9/21/10New Testament LiteratureSheets' Lecture NotesThe literature of Judaism is very important to the study of the New Testament.Whenever the NT mention the Scriptures, they're referring to the Old Testament,because obviously the New Testament didn't exist. The Bible of the New Testament writers was the Old Testament.The books in the Catholic Bible (including the apocrypha) are very close to the onesincluded in the Septuagint.The Catholic canon was the accepted Bible of the church until the Reformation,when the Protestants limited the canon.Protestants didn't see the need for the apocrypha because they believed theyweren't on par with the rest of the Bible.The
was not the same as the Hebrew Bible, it contained more psalms,etc.For most of history, people have only been able to read and learn the Scriptures at church or a synagogue. They didn't have pocket Bibles, or even family Bibles.The
means "hidden." The main question is how did we not know about them for so long? Why are they just now coming out? The answer is that they werehidden. They were included in Jewish writings for a long time, and they reveredthem. But they came up at a different time, so they were included but not consideredto be at the same level as the rest of the books.
Pseudopigrapha and apocalyptic literature
- the Jews had many books, not just the Bible. Pseudopigrapha has the names of the wrong author attached to it. Most pseudopigrapha books fall under the apocalyptic category. NT writers often quotefrom them, especially Enoch. Very commonly read among the Jews, and not lookeddown upon at all.The
believed that all of Judaism was corrupt (unlike the Pharisees, who just thought the Sadduccees were corrupt). They believed the Messiah would come andbeat up the Romans and then the rest of the Jews. They were the only pure Jewsbefore God, and because he was going to destroy Jerusalem, they build communitiesoutside/around Jerusalem so that they could come in after he had destroyed the badguys. Qumran was one of the communities they lived in. They were very strict andcopied and stored lots of literature. When the Romans destroyed Jerusalem, theydestroyed the Essenes' communities too, leaving all their documents in caves.
Dead Sea Scrolls
- important archaeological find coming from a group of MonasticJews called the Essenes. Many years after they were written, people discovered thevery well preserved manuscripts of the Essenes and realized it was by far the oldest