Conference on the role of the Dead Sea Scrolls and Nag Hammadi codices on Judaism and Christianity

Koot van Wyk (Short Notes)


The Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered in 1947 already but three times before in history: in the time of Origen, and in the time of the Karaite sect around 811.

The Nag Hammadi Coptic codices are from Egypt and gives us insights in Christianity and Judaism of a period around the fourth century A.D.

A conference just finished in Berlin and I could not attend. The organizers were D. M. Burns and M. Goff et al.

Here I will give some short notes as to what I think about the themes touched upon at the conference.

In Session 1 they had the umbrella “Biblical Figures and Exegesis” which for the Dead Sea Scrolls is just the same as it is for the biblical figures and exegesis of scholarship at Ptolemaic Alexandria. One can compare the use and abuse of Homer’s Iliad at Alexandria with what happened to the Dead Sea Scrolls at the same time. P. M. Fraser in 1972 did a great work on this library and its scholarship and scholars are still operating with the Dead Sea Scrolls in a vacuum not relating it to what was happening to the Classics of Greek literature also. Brevity  tendencies, rewriting, recasting, new creations, Paraphrasing. What do we need more to say? Long texts and short texts.

George Brooke (University of Manchester), “From Adam to the Prophets: Some Biblical Figures in the Dead Sea Scrolls and the Nag Hammadi Library” 9:45–10:15

He is a famous scholar who has participated in a number of books and articles on the Septuagint and its editions. What one would expect from Brooke is that he will show how the truth of the Masoretic consonantal text without the vowels have been misconstrued by the Dead Sea Scrolls in line with Ptolemaic Scholarship requirements at Alexandria and also developed with influences from Buddhism and Stoicism and other mystic religions of paganism into the Nag Hammadi corpus. The book of Revelation said that the first horse was white representing the pure church of Christ’s time until the end of the canon in 96 CE. But then followed the great deception and from that time the pure church had been contaminated. It would go worse as Constantine amalgamated paganism and the Christian Church with Judaism also somewhere in between.

Shani Tzoref (Universität Potsdam), “Wisdom, Folly, and Zion in the Qumran Corpus: Towards an Evolutionary Analysis of Feminine Conceptualizations?” 10:15–10:45

Does the author want to show that there was an increase feministic role at Qumran or a concept of increase importance of the female at Qumran? Feminism as a phenomenon was since ancient times. It went side by side with LGBTQH tendencies and there is actually a book on Cuneiform texts and this subject written in German. I have mentioned it a number of times in my writings. Jezebel was a highpriestess of the Baal temple so that her role in Israel and Judah affairs of her time is part of the role of the woman in society upbeat.

Tuomas Rasimus (Université Laval), “Temple and Sacrifice in Qumran and Nag Hammadi” 10:45–11:15

The temple and sacrifice at Qumran would be in mixed messages. It would deviate from the consonantal text of the Masoretic tradition in some texts but it would also point out the spiritual aspect of these institutions in other texts in line with the Bible. This is a very important lecture and the Book of Hebrews in the New Testament and its understanding of these subjects are important to sandwich proper understanding in a continuum of slicing of time zones of discussion: 150 BCE; 50 CE and 390 CE. The destruction of the temple and sacrifices in 70-73 A.D. would affect the narratives of the Nag Hammadi codices on the topic.

SESSION 2 Textual Discoveries and Conceptions of Canon

Moderator: Hugo Lundhaug 13:30–14:00

The word “canon” for modern skeptics and scientists has a lucid and loose meaning. It is flexible, adaptable and changing. They use the Dead Sea Scrolls to prove that but in fact, as my dissertation was set out to do, failed in doing so since there are evidence of strict copying of the consonantal text of the Masoretic tradition of Daniel in 4QDana up to 99.9% in exactitude, so that a theory that everything goes or everything was alright as Emmanuel Tov tried to claim in his 1992 book on Textual Criticism, stands under review.

The canon was still the exact consonantal text of the Masoretic tradition in both Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek but what was differing is that there was a degenerative trend in scholarship at the Dead Sea Scrolls typical also at the Ptolemaic Library in Alexandria as P. M Fraser in his classical work indicated for Homer’s Iliad.

