 11:5 || Luke 7:22, we should not claim that a direct reference
>to 4Q521 2 ii 12 is made." Indeed, chapter 3.4 contains much
>commentary on the points that we have been debating, and beyond.
Indeed. It has been most helpful.
Thank you to both Bob and Richard.
Calgary, AB, Canada