Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Paul Abstract

Here is the abstract for the essay on the Apostle Paul and the Dead Sea Scrolls, the seminar rescheduled for today:
Before the fall of the Jewish Temple in 70 C.E., Judaism was a widespread and diversified religious movement. It is widely accepted that in first century Palestine Judaism was full of sectarian elements, among which were the Essenes, Sadducees and of course, Pharisees. The apostle Paul, who was born around the time of Jesus and died around 65 C.E., helped define Christianity as we know it today. Many of the Dead Sea Scrolls are thought to have been written around the same time as Paul,s letters. This being the case, it is the purpose of this paper to trace the similarities between Paul's writing and theology and that which is espoused in the scrolls. If we accept the Essene hypothesis we can go one step further to venture the possibility that Paul had contact with this sectarian group or if nothing else, was in some way informed by their theology. While there remains no incontrovertible evidence to prove that Paul borrowed ideas or phrases from the scrolls, our analysis will show that the parallels between the two sets of writings are nonetheless striking

Allison Smith