A Comparative Study Of The Psalter In Light Of IIQPs -- By: Martin J. Homan

Journal: Westminster Theological Journal
Volume: WTJ 40:1 (Fall 1977)
Article: A Comparative Study Of The Psalter In Light Of IIQPs
Author: Martin J. Homan


A Comparative Study Of The Psalter In Light Of IIQPsa

Martin J. Homan

In this paper, the first Psalter scroll from Cave XI (IIQPsa) will be observed in relationship to the Psalter of the Septuagint and the Masoretic text. The material from the observation of the three texts will be compared to Cross’s theory on local texts. This will be done by first presenting the theory on local texts as it applies to the Old Testament in general, since there is no known work on the local text theory with regard to the Psalter, especially IIQPsa. After the local text theory is presented, it will be compared with the data from the primary research. Conclusions will be made in the comparison of the data with the theory.

The next point to be brought forth is IIQPsa’s relationship to canonical criticism, and what position IIQPsa holds as a Psalter. This is noted by looking at the two main approaches with regard to IIQPsa as a Psalter. These two main approaches are either to regard IIQPsa as a Psalter of the Qumran Community as espoused by J. A. Sanders, or to regard IIQPsa as a “liturgical Davidic psalmbook” as does P. W. Skehan. These two approaches will then be observed in light of the data from the primary research, and conclusions will be made from the data to which approach it best supports. General conclusions will then be drawn with regard to the conclusions of the two parts of the paper, both in relationship to Cross’s theory on local texts and in relationship to the conclusions drawn with regard to Sanders’ and Skehan’s varying approaches to IIQPsa. Therefore the history of textual transmission and the questions concerning canonical history with regard to IIQPsa will be explored.

Cross’s Theory on Local Texts

In Frank M. Cross, Jr.’s theory on local texts, there are three text families of the Old Testament, namely, the Egyptian, the

Palestinian, and the Babylonian. Cross correlates the Old Greek Septuagint of the third century B.C. with the Egyptian text family. The Samaritan Pentateuch, the Qumran manuscripts, and the proto-Lucianic Septuagint are representative of the Palestinian text family. The Babylonian text family is represented in the Masoretic text and the kaige Septuagint recension.1 From these three text families, Cross develops his theory on local texts of the Old Testament.

The Babylonian text family represents a text developed in isolation from the Palestinian and Egyptian text families. According to Cross, the “local origin of the textus receptus … its traditio...

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