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Fwd: Detailed online documentation of 4Q521

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  • Bob Schacht
    ... My thanks to Richard for this online resource with its very detailed analysis of 4Q521 and the OT and NT parallels. Just to highlight a few conclusions: *
    Message 1 of 3 , Dec 3, 2003
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      >From: "Richard H. Anderson" <randerson58@...>
      >To: <bobschacht@...>
      >Date: Wed, 3 Dec 2003 16:29:41 -0500
      >
      >De Wit's site 4Q521
      >http://www.th.vu.nl/~willem/4q.htm
      >
      >
      >Richard H. Anderson

      My thanks to Richard for this online resource with its very detailed
      analysis of 4Q521 and the OT and NT parallels.
      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.]
      * "Because of the shared tradition, it is unlikely that parallels
      between 4Q521 and New Testament are mere accidents. " (Chapter 3.1.2)
      * 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.'[1] 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.
      * Chapter 4, the conclusions, concludes with the following: "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. 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.
      If these conclusions are correct, any future study on Jesus' messianity
      should take 4Q521 into account."
      Bob
      Robert M. Schacht, Ph.D.
      Northern Arizona University
      Flagstaff, AZ

      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • Brian Trafford
      ... 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,
      Message 2 of 3 , Dec 3, 2003
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        --- In crosstalk2@yahoogroups.com, Bob Schacht <bobschacht@i...>
        wrote:
        >
        > >From: "Richard H. Anderson" <randerson58@c...>
        > >To: <bobschacht@i...>
        > >Date: Wed, 3 Dec 2003 16:29:41 -0500
        > >
        > >De Wit's site 4Q521
        > >http://www.th.vu.nl/~willem/4q.htm
        > >
        > >
        > >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
        >3.1.2)

        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
        http://www.th.vu.nl/~willem/4q.htm

        "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.'[1] 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.

        Brian Trafford
        Calgary, AB, Canada
      • Richard H. Anderson
        I want to thank Brian and Bob for sharing 4Q521 with me. (grin) I was so impressed that I asked Dr. Willem-Jan de Wit if he would participate in a discussion
        Message 3 of 3 , Dec 4, 2003
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          I want to thank Brian and Bob for sharing 4Q521 with me. (grin)

          I was so impressed that I asked Dr. Willem-Jan de Wit if he would
          participate in a discussion of 4Q521. I hope no one is offended that I have
          unilaterally taken this step. I urge everyone to take advantage of this
          unique opportunity. I would like the questions posted to the list so
          everyone will know what has been asked in the hope that the posting will
          encourage more questions. Please post to "Questions for Dr. de Wit on
          4Q521". Thank you.

          Richard H. Anderson

          > >
          > >De Wit's site 4Q521
          > >http://www.th.vu.nl/~willem/4q.htm
          > >
          > >
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