On November 3, 2016 the field of Dead Sea Scrolls studies said farewell to one of its own. Born on January 21, 1951 in Johannesburg, South Africa, Peter W. Flint passed away at the age of sixty-five. There is indeed much to reflect and remember from Peter’s life which included three decades of research and publication on the Qumran finds. At once a citizen of the ivory tower and public servant sharing the Dead Sea Scrolls with any interested in the bible, history, and theology, Peter’s work is marked by the rare quality of making the complex accessible, engaging, meaningful, and even inspiring. Peter was a prolific writer, editor, speaker, and mentor on Dead Sea Scrolls research and made a particular impact in Canada academic culture. Since 1995 Peter was the Co-Director of the Trinity Western University Dead Sea Scrolls Institute and in 2004 was appointed to the Canada Research Chair in Dead Sea Scrolls Studies (Tier 1). All of this was done while proudly wearing a tie with Dead Sea Scrolls fragments strewn across it.
Since 2013, a Festschrift for Peter had been in the works, which will now proceed as a memorial volume slated for publication in the fall of 2017. The volume is entitled, Reading the Bible in Ancient Traditions and Modern Editions: Studies in Memory of Peter W. Flint, was co-edited with Daniel Falk (Penn State) and Kyung Baek (Trinity Western University) and will be published with SBL Press in the Early Judaism and Its Literature Series. During the 2017/18 academic year the Trinity Western University Dead Sea Scrolls Institute will also host a book presentation and colloquium featuring sessions and a public lecture with a selection of contributors to the volume.
Contents and Abstracts of the Peter Flint Memorial Volume
The volume includes twenty-seven essays written by peers and past students of Peter Flint. The following is an annotated table of contents:
Part One: Hebrew Scriptures in Ancient Traditions and Modern Editions
1.1 Forms of Scripture in Antiquity
Eugene Ulrich, “Variant Editions of Biblical Books Revealed by the Qumran Scrolls”
Sparked by the claim of James Sanders and the comprehensive demonstration by Peter Flint that the “Great Psalms Scroll” (11QPsa) is a variant edition of the biblical Psalter, this chapter offers a review of the many variant editions of scriptural books directly or indirectly illuminated by the Dead Sea Scrolls. It then explores the chronological aspects of variant editions, helping refocus assertions about manuscript affiliation and make them more accurate. It challenges the older demarcation between literary criticism and textual criticism, showing how both literary and text-critical phenomena are intertwined and must be examined together. Finally, using the concept of variant editions, it challenges the commonly expressed view that the Masada scriptural scrolls attest to the early dominance of specifically the “proto-MT.”
Emanuel Tov, “The Origins, Development, and Characteristics of the Ancient Translations of the Hebrew Scriptures”
Until the discovery of the Qumran scrolls, our earliest knowledge of the Hebrew Scriptures was found largely in the various ancient translations. As such, translations such as the LXX, Peshitta, Targumim, Vulgate, and others, represent an important and early chapter in the transmission and reception histories of the scriptural texts in Judaism and Christianity. The study of translations from antiquity undertaken here details the various qualities and characteristics of individual translated collections and enterprises, their relationship to others, the question of original forms and subsequent revisions, the development of the sequence of books and canonical shaping, and the plausible date ranges for translations.
Martin G. Abegg, Jr., “Scribal Practice and the Pony in the Manure Pile”
During the preparation of the Dead Sea Scrolls Concordance III: The Biblical Texts from the Judaean Desert, I carefully documented repeated variables in the corpus of the DSS Biblical manuscripts as compared to MT. These variables range from orthographic and morphologic, to various alternations, for a total of 42 distinct components. This study incorporates a statistical methodology to isolate a subset of 19 of these variable components which evidence a particular scribal practice that is virtually identical to that which Emanuel Tov has termed, Qumran Scribal Practice (QSP). In essence the study rediscovers QSP by completely independent means. The statistical approach then allows for an examination of Tov’s results, several additions to his QSP corpus, further conclusions regarding QSP biblical manuscripts, and suggestions for further study.
