Professor Sidnie White Crawford (University of Nebraska-Lincoln) summarises the latest scholarship on the Qumran library of 800-900 fragmentary manuscripts from the mid-third century BCE to the late first century CE, and the history of the sect responsible for the collection and its scribal/learned characteristics. Her public lecture was delivered on January 25, 2018, on the occasion of receiving a D.Theol honoris causa from the University of Uppsala.
Dr. Matthias Henze (Rice University) delivers a lecture on the topic, “In the Company of Angels: The Resurrection of the Dead in Early Judaism and Christianity,” recorded at Trinity University on March 2, 2017 (lecture begins at 4:36).
Jews and Christians share the belief that at the end of time God will raise the dead and make them live again. Some early Jewish and Christian writers went even further and anticipated a life among the angels. What do we know about the origin of this belief? The hope for the resurrection of the dead did not originate with Christianity, as is often claimed, but has deep roots in ancient Judaism. This talk will trace the origins of the belief in the resurrection from the Hebrew Bible/Old Testament through Judaism of the Second Temple period into the New Testament. Only when the New Testament texts about the resurrection are read side by side with the ancient Jewish texts about the end of time can we fully appreciate what the two religions have in common and where they differ.
Professor Lawrence Schiffman (University of Chicago) delivered the 1990 Stroum Lectures in Jewish Studies at the University of Washington, “Creation, Revelation, and Redemption: The Religion of The Dead Sea Scrolls”.
Lecture 1: God, Humanity & The Universe in the Dead Sea Scrolls
Lecture 2: Scripture, Law & The Life of the Dead Sea Sect
Lecture 3: Apocalyptics, Messiahs, and the End of Days
The late African biblical scholar Dr. Peter Flint delivers a lecture introducing the Dead Sea Scrolls and their relevance for understanding the New Testament, on January 16, 2012 at El Shaddai Ministries, Tacoma, WA.
On February 23, 2016, the Trinity Western University (TWU) Dead Sea Scrolls Institute hosted a series of talks on the Dead Sea Scrolls, “Re-Imagining the Scriptural Past in the Dead Sea Scrolls”.
The Dead Sea Scrolls provide fresh perspective on both the words of the Hebrew Bible/Old Testament and ancient Jewish world of the New Testament. As the library of a specialized Jewish scribal community, they also reveal how ancient people and communities rendered their religious traditions relevant to their own culture. Many readers of the Bible today face this same task: scripture is at once ancient and sacred, yet its contemporary relevance is not always evident. Through presentations and discussions with four TWU alumni and authors of recently published books on the Dead Sea Scrolls, our evening will explore how the group that penned and preserved the scrolls navigated this dynamic in their own search for meaning. Join authors Dr. Andrew Perrin, Dr. Kipp Davis, Dr. Marvin Miller, Dr. Dongshin Chang, and Dr. Peter Flint as they detail how ancient writers encountered and innovated the biblical past by extending prophecy, claiming revelatory dreams, rethinking covenant theology, and crafting and circulating letters.
Dr. Peter Flint – The Dead Sea Scrolls: What Can They Teach Us?
Dr. Peter Flint (Canada Research Chair in Dead Sea Scrolls Studies at Trinity Western University) provides a fresh introduction to the Qumran texts and archaeology in light of his recently published book “The Dead Sea Scrolls” (Abingdon, 2013).
Dr. Andrew Perrin – History Revealed: The Eras of Empires in Daniel and Beyond
Dr. Andrew Perrin (Assistant Professor of Religious Studies at Trinity Western University) explores the rewriting of apocalyptic history in the book of Daniel and ancient Judaism in light of his recently published book “The Dynamics of Dream-Vision Revelation in the Aramaic Dead Sea Scrolls” (Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 2015).
Dr. Kipp Davis – Forging Reputations of National Icons: Chuck Norris and the Prophet Jeremiah
Dr. Kipp Davis (Scholar in Residence at Trinity Western University) details the cultural and literary development of famed figures today and in antiquity, with an eye to the prophet Jeremiah’s life beyond the Bible. A detailed treatment of the Jeremiah traditions in the Dead Sea Scrolls may be found in his recently published book “The Cave 4 Apocryphon of Jeremiah and the Qumran Jeremianic Traditions: Prophetic Persona and the Construction of Community Identity” (Brill, 2014).
Elisabeth Schüssler Fiorenza, the Krister Stendahl Professor of Divinity at Harvard Divinity School, gives a lecture titled, “The Apocalypse of John: Its World of Vision and Our Own?” at the College of the Holy Cross on April 10, 2014.
Professor Daniel Boyarin (University of California, Berkeley) presents the 2016 Shaffer Lecture in Theology, at Yale Divinity School, in three parts, on March 8, 9, and 10. The topic of his series is “Enoch or Jesus? The Quest of the Historical Metatron”.
