The Dead Sea Scrolls and the writings of St Paul

McNaught, Samuel Murdoch (1970) The Dead Sea Scrolls and the writings of St Paul. MTh(R) thesis, University of Glasgow.

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Abstract

This thesis postulates some kind of contact, direct or otherwise, between the Dead Sea Scrolls and the Pauline Epistles. On examination of these two sets of documents certain similarities of thought and expression were noted. These similarities are noted in detail, and given extensive examination and comment. Differences, too, are noted and examined. After an Introduction, the thesis is divided into seven chapters as follows:- Chapter One An examination of the nature of the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls and an examination of their contents. Attention is paid to the authorship and ownership of the scrolls and the reasons for their being put in the caves. The link with the ruins at Qumran is examined, and the identity of the former inhabitants. They are found to be the ancient sect of the Essenes, who lived at Qumran, and who hid their library, possibly at the approach of the Roman forces around the year 68 A.D. Chapter Two An extensive treatment of the Theology of the Dead Sea Scrolls and the Pauline Epistles. The subjects of Predestination and Justification are regarded as the most important for this study. Texts are listed and a common background in Judaism found. Chapter Three The Eschatology of the Scrolls and the Epistles is dealt with here. This is subdivided under three headings;- The Resurrection, the Messiah and the Final Battle. Texts are again examined and scholarly opinion assessed. A common background is found in Old Testament, Apocryphal and Intertestamental literature. No direct contact, but sharing of a common heritage of ideas. Chapter Four Chapter Four The Sacramental aspects of the two sets of texts are looked at in this chapter. Again the chapter is sub-divided into two headings;- The Sacramental Meal and Baptism. Here there is found to be a very close affinity of thought and texts are given to support this theory. Chapter Five The Ethics of the Scrolls and the Epistles are dealt with in this chapter. There is a short Appendix dealing with certain lists of virtues and vices in both sets of documents. In this subject there are many instances of close verbal similarity and expression of thought. These similarities are often quite strong. But at the last there is only a common background in sectarian Judaism to postulate as an indirect link. Chapter Six This is a very short chapter dealing with the hypothesis that during his three years in Arabia, Paul came into contact with the Essenes at either Qumran itself or in the city of Damascus. No definite conclusion is arrived at, although the balance is weighed on the side of some personal contact between the two parties at some place and time. Chapter Seven This concluding chapter is divided into four parts;- a review of studies on the Scrolls and the relative importance of the Scrolls in Biblical studies; a similar treatment of Pauline studies and the relative importance of Paul in Christian thought; a review of the conclusions of each chapter of this thesis; and a final conclusion. Note that most quotations from the Scrolls are from the translation by Dr. Geza Vermes (1) and the Biblical quotations from the Revised Standard Version of the Bible.

Item Type: Thesis (MTh(R))
Qualification Level: Masters
Additional Information: Adviser: William Barclay
Keywords: Theology
Date of Award: 1970
Depositing User: Enlighten Team
Unique ID: glathesis:1970-73914
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 14 Jun 2019 08:56
Last Modified: 14 Jun 2019 08:56
URI: http://theses.gla.ac.uk/id/eprint/73914

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