Tag Archives: Dead Sea Scrolls

Rekindling the Word – Review

Rekindling the WordWhen historians look at their sources, they are very interested in how close they can get to the events. It is not always as simple as the oldest sources being the most accurate, but it is a factor.

Carsten Peter Thiede, in Rekindling the Word, argues for some early dates for certain Gospel fragments. Much of the book deals with the Magdalen papyrus of Matthew’s Gospel. This fragment has been dated to a variety of centuries, but Thiede argues for a first century date. This would be remarkable if true. Unfortunately, Thiede’s position is definitely a minority and it is likely that it is later.

Thiede also agrees with the claim that a portion of Mark’s Gospel was found among the Dead Sea Scrolls. This would also give us a valuable first century Gospel fragment. In this case, the controversy is not the date but the identity. Most scholars reject that the fragment in question is from Mark.

I wasn’t really convinced by Thiede’s claims. However, the book was quite interesting in terms of Gospel origins, the role of Peter and how manuscripts were created. Anyone interested in Christian origins will appreciate Rekindling the Word, even if they don’t agree with Thiede’s conclusions.

Episode 26 – Jewish Texts You Need to Know About

History of ChristianityChristianity emerged out of Judaism. We have already looked at the Jewish background of Christianity. While there are many ways for us to learn about Judaism, one important way is to look at Jewish texts. Certain texts of Jewish origin were very influential on either Judaism or Christianity. In this episode we look at Tanak, Septuagint, Apocrypha, Pseudepigrapha, Dead Sea Scrolls, Philo and Josephus. The Letter of Aristeas was mentioned in the context of both the Septuagint and the Pseudepigrapha. You can read it online here.

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