Timothy H. Lim, “The Emergence of the Samaritan Pentateuch”
In the history of canon research, the study of the formation of the sacred scriptures of the Samaritans has not received the attention that it deserves. The subject of the Samaritan canon is usually discussed in relation to the development of the Pentateuch and the Hebrew Bible. The Samaritan canon serves as a foil to the development of the Jewish Bible and Christian Old Testament. The study of some of the Dead Sea Scrolls has reinvigorated research into this topic. The “pre-Samaritan” text-type has been seen as the base text on which the Samaritans compiled their Pentateuch in the second century BCE. This study contextualizes this research by examining what it is that can be known about the emergence of the Samaritan Pentateuch. It examines the early notices about the canon of the Samaritans and draws on the latest scholarship on the origins of the Samaritans and the excavations on Mt. Gerizim to suggest that the Samaritan Pentateuch may have emerged at the same time as the Jewish Torah.
Steve Delamarter, “The Content and Order of Books in Ethiopic Old Testament Manuscripts”
This study of 332 manuscripts containing books of the Ethiopic Old Testament analyzes the content and order of the books in the manuscripts in order to detect patterns that may speak to conceptions of canon, generally, and more specifically to conceptions of corpora and order of books within those corpora. Further, to the extent that these 332 manuscripts are somewhat representative of the wider manuscript tradition, we can gain some idea of the overall frequency of copying of the individual books within the Ethiopian Orthodox tradition.
1.2 Modern Critical Editions of Ancient Scriptures and Textual Criticism
Gary N. Knoppers, “Toward a Critical Edition of the Samaritan Pentateuch: Reflections on Issues and Methods”
The origins, nature, history, and value of the Samaritan Pentateuch have been controversial topics in the history of biblical criticism during much of the early modern and modern eras. Beginning with a very brief history of research, this essay will discuss how the analysis of the Dead Sea Scrolls has revolutionized our understanding of the development of the Samaritan Pentateuch. Our discussion will proceed to review a pair of currently available editions, Der Hebräische Pentateuch der Samaritaner and The Pentateuch: The Samaritan Version and the Masoretic Version, before concluding with an evaluation of a new major project already well underway, Der Samaritanische Pentateuch.
Michael Segal, “The Hebrew University Bible Project”
The Hebrew University Bible Project (HUBP) aims to publish a diplomatic editio maior of the text of the Hebrew Bible, based upon the Aleppo Codex, with textual variants recorded from as broad a range of sources as possible, spanning almost 2000 years of written sources, including the Dead Sea scrolls; ancient translations into Greek, Latin, Syriac, and Aramaic; quotations in rabbinic literature; Genizah fragments; and medieval manuscripts. The article describes the principles of this edition, with specific emphasis on the base text and each of the four textual apparatuses. The various aspects of the edition are demonstrated through a sample page, which is explained in detail.
Robert J. V. Hiebert, “Exercising Λογισμός: The Delineation of Recensional Activity in Greek 4 Maccabees”
In the process of reconstructing the Old Greek text of 4 Maccabees for my forthcoming edition of this book in the Göttingen Septuaginta series, I have been able to document evidence for systematic recensional activity in some of the manuscript groups. The present essay deals with the kinds of linguistic phenomena that are involved in this aspect of the textual history.
Ronald Hendel, “The Epistemology of Textual Criticism”
Textual criticism is neither an art nor a science. It is also not wholly subjective or a matter of common sense. It belongs to what Carlo Ginzburg calls the “evidential paradigm,” in which individual cases and historical inference are primary traits. For historia textus, the epistemic procedure relies on the “logic of error and innovation,” viz., the historical implications of shared derived innovations. For constitutio textus, the epistemic procedure is “abduction,” or inference to the best explanation. These procedures are common to disciplines in the evidential paradigm, including medical diagnostics, forensics, historiography—and textual criticism.
Sarianna Metso and James M. Tucker, “The Changing Landscape of Editing Ancient Jewish Texts”
This chapter discusses the challenges that the manuscripts found at Qumran pose to traditional textual criticism and to modern editors of ancient Jewish texts. The strict borders between textual and redaction criticism are increasingly difficult to maintain, and a new way of perceiving the task of a textual critic is needed. The emerging field of material philology, which prioritizes the scribal development of a text as distinct from the attempt to reach the “original,” can prove helpful in this respect. The manuscript evidence of 4QCatalogue of Spiritsa (4Q230) and its relationship to the Treatise on the Two Spirits of the Community Rule is analyzed to illuminate the dynamic nature of the Qumran evidence and the conceptual and practical questions an editor needs to address.
