The Pesharim and Qumran History

The Pesharim and Qumran History : Chaos or Consensus


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Since their discovery among the Dead Sea Scrolls, the Pesharim have sparked intense debate. Are these ancient documents biblical commentary, or are they historiographies alluding to figures and events of the time? Charlesworth demonstrates that these 16 books do indeed contain historical allusions and relates these references to a synopsis of Qumran history.

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  • Paperback | 188 pages
  • 173.7 x 222.5 x 13.5mm | 290.3g
  • 03 Jan 2003
  • William B Eerdmans Publishing Co
  • Grand Rapids
  • English
  • 1, black & white illustrations
  • 0802839886
  • 9780802839886
  • 1,086,679

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Among the Dead Sea Scrolls found at Qumran are sixteen of theearliest known biblical commentaries, the "Pesharim." Since theirdiscovery, researchers have been in intense debate about their truenature. In this fascinating volume James Charlesworth introducesthe Pesharim to general readers and makes a signal contribution toour understanding of these invaluable ancient documents.Ought these Jewish writings be viewed as historiography in theguise of biblical commentary, or are they simply examples of theway the Qumran community read and interpreted the Hebrewscripture? Charlesworth takes the middle path in this debate, demonstratingthat there are indeed important historical allusions in thePesharim. In the course of the book, he provides a summary of theinterpretive methods used in the Pesharim, isolates the historicalallusions in them, and relates these allusions to a synopsis of Qumranhistory. The volume also includes appendixes by Lidija Novakovic(Bethel College) that explain exegetical terminology and citescriptural quotations.Completely up-to-date, reliable, and highly readable, this bookis an important addition to the literature on the Dead Sea Scrolls.

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