The use of Isaiah in the Sibylline Oracles, Qumran literature and Romans (a source-influence study).
PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.
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This thesis is a comparative study of the influence of the Book of Isaiah on the Sibylline Oracles, (some of) the Qumran sectarian writings and Romans. Equal time and energy have been devoted to studying the use of Isaiah by Paul and some of his kinspeople such as the Jewish Sibyls who are responsible for the Jewish material in Sibylline Oracles 3 and 5 and the Qumran sectarians. This enables a comparison between Paul and other Jewish writers in order that better appreciation of the distinctive features of the Apostle's use of Scripture, both hermeneutical and theological, may be achieved.
To attain this goal, I have utilized the source-influence approach and the concept of "contextual circles", seeking to appraise from different angles in what way and how much these writers were influenced by the sayings of their predecessor Isaiah. My study has led to the conclusion that the legacy of Isaiah in the Jewish Sibyls, the Qumran sectarians, and especially Paul is profound. Not only in their language have traces of the Isaianic influence readily been found; also in their ideological/theological thinking and beliefs, the Isaianic tradition plays a significant part.
These writers, in utilizing the Isaianic material, all expressed a deep concern about the future of Israel. Despite this, however, they developed very different understandings of the implications of the prophet's vision about it. Regarding hermeneutical techniques, Paul shows little sign of difference from his fellow Jewish writers, except that a very distinct dimension of "alreadyness" is exhibited in his exposition/appropriation of the prophet's sayings. Most importantly, both the Third Sibyl and Paul utilized the Isaianic material that concerns the destiny of the nations vis-à-vis Israel's eschatological revival. However, unlike Paul, the Sibyl failed to see that, in God's salvific plan of all humanity, the salvation of Israel is paradoxically tied up with that of the nations into one complex of eschatological event.
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