Armin Lange, “The Text of the Book of Jeremiah According to Barkhi Nafshi and the Rule of Benedictions”
This contribution studies the employments of the book of Jeremiah in Barki Nafshi and the Rule of Benedictions. The textual affiliation of the Jeremiah-text used in Barkhi Nafshi leans toward Jer-MT. Barkhi Nafshi reads two times with Jer-MT against Jer-LXX and two further times with a part of the Masoretic text tradition against the majority of the Jer-MT manuscripts. The Rule of Benedictions includes in 1QSb 3:26, 5:21 one indirect reminiscence of Jer 31(38):31 of no text critical value.
Donald W. Parry, “A Text Critical Study of Hapax Legomena in MT Isaiah and the Qumran Isaiah Scrolls”
This paper focuses on “absolute” hapax legomena in the Masoretic Text of Isaiah and compares and contrasts them with the various Qumran Isaiah scrolls that attest these rare forms (i.e., 1QIsaa–b, 4QIsaa–d,f–g). After reviewing Masoretic and Rabbinic expressions that indicate hapax legomena as well as modern scholarly definitions of the same, the paper examines text critical variants of hapaxes that exist among these Isaianic Hebrew witnesses. Of the 108 instances of absolute hapax legomena, 1QIsaa is aligned with MT on eighty occasions (textual variants, not orthographic variants); 1QIsaa is nonaligned with MT on thirty-two occasions, and there is one lacuna in the scroll at one point where MT has a hapax legomenon (see 5:13).
Dirk Büchner, “A Commentary on Greek Leviticus 19:1–10”
Commenting on the Septuagint needs to take into account that, as a translation, it was made for an audience that had certain expectations of translated Scripture. It is well-known that the Septuagint closely models the formal shape of its original. A commentator’s primary task, therefore, is to describe as best as he or she can, what process took place so that the Septuagint came to be what it was at its first appearance. This means trying to account for the linguistic relationship between the original text and the translated text. This article endeavors to do this from the first ten verses of Leviticus 19.
Part Two: Recontextualizing Scripture in Early Jewish and Christian Writings
2.1 Dead Sea Scrolls
John J. Collins, “Torah as Narrative and Wisdom in the Dead Sea Scrolls”
Halakhic exegesis of the Torah plays a very prominent part in the Dead Sea Scrolls, and was evidently a major factor in sectarian disputes in the Second Temple period. The Scrolls also attest, however, to a different way of using scripture, as a source for narrative imagination and for wisdom. This essay explores narrative creativity in some of the Aramaic texts from Qumran (1 Enoch, Genesis Apocryphon, Aramaic Levi Document) and also the sapiential use of Torah in 4QInstruction and other wisdom texts from the Scrolls. These non-halakhic uses of Torah were also important in the Second Temple period and have remained important down to modern times.
George J. Brooke, “Further Thoughts on Isaac in the Scrolls from the Qumran Caves”
This paper reconsiders the references to Isaac in the Dead Sea Scrolls. Several scholars have noted that there is virtually no use made of the figure of Isaac in the strictly sectarian compositions, but a little more in quasi-sectarian compositions like Jubilees and the so-called Pseudo-Jubilees. In light of such observations this paper suggests that the clear description of the Teacher of Righteousness as yaḥîd in CD 20:1 and 20:14 might echo Gen 22:2, 12, and 16, and that the association of the Teacher with the period of the activity of the Kittim as divine agents might depend on Isaac’s reference to them as such in Jubilees 24:14–26. Whatever the case, such uses of Isaac traditions as there are appear mostly to be part of earlier rather than later compositions.
Kipp Davis, “’Self-Glorification Hymn(s)’ and the Usage of Scripture in the Context of War: A Study Of ספר התהלים in 4QMa (4Q491) Fragment 17″
Among the smaller fragments of the War Scroll manuscript 4Q491 is one that contains the intriguing designation ספר התהלים (frag. 17 4), that a number of scholars have interpreted as an explicit reference to the book of Psalms from the Hebrew Bible. The complicated history of the manuscript itself has dominated discussions to such a degree that little has been said about the appearance of this term apart from brief musings about the possibility of its referent. In this paper, I will conduct a close examination of frag. 17 along with frag. 16, that likely appeared in close proximity to it. Following a detailed description of their features and contents, I will suggest a placement of these fragments in the same context within the so-called “Self-Glorification Hymn” that appears in frag. 11 i, and then explore the interpretative possibilities behind the source of the term for both the contents of 4Q491, and for discussions about scripture and authority in Second Temple Judaism more generally.
