//
you're reading...
From the Bookshelf

Torah as Interpreted Torah

In an essay entitled “Paul and James on the Law in the Light of the Dead Sea Scrolls,” Martin Abegg incisively observes that

The interpretation of the law, which had been revealed by God, is the focus of the phrase “works of the law” [at Qumran]. . . . No doubt the emphasis is on Torah in its entirety (see 1QS 8.1–2) but “obeying the law” was in accordance with the correct interpretation, that which had been revealed by God. . . . [T]he phrase does not simply mean “works of the law as God has commanded,” but rather “works of the law that God has commanded and revealed fully only to us” (72–73; italics original).

Thus, at least to a great degree, Torah functions not so much as it is in itself but as it is interpreted by the Qumran community. For this preeminently defining element, opposing interpretations were not credible (e.g., CD 1:13–2:1; 4Q266 f2i:21–f2ii:2). Consequently, entering and remaining in the community necessarily implied returning and adhering to Torah, where Torah was understood according to the proper conception of Torah that the community believed itself to have (e.g., CD 15:12–13; 1QS 5:8–10, 20–22; 4Q271 f4ii:3).


In this post:

Christian Beginnings and the Dead Sea Scrolls

John Collins and Craig Evans

About David Stark

Professor and Distance Education Administrator

Discussion

3 thoughts on “Torah as Interpreted Torah

  1. I can see that this way of approaching the subject would make it much easier to communicate to church members the complexity of the issue Paul is facing in his discussions, particularly in Galatians and Romans. Thanks for this quote!

    Posted by Joseph Kelly | February 23, 2010, 10:17 pm
    • Good point. Seen from a hermeneutical perspective other than the one Paul developed in relation to Jesus, Torah would have looked and did look much different—not least to the Saul who had murderously persecuted the church (!). So, consideration of the alternative, hermeneutical perspectives that Paul raises and then discards can be a very useful exercise when reading him and one that does, as you observed, seem to be an effective way of way of developing an explanation of the argument in which Paul engages in Romans and Galatians.

      Posted by David Stark | February 24, 2010, 5:57 am

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Pingback: Biblical Studies Carnival LI « Anumma - March 1, 2010

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Current and Recent Reading

Anselm, Major Works Driver, "Brevard Childs" Knowles, "The Legends of King Arthur and His Knights" Williams, How to Read the Bible David Washburn, "Biblical Passages in the Dead Sea Scrolls"

Powered by

WTSBooks    Dropbox    ubuntuone-app-icon
Amazon.com

Licensing Information

Creative Commons License
This site and its content are licensed by J. David Stark under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License. The views expressed here are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect those of any other person(s) or institution(s).
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 768 other followers

%d bloggers like this: