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Mapping the New Testament

Early Christian Writings as a Witness for Jewish Biblical Exegesis

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Serge Ruzer

This volume discusses links between the exegetical trends current in various Second Temple Jewish circles and patterns of New Testament conversation with Jewish Scripture. The standard focus on Jewish background of Christianity is complemented here by an alternative direction: the “mapping” of New Testament evidence as the early witness to more general trends attested in their fully developed form only later, in rabbinic literature. The question that dominates much of the discussion is: How can the New Testament be used for creating a fuller picture of Second Temple Jewish exegesis?
The book deals with a representative variety of samples from different layers of the New Testament tradition: Synoptic Gospels, Pauline Epistles and Acts.
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Serge Ruzer

The article discerns in both Qumranic sources and in those coming from the nascent Jesus movement responses to their shared experience of disappointment vis-à-vis postponement of the expected redemption. The discussion, focusing on 1QpHab and a number of New Testament epistles, highlights the usage in this context of the language of God’s mystery, standing for reinterpretation of redemption-centered prophecies and their adjustment to a new timetable. While no clear direct links can be posited, the comparative study of the texts independently penned within the two eschatological groups allows to single out an underlying more general late Second Temple religious pattern of coping with delay in the anticipated end-of-days deliverance.