Jens Schröter (HumboldtUniversität zu Berlin), “The Biblical Canons after Qumran and Nag Hammadi: Some Preliminary Observations” 14:00–14:30

What Schröter was supposed to point out is that after 100 CE, in line with the prediction of John in Revelation 1-2 that the white horse will be replaced with other colors thus the fall from the truth. Falling from the truth, the canon would have been enlarged to include tradition as well. It is not biblical canons but apocryphical and pseudogryphical additions to the Bible or even replacements in usage.

Andrew Perrin (Trinity Western University), “Expression of Pseudepigraphy in the Qumran Aramaic Fragments and First Impressions in the Nag Hammadi Codices” 14:30–15:00

Perrin was supposed to indicate that pseudepigraphy was present at Qumran since it was a degenerative corpus of books, full of slips of all kinds, full of paraphrasing, full of shortening of the text or creating new on the basis of the old like the extra Psalm 151. The Nag Hammadi Codices will do the same since the power struggles of the 3rd century church has also affected the corpus of Nag Hammadi.

Christoph Markschies (Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin), “Finding Stories: A Literary Critique of Certain Themes in the Story of the Finding of the Nag Hammadi Codices” 15:00–15:30

This is an interesting lecture that would have highlighted conflicting testimonies as to the discovery of texts.

SESSION 3 Mythic Geography and Heavenly Journeys

Moderator: Dylan M. Burns 15:45–16:15

In this category they would touch upon the role of eschatology and Utopia at these two sites.

Kelley Coblentz Bautch (St. Edwards University), “The Visionary’s View: Otherworldly Motifs and their Use/Reuse in Texts of Qumran and Nag Hammadi” 16:15–16:45

There will be a reuse of Old Testament texts like Daniel and the great prophets like Isaiah, Jeremiah and Ezechiel in the Dead Sea Scrolls to outline the coming of the Messiah in line with the prediction of Daniel 9:24-27 that was predicting Jesus to come. One would increasingly get hints in that direction in the corpus. After Christ came, the Nag Hammadi as a mixture between Buddhism, paganism, Gnosticism, Christianity and Judaism would harp on the same theme utilizing the same texts but adapting it to the 3rd century CE degeneration of views.

Florentina Badalanova Gellar (Freie Universität Berlin), “Enochic Cosmographic Templates (the case of Slavia Orthodoxa)” 16:45–17:15

Enoch went alive to heaven in the consonantal text of the Masoretic tradition and the New Testament. But there were creative writings trying to elaborate on the sparsity of information regarding this figure. Her lecture would utilize the Dead Sea and Nag Hammadi but seemingly focus on Orthodoxism’s view of this pseudepigrapha and apocryphical texts. It is not the Bible and not the canon of the Bible but the modified degenerative mixture of truth of God’s revelation with alterior motives and ideas.

SESSION 4 Messiahs and Revealer-Saviors

Moderator: Lorenzo DiTommaso 9:00–9:30

Messiahs and Saviors came to the fore in their false and fake pursuit of the predicted and expected in the consonantal text of the Masoretic Tradition. Did people not call Obama and Mandela Saviors and Messiahs? It is that easy. So there would be a Messiah expectation in the Dead Sea Scrolls and the surprising thing is that some ideas would overlap with what John, Jesus, Paul, Peter and James had to say on the topic. Hans LaRondelle in his dissertation on Perfection in the 1970’s touched upon the same theme.

Judith Hartenstein (Universität Koblenz-Landau), “Jesus as Revealer-Savior in Gospels from Nag Hammadi and the Human Recipients of the Revelation” 9:30–10:00

This is a very interesting topic and it would be a squeezing out of the gospels tiny bits for their own potion of the 3rd century pagan/Judaism/Christianity/Buddhism/Gnosticism mixture of theology.

Harold W. Attridge (Yale University), “Revealers and Revelation from Qumran through the Fourth Gospel to Nag Hammadi” 10:00–10:30

It is also an interesting topic since the time of the Messiah to come predicted in Daniel 9:24-27 with the 490 years kicking off in 457 BCE was known to Qumran authors. It is embedded in the New Testament as well with Paul’s regular phrase that “when the time came….” Jesus was born or died or the same.

