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The Presectarian Jesus

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Chapter Summary

This chapter suggests that the publication of the whole collection of manuscripts from Qumran forces reconsiderations of many kinds, not least a reconsideration of how the kinds of Judaism reflected in the largely non-sectarian or quasi-sectarian compositions might illuminate the modern understanding of Jesus. The challenge of author's proposal is that there is both a phenomenological and a tradition-historical comparison to be made between Jesus and the scrolls. Phenomenologically, the juxtaposition of three or four modes of texts with the New Testament might enable some fresh insights both into what Jesus might have been about and into how those who followed him took what he said and did in the direction that they did. Author calls those modes (1) non-sectarian or pre-sectarian, (2) quasisectarian, and (3) full-blown sectarian; (4) a fourth mode follows in many instances, when institutionalized sects fragment and rejuvenate.

Keywords: Jesus; Judaism; New Testament; pre-sectarian; quasi-sectarian; Qumran



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