The Teacher Of Righteousness And Jesus Christ Some Reflections Upon The Dead Sea Scrolls -- By: Edward J. Young

Journal: Westminster Theological Journal
Volume: WTJ 18:1 (Nov 1955)
Article: The Teacher Of Righteousness And Jesus Christ Some Reflections Upon The Dead Sea Scrolls
Author: Edward J. Young


The Teacher Of Righteousness And Jesus Christ
Some Reflections Upon The Dead Sea Scrolls

Edward J. Young

THE fascinating discovery of manuscripts near the Dead Sea in Palestine which began in 1947 has continued to interest the scholarly and religious world.1 Not only has the interest continued, but it has mounted steadily. A recent issue of the Journal of Biblical Literature, for example, is devoted entirely to a discussion of various phases of the study of the Scrolls.2 In May 1955 the New Yorker contained a rather lengthy article on the subject, and article after article, both scholarly and popular have continued to appear.3 Dupont-Sommer has already written two books on the subject,4 and there has just appeared a full scale study from the pen of Millar Burrows.5

Largely as a result of the studies of Dupont-Sommer, the idea has gained ground that Christianity is indebted to some of the teachings which are expressed in these newly discovered manuscripts.6 When the Isaiah manuscript (in the present writer’s opinion, the most remarkable of all the discoveries) was first brought to light, it seemed as though the textual criticism of the Old Testament would undergo a revolution.7 Now, however, it is becoming clear that the Scrolls are also going to prove of great interest and importance to students of the New Testament.8 Are the foundations of Christianity in danger as a result of these discoveries? That is the question to which serious attention must be devoted.9

In an article such as this, it will be impossible to attempt to do justice to every aspect of the question, nor would the writer, even if space permitted, be qualified to discuss every aspect. We shall therefore attempt something on a much more modest scale. We shall seek to limit ourselves in the present article to a study of those documents in which mention is made of a Teacher of Righteousness, and this will involve a

consideration principally of the “Habakkuk Commentary”10 and the so-called Zadokite Fragments.11

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