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The Scrolls and Christianity in American Scholarship

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Chapter Summary

This chapter focuses the aspect of William Albright's prediction that deals with the New Testament, and the background of early Christianity. It is the context of this common eschatological consciousness that the various analogies between the Scrolls and the New Testament must be seen. Nowhere were these more evident than in the Johannine literature, in such phrases as &t;the spirit of truth and deceit&t; , &t;sons of light&t; or &t;eternal life&t; (passim). The most distinctively American interest in the Dead Sea Scrolls, however, is surely the fascination with any light they may shed on Jesus and his messianic claims. From time to time, this fascination has led to sensationalism, as in the two phases of &t;Qumran fever&t; in the 1950s and 1990s, but extreme views have never found a wide following, and the most authoritative surveys of the Scrolls have been remarkably sober and balanced.

Keywords:Christianity; dead sea Scrolls; New Testament; Qumran; William Albright



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