Andrew B. Perrin, “The Textual Forms of Aramaic Levi Document at Qumran”
The present study reconsiders the two recension theory for the textual status of the Aramaic Levi Document in light of the witnesses available in the collections of Qumran, the Cairo Genizah, and Mt. Athos Koutloumousiou monastery. Through a close consideration of three principle passages revealing variations in content and structure—Levi’s prayer, Jacob’s instruction on wood for burnt offering, and Levi’s wisdom discourse—it is argued that the theory of “long” and “short” versions of the composition as a whole is not sustainable. It is concluded that, while the fragmentary evidence for these passages evidences degrees of pluriformity, such differences do not uniformly reflect clearly defined recensions, versions, or literary editions.
John Screnock, “Translation and Rewriting in the Genesis Apocryphon”
The proliferation of scholarship on “rewriting” in the last 20 years has left us with an impressive variety of approaches to the subject. The unfortunate result is that discussions surrounding the nature and definition of rewriting now appear to be at an impasse. In this brief study, I offer an exploration of how the concept of translation might help us clarify what we mean by rewriting. I consider translational aspects of rewriting in the Genesis Apocryphon (GenAp) and, from that basis, suggest that there are two distinct kinds of rewriting contained in GenAp.
Eileen Schuller, “Another Look at 1QHodayotb (1Q35)”
The text of 1Q35 is represented by two fragments that partially overlap with 1QHa 15–16, 4QHb 10, and 4QpapHf 12. The present study explores some questions and issued presented by the understudied text of 1Q35 with respect to its history of publication, interpretive cruxes in preliminary analyses of the text, and considerations of how the set of fragments have been correlated both with one another and considered in light of the larger compositional reconstruction of the Hodayot. Finally, these outcomes are brought to bear on further questions regarding the nature of the material evidence of 1Q35 as potentially reflecting an excerpted text or the remains of a scribal exercise including poetic material.
Dorothy M. Peters, “‘I Thank You, O Lord…In the Bereavement of My Soul:’ Lament Reshaped in a Thanksgiving Psalm (1QHa 10:33–11:5)”
Although psalms of individual and communal lament are fully at home in the biblical psalter and the Qumran caves yielded a collection of new psalms saturated with language highly allusive to biblical psalms, there are few, if any, new compositions among the Dead Sea Scrolls that might unambiguously be classified as lament. In the Thanksgiving Psalms (Hodayot), for example, lament motifs are framed with thanksgiving and anchored to praise. In this essay, after a brief overview of lament in the Dead Sea Scrolls, candidates for scriptural allusions in 1QHa 10:33–11:5 are identified and discussed. The way that scripture was reused and reconfigured in this text seemed to have served a dual purpose. First, the use of unique or rare forms from the Hebrew Bible and the use of multiple elements from a single scriptural source (e.g., Psalm 35) drew attention to a particular scriptural source and its context. Secondly, the fragmenting, reordering, conflating, negations, and changes to verb forms worked together to present a new and distinctive interpretation that extended and even differed dramatically from the plain meaning in the scriptural source. Finally, how scriptural lament was reshaped in order to describe the triangular relationship involving God, the afflicted Yahad insider, and the adversary outsider is explored.
Daniel K. Falk, “Willing Heart and Broken Spirit: Psalms 51 in the Dead Sea Scrolls”
This paper examines the influence of Psalm 51—one of the penitential psalms par excellence—on the Dead Sea Scrolls. The most direct use of Psalm 51 is in a text without explicit sectarian diction: Communal Confession (4Q393). More general yet profound influence is also evident on the language and themes of two key sectarian texts: the Community Rule and the Hodayot. Three motifs in particular are picked up from Psalm 51: the motif of the creation/renewal of spirit; a connection between humility/broken spirit and atonement; and the instruction of sinners. This investigation finds some similarities between 4Q393 and the sectarian texts that might suggest use of the former in sectarian prayer.
