- Taschenbuch: 560 Seiten
- Verlag: Main Street; Auflage: Anchor Bible Re. (31. Dezember 1996)
- Sprache: Englisch
- ISBN-10: 0385481217
- ISBN-13: 978-0385481212
- Größe und/oder Gewicht: 15,2 x 2,5 x 22,9 cm
- Durchschnittliche Kundenbewertung: 1 Kundenrezension
- Amazon Bestseller-Rang: Nr. 2.383.973 in Fremdsprachige Bücher (Siehe Top 100 in Fremdsprachige Bücher)
Reclaiming the Dead Sea Scroll: Background of Christianity, Judaism and the Lost Library of Qumran (Anchor Bible Reference Library) (Englisch) Taschenbuch – 31. Dezember 1996
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Controversy has surrounded the Dead Sea Scrolls ever since they were first discovered in caves bordering the Dead Sea. What is their true meaning? What revelations do they hold about Judaism and about the origins of Christianity? In this bestseller Schiffman lifts the shroud of mystery and conspiracy that has obscured their true meaning, proving that many of the scrolls have been incorrectly translated and misinterpreted.
Dead Sea Scrolls expert Lawrence H. Schiffman shifts attention away from the sensationalism surrounding who has control of the scrolls by focusing on how these texts shed light on the history of Judaism and early Christianity. -- Dieser Text bezieht sich auf eine andere Ausgabe: Taschenbuch.Alle Produktbeschreibungen
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Schiffman presents the controversies surrounding the editing and publication of the Dead Sea Scrolls. These controversies were based in part on pettiness, professional jealously, etc. Yet, Schiffman also informs readers that some of these controversies were based on honest differences of opinion. An interesting feature of this book is the photo plates of some of "the players" involved in this controversy. One of the scholars involved in interpreting and publishing the scrolls was Ben Zion Wacholder whose was one of the professors this reviewer's son while in graduate school at Hebrew Union College in Cincinatti, Ohio. Schiffman gives a detailed yet clear picture of the scholars involved and explains why there was controversy and what the differences were.
Schiffman also explained the cultural mileau in Palestine and Judea during the time that the Scrolls were written (c.400 BC-200 AD). Devout Jews were caught in cultural conflict between Hellenistic Greek influences and later Roman influences especially after 63 BC. Schiffman explains that these differences were serious and led what may be called the Maccabean Wars (c.175 BC-163 BC). Schhiffman showed that not only were there conflicts between religious Jews and their Greek and later Roman rulers, but these influences caused internal conflict among religious Jews themselves. For Christians this helps explain the mention between Saduccess and Pharisees mentioned in the New Testament. For those who seek a biblical background of the Jewish vs. Greek conflicts, the books of First Maccabees and Second Maccabees, which are found in Catholic Bibles, are the biblical sources. As an aside, religious Jews celebrate Hanukkah to commerate the Maccabean struggle against the Greeks. Schoffman's book helps readers to better understand this conflict.
An important feature of THE DEAD SEAS SCROLLS is the maps and geography of the sites where the Scrolls were found. Alert readers should understand that the Dead Sea Scrolls were written over a long period of time in response to outside political pressures and internal Jewish conflicts. Some of the Scrolls contain parts of the Hebrew Bible (Old Testament)and are some of the earliest examples of books of the Bible that we know of. Readers should note that some of the biblical books found in The Dead Sea Scrolls are different and either shorter or longer than those contained in contemporary bibles. This is a good topic to investigate.
Most scholars and historians think that memebers of the Essenes wrote and edited The Dead Sea Scrolls. One interpretation of these men is that they isolated themselves from both Roman and secular Jewish influences. Schiffman exlained that these men may have been pacifists, but some scholars disagree in that the Essenes were not always so peaceful. The debate is based in part that the Qumran site was a fortress for militant activity. Schiffmann effective argued that this site was NOT a military fortress.
Schiffman further how The Dead Sea Scrolls assist in explaining both the origins of Christianity and the development of Rabbinic Judaism. In other words, The Dead Sea Scrolls are the exclusive domain of either religion. Schiffman makes a good case that THE MISHNA and THE TALMUD were base in part on these scrolls. Schiffman gave both Christians and religious Jews a clear explanation of how THE DEAD SEA SCROLLS contributed to both relisions.
Essentially Schiffman presented a readable account that should satisfy reasonable men whether they are Christian or Jew. Honest scholarship and honest/reasonable debate can coexist if scholars can shed their personal and professional jealously. Serious readers should give this book the serious attention it deserves.
