Variegated Nomism Indeed: Multiphase Eschatology And Soteriology In The Qumranite “Community Rule” (1QS) And The New Perspective On Paul -- By: Daniel C. Timmer

Journal: Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society
Volume: JETS 52:2 (Jun 2009)
Article: Variegated Nomism Indeed: Multiphase Eschatology And Soteriology In The Qumranite “Community Rule” (1QS) And The New Perspective On Paul
Author: Daniel C. Timmer


Variegated Nomism Indeed:
Multiphase Eschatology And Soteriology In The Qumranite “Community Rule” (1QS) And The New Perspective On Paul

Daniel C. Timmer*

* Daniel Timmer is associate professor of Old Testament at Reformed Theological Seminary, 5422 Clinton Blvd., Jackson, MS 39209-3099.

This study explores the various eschatological periods described in the Qumranite Community Rule and their significance for understanding that document’s beliefs concerning salvation, particularly the degree to which they can legitimately be said to exemplify “covenantal nomism.”1 To avoid imposing foreign categories on the Community Rule, our investigation of its soteriology will proceed inductively on the basis of the categories and concepts that the document itself establishes as constitutive of salvation. Despite the recent turn away from soteriology as a useful category for approaching the DSS, the fact remains that sociological, cultural, or broadly religious concerns do not account satisfactorily for the worldview that 1QS propagates.2

While the Serekh (“Rule”) tradition of which 1QS is a part may have developed over the decades prior to the production of 1QS, efforts to describe that development have not yet established a clear consensus. The Community Rule can be approached synchronically not only because of this lack of agreement as to its diachronic evolution, but also because of the essential continuity that the Serekh tradition shows with respect to soteriology.3

I. The Eschatology Of 1QS: A Tentative Paradigm

John J. Collins, in his thorough study of the apocalyptism of the Qumranite corpus, finds three main stages in its eschatology: the time of testing, the end of the days, and the end of all things. The coming of the Messiahs marks the beginning of “the end of the days,” and other elements such as the eschatological war (as part of the end of all things) also fit within this general paradigm.4 Collins’s conclusions will serve as a point of reference for our heuristic description of the eschatology of 1QS, which will pay special attention to periods that are explicitly mentioned and to sequence, especially as indicated by adverbs and prepositions.5

It is important to remember that the Qumranites saw themselves as already living in something like a semi-eschatological era.You must have a subscription and be logged in to read the entire article.
Click here to subscribe

visitor : : uid: ()