2.2 Hebrew Bible, Hellenistic Judaism, and New Testament
Ryan N. Roberts, “Imitation as Necessity: Isaiah in Light of Amos’s Prophetic Tradition”
Form-critical debate surrounds Isaiah 6 as it has variously been labeled a call narrative, vision report, throne room vision, or judgment oracle. Attention to the genre flexibility of Isaiah 6 allows one to detect a variety of influences behind the final literary form. One area of suggested influence has been the parallels between Isa 6 and the fifth vision of Amos (9:1–6). The focus of the present essay will be on the shared seismic language in both visions and how this may be understood not only as literary convention but also in light of the memory of lived disaster. Seen through the preservation of disaster, these accounts may encode the memory of an earthquake using literary convention as a means to authenticate the prophetic message.
James C. VanderKam, “The Fourth-Year Planting in Jubilees 7”
The goal of this paper is to make a small contribution to an issue in recent scholarship on the Book of Jubilees—whether it is an authorial unity or a composite writing—by studying one case that has been a part of the debate. After a brief survey that sets the discussion about the unity of Jubilees into context, the larger part of the essay offers a study of Jub. 7:1–6 (a narrative) and 7:35–37 (a related legal section) that is meant to serve as a test case for examining the larger issue.
Rob Kugler, “Of Echoes of the Jewish Scriptures and Adaptations of Livestock Inventories in the Testament of Job”
A careful look at T. Job 9:2–5, 10:5 that asks what traditions and ideas, genres, and modes of discourse a Jewish recipient would have recognized there reveals the influence of the Septuagint of the Book of Job, norms proffered by the Torah, and livestock inventories typical of Greco-Roman Egypt. The case for assigning the text to that place and time and to a Jewish audience is strengthened.
Steve Mason, “Did Josephus Know His Bible When He Wrote the Jewish War? Elisha at Jericho in J.W. 4.459–65”
Josephus researchers have occasionally wondered, surprisingly perhaps, whether the famous priest from Jerusalem actually knew the Bible at first hand: during his early years in Judaea or while he composed his Judaean War in the 70s, following his move to Rome. No one doubts that he knew scripture well indeed when he wrote the later Antiquities (completed 93/94 CE). Reasons for doubt about the earlier period are not only War’s negligible use of biblical episodes and laws but, when these do appear, their peculiar content. One explanation of these peculiarities might be that he had no experience with the Bible itself, but in writing War either recycled oral traditions vaguely known or borrowed written sources. The question is important because of the possible implications for understanding elite education in Judaea, biblical literacy among Jews generally, and Josephus’s particular background, sources, and narrative aims. After briefly considering the voice he assumes as author of War and observing his use of biblical material elsewhere, this essay takes up a neglected passage in J.W. 4, concerning “the Prophet Elisha” at Jericho. Analysis reveals an author who must have known the biblical story, while highlighting the difficulties in imagining that this author was anyone other than Josephus.
Craig A. Evans, “The Reputation of Jesus in Light of Qumran’s Tradition of David as Prophet”
In texts and traditions from Jewish late antiquity David, Israel’s famous king and founder of the dynasty from which the Messiah was believed would spring, was viewed as a prophet and exorcist. These traditions provide a framework against which Jesus as both king and prophet could be understood. Similar traditions at Qumran offer important evidence that these ideas were current in the time and place of Jesus and his first followers. These ideas show that a messianic paradigm in which royal and prophetic elements converge was available prior to the development of post-Easter Christology.
Kyung S. Baek, “Prophecy and Divination in the Gospel of Matthew: The Use of Dream-Visions and Fulfilment Quotations”
Understood within the sphere of Ancient Near Eastern divination and functioning like Qumran pesharim, Matthew uses dream-visions and fulfilment quotations to disclose the divine will by contemporizing the Hebrew prophets and identifying Jesus as the Messiah for the early church community. First, Matthean prophecy seems to be influenced by Ancient Near Eastern divination and the textualization of prophecy in late Second Temple scribal practices. Second, several features within Matthew seem to give evidence of his acquaintance with Ancient Near Eastern divination. Third, functioning like Qumran pesharim, Matthew uses dream-visions and fulfilment quotations to contemporize the Hebrew prophets and acquire divine revelation to disclose Jesus’s identity and purpose.
A Bibliography of Peter W. Flint
The volume will close with a comprehensive research bibliography of the published contributions of Peter Flint.
Text Editions & Modern Editions: The Peter Flint Memorial Volume