As for the substance of the book itself, there is some disappointment there, also. It appears to be a very good draft of a not-quite-edited book. There are often shifts between the documents found at Qumran (the Dead Sea Scrolls) and those found elsewhere at other times. Although the documents are named when being discussed, the general reader is often left to ponder the sources, the origins, and the relative dates of the documents.
At the beginning, there are several tables that illustrate in detail points that could have been made in summary. For example, there is a table setting forth the age of various Dead Sea Scrolls as calibrated by Carbon-14 dating. The table even includes the number of samples of particular scrolls tested, although the meaning of those numbers is not apparent to a non-expert reader, and not explained by the author--yet there is an entire column of data. (p. 32). On the next page is a graphic showing that the Carbon-14 dating of the scrolls was not that far off from the dating performed by paleographic scholars or explicit dates set forth in the scroll itself. Whether the table distorts the statistics would not be apparent to any non-expert, so the point would just have been better made by authorial assertion. On the very next page is a pie chart illustrating the percentage distribution of the Dead Sea Scrolls among Biblical materials, sectarian material peculiar to the Qumran community, non-sectarian material, and unidentified material. Why the percentages are important is not disclosed. Moreover, it is not even clear whether the percentages refer to the number of separate documents or to the bulk of the documents--in other words, do the percentages refer to the number of separate works or to the number (and size) of pages? A table that would be helpful is a list of every book discussed, where it was found, the language in which it was written, and the approximate date of its composition. For example, in Chapter 19 the author discusses "The Assumption of Moses" in a single brief paragraph. This text is not mentioned anywhere else in the entire book. A non-specialist is in the dark as to what this esoteric text may be, or any other information that would shed light on its significance. Indeed, the author adds to the puzzle when he states that the text is "written in either Hebrew or Aramaic." Can it be that the author does not know in which language it is written? Is there more than one text of it, written in different languages? We do not know. The author tells us, unhelpfully, that the text was written "most probably around the turn of the era." (p. 321). Which era?
The want of an editor's pen is noted in unnecessary repetitions. On pages 276 the Qumran community's limits of travel on the Sabbath are set forth: "..on the Sabbath one was permitted to walk only one thousand cubits (about 1,500 feet or 450 meters) beyond the city limits." But the second text notes an exception: in order to pasture an animal, one could go another thousand cubits..." A few pages later (pages 282-83), the same information is given: "The sect had two Sabbath limits: One permitted a person to walk only one thousand cubits beyond the city; if one were pasturing an animal, one could go an additional thousand."
Similarly, one is frustrated when the author quotes a passage that is unambiguous in its meaning, and then unnecessarily paraphrases the passage:
"'He (the king) shall choose for himself from them (those he has mustered) one thousand from each tribe to be with him, twelve thousand warriors, who will not leave him alone, lest he be captured by the nations. And all those selected whom he shall choose shall be trustworthy men, who fear God, who spurn unjust gain, and mighty men of war. They shall be with him always, day and night, so that they will guard him from any sinful thing, and from a foreign nation, lest he be captured by them. (TEMPLE SCROLL 57:5-11)'
The king is also required to select twelve thousand men, one thousand from each tribe, to serve as a palace guard. They must never leave him, lest he be captured by foreign enemies. The members of the guard are to be honest, God-fearing men, of the highest military prowess."
Pp. 269-70. Another example:
"'For Jerusalem is the camp of holiness, and it is the place which He (God) chose from all the tribes of Israel, for Jerusalem is the chief of the camps of Israel. (HALAKHIC LETTER B58-62)'
Only Jerusalem has this exalted status since God chose it. Furthermore, for legal purposes the city is the equivalent of the wilderness camp."
For all of the author's insistence on the complexity of the Jewish world with the many sects and communities during the time of the Qumran community, he dismisses the century after that with the simplistic notion that the rise of Christianity caused a Jewish consensus by the year 132 C.E. He concludes that the Jews unified against the Christians as a competing group for the "mantle of the true Israel." P. 404. This is despite the fact that many early Christians continued to worship in Synagogues for a couple of centuries. See, e.g., When Christians Were Jews, by Wayne Daniel Berard. Why the splintered groups would coalesce in the face of the common enemy of Christianity when they did not unite against the much more powerful Romans is not addressed.
Overall, reading the book is like hearing one conclusory position in a scholarly debate, without hearing the responses from the other scholars, or without having the specialized knowledge required to determine whose opinion would be more plausible. Even so, I learned a lot about the different Jewish doctrines of the first centuries B.C.E. and C.E., as well as about the archeological remains at Qumran.