Why should we care about the DSS? New post on theLAB

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Tavis Bohlinger | Forum Activity | Posted: Sat, Feb 18 2017 8:08 AM

In light of the recent discovery of Cave 12, the Logos Academic Blog has some thoughts on the relevance of the DSS for biblical scholarship: https://academic.logos.com/why-should-we-care-about-the-dead-sea-scrolls/

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Denise | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Feb 18 2017 8:33 AM

Nice write-up, Tavis. And timely too (pre-pub deathlists).

DSS is a curiousity. On the solid side, it offers some earlier Biblical manuscripts that few translations use. But they do feel good.

On the quishy side, you basically can't nail much of anything down, beyond Jodi's volume (your intro image).

- A single data point (or maybe not, who knows?)

- Who, when, why, how ... all unknowns. All great scholarly opinions.

So, given your title, I'd say 'no'. DSS simply offers a host of questions that don't deliver. Fun to read, yes. The contrarian.

"I didn't know God made honky tonk angels."

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Tavis Bohlinger | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Feb 18 2017 9:18 AM

All good thoughts, Denise. Thanks for the engagement with the post. I would enjoy hearing your thoughts (here or in the comments section of the blog itself) regarding the use of the DSS in NT studies, my personal field of research. INHO, Barclay does a fine job of using the DSS in a comparative study with Paul, specifically Romans and Galatians. Have you read it?

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Denise | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Feb 18 2017 10:31 AM

Ok, first, what's the peak in your avatar? Curious.

Answering, I haven't read Barclay and he's priced out of my budget, absent a sale. Even Kindle. I guess there's practicalities! I used my $25 on hebrew typology and dating. Too many choices.

Regarding DSS and the NT, I look at the problem (DSS) as 30 guys in caves. How relevant? The '30' is the likely population at any given time. The 'caves' are 'where did they live?'. Representative of anything?  Why?  At least John the Baptist got the attention of the roman leadership. It's not easy sending word from Tiberius to Machareus, only to see him resurrected later.

I emphasize 'DSS' (Qumran). My favorite book is Damascus Covenant, which indeed is far more significant visa viz the NT. My guess is Paul's Damascus is not by accident (nor Antioch, thense 'Arabia').

"I didn't know God made honky tonk angels."

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LogosEmployee
Tavis Bohlinger | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Feb 18 2017 12:09 PM

That is Mt. Baker; amazing site to behold, especially when out on the trails. 

Barclay is worth the read, so keep an eye out for it, or BBS.

The relevance is a bit greater than I think you are envisioning it. Remember, we have remarks in Josephus et al regarding the sect of the Essenes, and whether that is the particular community that produced the DSS or not, these groups did receive attention in their day. In fact, they received enough attention from the roman authorities to have their sectarian lifestyle drastically upended when Rome had enough of the Jewish presence in ancient Palestine, compelling these people to hide away their most precious treasures, the scrolls. 

Ultimately, the relevance is in the fact that these finds, and other texts from 2TJ, provide explicit evidence of the fact that there were real people engaging with texts they considered to be the word of God, and were living their lives accordingly. The differences in their interpretive practices, especially from the NT authors, is where things get really interesting, and result in fruitful research. 

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Denise | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Feb 18 2017 1:05 PM

Well, my early exegesis of your avatar included volcanic, at one time glaciated, and temperate zone! I've flown by it many times, but knew not its identity. I guessed much further south.

Well, essenes. Ok. We better leave that one alone. But hopefully others will have comments.

"I didn't know God made honky tonk angels."

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LogosEmployee
Tavis Bohlinger | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Feb 18 2017 1:07 PM

Cheers :)

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