|About the Book|
The Essene community of the Dead Sea Scrolls and the Christian communities of the New Testament shared this in common: they each thought of themselves as a community living in the last days. Here lies a fascinating perspective for exploring theMoreThe Essene community of the Dead Sea Scrolls and the Christian communities of the New Testament shared this in common: they each thought of themselves as a community living in the last days. Here lies a fascinating perspective for exploring the relationship between the Dead Sea Scrolls and the New Testament.The full publication of the Dead Sea Scrolls was a 1990s media event. The significance of these texts for understanding Second Temple Judaism and early Christianity continues to be explored in a burgeoning industry of scholarly study. Meanwhile, numerous popular books on the scrolls have indulged in sensational and unfounded claims regarding their relationship to early Christianity.In Communities of the Last Days C. Marvin Pate tells the story of the discovery and publication of the Dead Sea Scrolls and introduces us to these ancient Jewish texts and fragments and to the community that produced and collected them. Within this remarkable evidence of a Jewish sectarian community of the first century, he finds an analysis and solution to Israels plight that offers remarkable points of comparison and contrast with early Christianity as we know it from the New Testament. Both communities saw themselves as the true fulfillment of Israels story, the true highway to restoration on the far side of the impasse of Israels exile. But rather than speaking in generalities, this book tackles concrete themes -- messianism, mysticism, exile and eschatology, law and justification, monotheism and covenant, the hermeneutics of restoration, and the reinterpretation of the story and symbols of Israel -- all viewed through a comparison of Qumran and New Testament texts.Communities of the LastDays is an enlightening introduction to one among several diverse Judaisms of the first century and a reminder that Jesus and early Christianity were firmly rooted in first-century Judaism.