SESSION 5 Enochic Literature at Qumran and Nag Hammadi

Moderator: Tuomas Rasimus 10:45–11:15

The Enoch literature was apocryphical creations similarly as such creations were done for the classical literature of Greece at the Ptolemaic Library of Alexandria. New Creations from inspiration of old literature or templates.

Claudia Losekam (Ruhr-Universität Bochum), “Enochic Literature as an Interpretative Pattern in Gnostic Texts?” 11:15–11:45

Of course the creative literature with a biblical personality or name attached to the paganistic frame would be serving as a pattern or template for the creation of Gnostic texts in the 3rd century CE in Egypt in the Coptic texts there.

Matthew Goff (Florida State University), “It Didn’t Happen the Way Moses Said it Did: Exegesis, Creativity, and Enochic Traditions in Nag Hammadi Texts” 11:45–12:15

This is quite an arrogant statement. Does Goff want to take Nag Hammadi degenerative texts to upleft them as the sole truth and everything before should be brushed under the carpet as garbage, including the reality and truths of the historical Moses? Does he not have a sense of paganism mixtures that happened after Constantine and also at Nag Hammadi?

SESSION 1 The Songs of the Sabbath Sacrifice (led by Dr. Shani Tzoref) 15:00–15:15

It is not clear what they were reading here.

SESSION 6 Apocalypticism and Eschatology

Moderator: René Falkenberg 15:15–15:45

For Qumran this topic is very relevant. Qumran did not create eschatology. It was embedded by God in the Word since Moses. They just put the mosaic together in order to suggest a scenario, a situation that is also prevalent in the New Testament eschatology of Jesus, John the Baptist, Paul, John and James.

Dylan M. Burns (Freie Universität Berlin), “Determinism and Compatibilism at Qumran and Nag Hammadi” 15:45–16:15

It is of course the case that Burns will find evidence of the role of God’s leading at Qumran and at Nag Hammadi. If the end of time is near then one must expect that God will be involved in order to get the End nearer and happened.

Jörg Frey (Universität Zürich), “The Impact of Qumran and Nag Hammadi Discoveries on New Testament Scholarship: The Examples of Dualism and Eschatology” 16:15–16:45

Frey would focus on good and evil at Qumran and Nag Hammadi. What is strange is for him to talk about the impact of Nag Hammadi on New Testament scholarship. Qumran was a place where John the Baptist, Paul and Peter and even John may have gone to and shared their views there in a tank of same exegesis and understanding, but Nag Hammadi since the 3rd century CE is a bit remote.

Lorenzo DiTommaso (Concordia University), “Epistemology and Eschatology, Apocalyptic and Gnostic” 16:45–17:15

These four terms are very important for a proper understanding of Qumran and Nag Hammadi and even the New Testament. Gnostic in the New Testament is not what the Greeks were making it out to be. The other three terms are fine for an investigation in the New Testament. The role of gnosis in John 1 is not up for comparison or Paul’s dualism as Rudolph Bultmann also investigated.

SESSION 7 Qumran, Nag Hammadi, and Manichaeism

Moderator: Kelley Coblentz Bautch 9:00–9:30

Non-biblical movements at Qumran, Nag Hammadi are compared here and that is very relevant since it fits in what I was saying about the role of paganism and Christianity at that time.

René Falkenberg (Aarhus Universitet), “Revelation Books and Tablets in Jewish and Manichaean Contexts” 9:30–10:00

This subject will just supply us with the data to prove the fall from the truth as Revelation 1 indicated and predicted with the next horse after the white one as not white any longer, colored with paganism and fake.

READING SESSION 2 The Three Steles of Seth (led by Dylan M. Burns) 11:30–13:00

SESSION 8 Re-evaluation of the Scribes of our Corpora Moderator: Shani Tzoref 13:00–13:30

Hugo Lundhaug (Universitet i Oslo), “Material Philology and the Nag Hammadi Codices” 13:30–14:00

This will be a very interesting study since it will attempt to look at loanwords at Nag Hammadi.

Eibert Tigchelaar (Leuven University), “New Approaches to the Scribes of the Dead Sea Scrolls” 14:00–14:30

What the plan is here is not certain but it will be interested to see what he did with M. Martin 1958 study on Qumran Isaiah a and b.