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Re: [XTalk] 4Q521 and Luke

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  • Brian Trafford
    ... It is always possible that Matthew, Luke (or even Q, if it existed) knew of the Qumran community and its theology, and more specifically, of scrolls like
    Message 1 of 76 , Dec 3, 2003
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      --- In crosstalk2@yahoogroups.com, Bob Schacht <bobschacht@i...>
      wrote:
      >The flaw in this argument is that, logically
      > * Q might have known 4Q521, or
      > * 4Q521 might have known Q (or Matthew, or Luke)
      >Which manuscript has priority would depend on dating, of course.
      >Schiffman, in his Reclaiming the Dead Sea Scrolls, dates it (under
      >the name of the Messianic Apocalypse) to 100-80 B.C.E. He claims
      >that it lacks any sectarian character and "reflects the messianic
      >hopes of the people of Israel as a whole" (p.347). He further notes
      >that the phrases we are discussing appear in early rabbinic prayers
      >about God, and he sees echoes of it in the Amidah. His point seems
      >to be that the messianic ideas of 4Q521 were widespread, even before
      >Jesus' crucifixion. But he disputes "Christianized" reading of this
      >material (p. 348ff.), concluding that "While some parallels do
      >exist, they merely demonstrate that early Christianity borrowed its
      >messianic ideas from Judaism, specifically, the kinds of apocalyptic
      >notions contained in some of the texts preserved at Qumran." (p.350).

      It is always possible that Matthew, Luke (or even Q, if it existed)
      knew of the Qumran community and its theology, and more specifically,
      of scrolls like 4Q521. But the first question we need to ask is
      whether or not we even need to posit such knowledge, or if we can
      find sufficient links to the LXX to make such knowledge unnecessary.

      Texts like Daniel 12:2 and Isaiah 26:19 already establish that there
      was an expectation that the Messianic Age would include a general
      resurrection of the dead. Isaiah 11 tells us there will be an end to
      suffering and death, and again likewise in chapter 25. Thus, all
      will be healed, no one will suffer or die, and by these signs the
      people will know that the Messiah has come. The challenge for Luke
      and the other evangelists was to show how Jesus had fulfilled these
      expectations. There is no need for a reading of 4Q521 to know this
      by either Matthew or Luke. They can get it from Isaiah.

      >This thread began with Rikk's challenge to the existence of Jewish
      >messianic ideas that were *not* Davidic. Earlier in his book, in a
      >more general chapter on The Messianic Idea, Schiffman saw two basic
      >messianic themes: a restorationist, Davidic theme, and a utopian non-
      >Davidic one (pp.326f.) that was more apocalyptic. Perhaps this
      >latter theme provides the non-Davidic messianic ideas that Jesus may
      >himself have been influenced by.

      Perhaps. Without a doubt Jesus had no idea of himself as any kind of
      military/political figure like David, and all of the evidence we have
      from the Gospels suggests that when others thought along those lines,
      Jesus did directly reject it. At the same time, since I consider the
      designation "Son of Man" to have probably come from Jesus, the more
      apocalyptic figure that Schiffman mentions does seem a better
      candidate for how Jesus saw himself (drawing on imagery found in
      Daniel).

      >Wise, Abegg & Cook's translation of 4Q521 is prefaced by a note
      >suggesting that "the Gospel writers [Matthew and Luke] may have
      >known [4Q521] -- or at least have been familiar with the tradition
      that it contains." (p.420)

      Does anyone have the original (Greek?) text for 4Q521? I have only
      seen the translations. I do think that a comparison with Matthew and
      Luke would be useful here.

      >However, since the text is not verbatim from start to finish, it
      >might still be instructive to compare the Greek for Matthew, Luke,
      >and 4Q521 to see if the *differences* provide clues to who borrowed
      >from who.

      It is impossible that 4Q521 could have borrowed from Luke or Matt, so
      the question left is did they know of 4Q521. Verbatim agreement from
      start to finish, however, is not how we determine dependence, since
      few of the texts found in the Matt/Luke double tradition are perfect
      verbatim repoductions. The differences between Luke and Matt in this
      particular saying, however, are extremely minor. That said, I would
      like to see this text in its original language.

      >Furthermore, if there are other agreements between Luke and 4Q521
      >that are not found in Matthew, then the case is strengthened that
      >Luke knew both sources.

      Perhaps, though I would still be cautious, as any two similarly
      themed documents can have entirely coincidental similarities. For
      now I would like to see the original text of 4Q521, as this may prove
      to be very interesting.

      Peace,

      Brian Trafford
      Calgary, AB, Canada
    • Ted Weeden
      Dear Listers, I had indicated two weeks ago that I would submit my own response to responses of others re the thread Messiah in spite of himself in an
      Message 76 of 76 , Dec 18, 2003
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        Dear Listers,

        I had indicated two weeks ago that I would submit my own response to
        responses of others re the thread "Messiah in spite of himself" in an
        article which Jeffrey Gibson has offered to upload to the Xtalk articles
        page. With the demand of other matters, it has taken far longer than I had
        envisioned to complete the article. And with the holidays at hand, it
        looks like I cannot get this article out until after the first of the year.
        I plan in the article not only to deal with matters related to the "Messiah"
        thread but also to incorporate in it issues related to the "4Q521" thread
        and the "Gospel of Mary Magdalene" thread, which I had introduced.

        Happy holidays to you all.

        Ted Weeden
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