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4QMMT and the Letters of Paul: Selected Aspects of Mutual Illumination

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Chapter Summary

This chapter reconsiders the question of how MMT might illuminate the discussion about "works of law" and related issues, and examines what Paul's letters might contribute to the debate on the genre of MMT. "Illumination" in this context entails not only the highlighting of similarities but also of differences. First, MMT does shed some light on the phrase "works of (the) law" in Paul, and the comparison sharpens the profile of MMT's own contribution. It is clear that this phrase cannot be taken in the sense of "works righteousness", as the Old Perspective on Paul would have it. Paul probably takes the term up from previous Jewish discourse. But MMT and Paul represent different ends of the semantic spectrum of the phrase: MMT focuses on the side of precepts, which can be written, though corresponding practice that is "reckoned as righteousness" is also in view.

Keywords: letters of Paul; MMT; mutual illumination



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