The New Testament is of prime importance for understanding early Jewish and Christian messianism and eschatology. Yet often the New Testament presumes a background and context of belief without fully articulating it. Early Jewish and Christian messianism and eschatology, after all, did not emerge in a vacuum; they developed out of early Jewish hopes that had their roots in the Old Testament. A knowledge of early Jewish literature, and especially of the Dead Sea Scrolls from Qumran, is essential for understanding the shape of these ideas at the turn of the era.
In Eschatology, Messianism, and the Dead Sea Scrolls, Craig A. Evans and Peter W. Flint have assembled eight essays from outstanding scholars who address the issue from a variety of angles. After an introduction by the editors, successive essays deal with the Old Testament foundations of messianism; the figure of Daniel at Qumran; the Teacher of Righteousness; the expectation of the end in the Scrolls; and Jesus, Paul, and John seen in light of Qumran. These essays originated at a conference for a lay audience and retain much of the popular appeal they had when first delivered. The usefulness of the volume as a resource for students, pastors, and interested laypeople is enhanced by a select bibliography and indexes.
Craig A. Evans is John Bisagno Distinguished Professor of Christian Origins and dean of the School of Christian Thought at Houston Baptist University. His many other books include From Jesus to the Church: The First Christian Generation, Fabricating Jesus: How Modern Scholars Distort the Gospels, and Jesus and the Jihadis: Confronting the Rage of ISIS — The Theology Driving the Ideology.
Peter W. Flint (1951–2016) was associate professor of biblical studies and codirector of the Dead Sea Scrolls Institute at Trinity Western University in Langley, British Columbia, Canada.
Bibliotheca Orientalis "A valuable and stimulating piece of work."
Catholic Biblical Quarterly "Both the series and the institute promise to make valuable contributions to scholarship."
Choice "This superb volume inaugurates a new series aimed at 'readers of all levels.' Based on this collection, well conceived and well edited by two faculty members at Trinity Western University, the series is off to an exceptionally auspicious beginning. Each of the eight authors...makes a sincere, honest, and almost always successful attempt to bridge the gap between specialist and general readers, and everyone else in between. . . Whether readers choose to read the articles in order or sample them at various times, they will be richly rewarded with new insights into how the Dead Sea Scrolls, judiciously interpreted, increase our understanding of 'end of the world' expectations and speculations in conjunction with, as well as independent of, Messianic figure(s). Warmly and unhesitatingly recommended for interested readers, and their libraries, at all levels."
James A. Sanders —Claremont Graduate School "This volume offers solid scholarship on what is really important in determining how to understand early Christian claims about Jesus as 'messiah.'"
James H. Charlesworth —Princeton Theological Seminary "This interesting book helps clarify why the Dead Sea Scrolls are paradigmatically important for the study of Christian origins and the New Testament."
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