The Scribalization of Prophecy in Ancient Judaism
Primary Text to Read:
· The Habakkuk Pesher (focus on col. 7; from Vermes, The Complete Dead Sea Scrolls in English)
Secondary Texts to Read:
· George Brooke, “Prophecy and Prophets in the Dead Sea Scrolls: Looking Backwards and Forwards” (from Floyd and Haak, Prophets, Prophecy and Prophetic Texts, 2006)
· Shani Berrin, “Pesharim” (from Encyclopedia of the Dead Sea Scrolls)
Guidelines for Reading: Figure out which texts of the Habakkuk Pesher are citations of Habakkuk, and which are interpretations of those cited verses. Ask yourself: what are the major concerns of the author of the pesher that guide his interpretation of the book of Habakkuk?
Reading Response 13: The Teacher of Righteousness is the epithet of the founder of the Dead Sea sect, a movement that began in Israel during the second century BCE. Read column 7 of the Habakkuk Pesher. The text does not depict the Teacher of Righteousness conveying the word of God, in the manner of earlier prophets such as Jeremiah or Ezekiel. Rather the Teacher is presented as a divinely inspired interpreter of prophetic texts. Mention one point the assigned reading by Brooke brings up that helps you understand this topic. Give your own sense of why it is significant that in period (second-first centuries BCE) there is a strong emphasis on prophetic books, seemingly more so than on actual prophets.
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