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Significance of the Dead Sea Scrolls and other Essays

Biblical and Early Christianity Studies from Malawi

Jonathan S. Nkhoma

Publication Year: 2013

Jonathan Nkhoma, in this scholarly collection of essays, enriches the reader with different interesting windows on how one can unearth the riches contained in some of the New Testament writings. The first two essays underscore the importance of placing the New Testament in a proper context and attempt to construct this context by discussing the historical background and the theological understanding of the Qumran Covenanters as derived from the Dead Sea Scrolls. Jonathan Nkhoma treats many aspects touching the proper interpretation of the New Testament writings. For example, he shows how the sacramental rituals of washing and eating together in the Qumran Community add meaning to the same rituals carried over to the New Testament. The significance of table fellowship is treated in greater depth in a subsequent essay. Throughout the various essays the question of the historicity of the various texts is treated in a succinct way and the author is able to come to some helpful conclusions drawing on the previous work of many well know scholars. The later essays tackle the very difficult question of martyrdom and Jonathan Nkhoma delves into the history of two particular cases in order to shed light on this difficult subject. All essays are written in impeccable English which flows in an easy style. This collection of essays would be invaluable to anyone who would wish to make a serious study of the New Testament writings.

Published by: African Books Collective

Title Page, Copyright Page

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pp. 2-4


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pp. 3-5

Abbreviations for Qumran Literature

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pp. 4-6

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pp. 5-6

The present book offers an opportunity to bring together selected essays prepared over the past few years. The book has fifteen essays touching on various issues in Biblical Studies and Early Christianity, ranging from the history and life of the Qumran covenanters, a Jewish religious sect that lived along the Dead Sea ...

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Chapter One - Significance of the Dead Sea Scrolls: History and Practice of the Qumran Community

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pp. 8-22

The initial scholarly response to the Dead Sea Scrolls was an awareness of the contribution they would make to our understanding of the Old Testament. Soon, however, scholarly opinion shifted to their significance to the New Testament as the Christian public longed for an explanation of their relationship to early Christianity. ...

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Chapter Two - Significance of the Dead Sea Scrolls: Theology of the Qumran Community

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pp. 23-43

In the previous chapter, I discussed the history of the Qumran community and some of their practices. The community also achieved significant developments in theological reflection. In this chapter I shall look at their theological perspectives in relation to the New Testament. I will focus on dualism, eschatology, sacraments, the after-life and on religious language. ...

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Chapter Three - The Old Testament and Jewish Hermeneutics

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pp. 44-56

There is no handy rule by which to explain the manner in which the New Testament writers use their Scriptures which to us are represented more or less by the Old Testament of the Christian Bible or the Hebrew Bible. This situation has led to misunderstanding among scholars as to how the two testaments relate to each other in terms of scriptural interpretation. ...

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Chapter Four - New Testament Exegesis of the Old Testament

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pp. 57-89

In this chapter I shall look at major approaches to the exegesis of the Old Testament which the New Testament writers took. It has already been hinted that these approaches were not exclusively Christian but rather that they were shared with Jewish scholarship at large. ...

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Chapter Five - Discipleship in Matthew: A Redaction - Critical Study

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pp. 90-95

Matthew has used his sources to construct a broad portrayal of discipleship. His idea of a disciple is not limited to the twelve historical disciples of Jesus. It extends to include other followers of Jesus who together form the Matthean community of disciples. Redaction–critical studies have shed much light on this view of discipleship in Matthew’s gospel. ...

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Chapter Six - "Love Your Enemies": A Study of Luke 6:27-36

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pp. 96-103

Jesus’ teaching about loving enemies forms a climactic statement in the new teaching he brings about the kingdom of God. It clearly indicates that the new ethic and the life it presupposes are grounded in the love and mercy of God. Life in the kingdom is to be governed by being merciful even to the undeserving, just as God is merciful to all. ...

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Chapter Seven - Table Fellowship in the Gospel of Luke

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pp. 104-110

Meals play a central role in the Lukan narrative of the gospel. Much of previous Lukan studies approached the question of the role of meals in Luke’s gospel from a historical-theological perspective. It is not until recently that the social dimension of table fellowship in Luke’s contemporary world began to receive much scholarly attention. ...

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Chapter Eight - Acts as History in Ancient Historiography

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pp. 111-121

The genre of the Book of Acts has been a subject for scholarly debate for a long time. There are still divergent views on the subject. Proposals range from ancient lives, through Hellenistic and Jewish historiography, to historical fiction. In this chapter I argue that Acts of the Apostles is a standard ancient historiography with a strong Jewish apologetic motif. ...

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Chapter Nine - History of the Johannine Community: Its Possibility and Legitimacy

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pp. 122-126

The attempt to reconstruct and write a history of the Johannine community is a legitimate and worthwhile task to undertake. This chapter argues that although the task is a difficult one, a reconstruction of the history of a Johannine community helps us better understand the nature and character of the first recipients of the Gospel ...

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Chapter Ten - Water as Revelatory Symbol in John 1-12

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pp. 127-130

The Fourth Gospel more than any other canonical gospel uses symbolic language as a means to communicate its kerygma. In this section of the gospel such themes as life, light, judgment and of course water are woven into the narrative, not in direct progression with each theme developed from beginning to end, but rather in a symphonic way like musical notes. ...

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Chapter Eleven - Ignatius: Martyrdom or Suicide? A Study in Light of His Letter to the Romans

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pp. 131-138

At first glance, one would easily conclude that Ignatius’ death is a suicide case. His willingness to die and the manner in which he arranges and conducts his journey to Rome, refusing to have anyone prevent his impending death through the beasts in the arena would seem to support such a preliminary view. ...

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Chapter Twelve - Martyrdom of Perpetua: Public Spaces and the Early Christian Martyrs

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pp. 139-150

In the early church martyrdom served a number of functions. Martyrdom was viewed as an embodiment of Christian witness both to Christians themselves and to non-Christians. It also served as a process of self-definition for the church as it struggled with its own theological self-understanding. ...

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Chapter Thirteen - Ritual and Symbolism as a Hermeneutical Approach

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pp. 151-160

The study of the New Testament which was previously dominated by philosophical, historical and literary approaches is now coming more and more under the influence of sociological and anthropological methods. New Testament scholars are now turning to the study of the Mediterranean world in search for clues ...

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Chapter Fourteen - The Use of ‘Hallelujah’ and the Malawian Context

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pp. 161-174

This chapter is an attempt to examine its Biblical significance and usage in the worshipping community of Israel and the implication of such usage in the history of the church with special focus on its use in contemporary Christianity, particularly in the Malawian context. ...

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Chapter Fifteen - Gender Differentiation in the Bible: Created and Recognized

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pp. 175-198

The thesis of the chapter is that according to the Bible, gender differentiation is created and recognized (accepted).1 In light of this assertion, it will be demonstrated that apparent marginalization of the women folk in society2 based on their feminine gender is not inherent in creation.3 ...

Back cover

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p. 200-200

E-ISBN-13: 9789990800371
Print-ISBN-13: 9789996027048

Page Count: 198
Publication Year: 2013