In the series, Professor Boyarin furthers his defence of the ancient roots of a greater and subordinate second god within Judaism, the “two powers in heaven”. In the lectures, he lays out the development of a complex binitarian theology in both early Judaism and early Christianity. He also disagrees with Peter Schäfer.
While there is nearly incontrovertible evidence for the interchange between Christian and Jewish circles in late antiquity, there is also good evidence for the circulation of apocalyptic traditions among Jews through the rabbinic period, independent of specific Christian contexts.
- Daniel Boyarin, 2016 Shaffer Lecture 1, 23:55ff
Lecture 1 (March 8, 2016)
Lecture 2 (March 9, 2016)
Lecture 3 (March 10, 2016)
Professor Emeritus George W. E. Nickelsburg (University of Iowa) delivered a lecture on “The Temple According to 1 Enoch” on February 19, 2013, at Utah State University.
The paper was later published as “The Temple According to 1 Enoch“, BYU Studies Quarterly 53.1 (2014): 7-24.
During the Second Temple period (516 BCE to 70 CE), most Jews in Jerusalem worshipped at the Jerusalem temple. But a separate community at Qumran decried the lack of ritual purity in the activity at the Second Temple and saw their community as an ersatz for the temple. Literature at Qumran included 1 Enoch, a collection of five tractates composed in the Aramaic language between the fourth century BCE and the turn of the era and ascribed to the ancient patriarch Enoch, the head of the seventh generation after creation (Gen. 5:18–24). Some of the tractates are concerned about a dysfunctional Jerusalem cult and resolve the problem of how to worship by looking forward to the approaching eschaton. Other sections of 1 Enoch tell that the real action is already taking place in the true temple, which is the heavenly temple. There, variously, God is enthroned, and the Son of Man is being prepared to enact divine judgment so that God’s will may be done on earth as it is in heaven. Here Enoch remains until the end-time, witnessing the interaction between God and the archangels. This vision refers to three Israelite sanctuaries—the tabernacle, the First Temple, and the Second Temple—and to the establishment of a new Jerusalem, in which there is no temple, because the city itself serves as a temple.
Professor Jonathan Ben-Dov (George and Florence Wise Chair of Judaism in the Ancient World, University of Haifa) “explores the reinterpretation of Nebuchadnezzar’s monuments from Lebanon as a representation of the myth of the Watchers” in a paper delivered at Boston College on November 20, 2013, “Iconography and Myth: From Nebuchadnezzar to the Fallen Angels”.
Professor Adela Yarbro Collins delivered the 29th Carmichael-Walling Lectures at Abilene Christian University on November 12, 2015. Videos of both lectures are available.
The book of Revelation is rich in both Scriptural allusion and symbolic imagery. The first lecture will provide an overview and critical assessment of scholarship on intertextuality in Revelation, highlighting the book’s use of Scripture. The second lecture will consider female symbols in Revelation, particularly focusing on the symbolic woman of Revelation 17 often referred to as “The Whore of Babylon.”
Intertextuality in the Book of Revelation
Women as Symbols in the Book of Revelation
The Collège de France hosts the videos of papers delivered at the 2015 Seminar in Thomas Römer’s series The Hebrew Bible and Its Contexts, May 5-6, 2015:
The videos are available for download in *.mov format.
La question des images est un élément central pour l’intelligence des religions anciennes et modernes. Les religions monothéistes se basent toutes sur le Décalogue qui interdit la fabrication des images. Mais comment comprendre cet interdit : s’agit-il d’un refus de toutes sortes d’images ou « seulement » de la représentation du divin ? Et quelle est la raison d’être d’un tel interdit ? Pourquoi considère-t-on illégitime de représenter des dieux et des hommes, ce qui fut pratique courante dans le Proche-Orient ancien ? Le colloque s’efforcera d’apporter des éclaircissements sur plusieurs questions : Quelle est la fonction des représentations du divin mais aussi des hommes ? Quelles sont les différentes manières de représenter des dieux et quelle est la fonction de ces représentations ? Les représentations permettent-elles de mieux comprendre les cultes officiels et les cultes privés ? Quel est le rôle des images dans le culte royal ? Le roi est-il l’image des dieux ? Y a-t-il des religions aniconiques ? Pour quelles raisons décide-t-on d’interdire des images ? Y a-t-il des précurseurs au commandement biblique dans le Proche-Orient ou ailleurs ?
The question of images is a central element in the understanding of ancient and modern religions. The monotheistic religions are all based on the Decalogue, which prohibits the making of images. But how should we understand this prohibition: is it a rejection of all kinds of images or “only” of the representation of the divine? And what is the purpose of such a prohibition? Why it is considered improper to represent gods and men, which was common practice in the ancient Near East? The symposium will seek to clarify several questions: What is the function of the representations of the divine and also of men? What are the different ways of representing the gods and what is the function of these representations? Do the representations provide insight into official and private worship? What is the role of images in the royal cult? Is the king the image of the gods? Are there any aniconic religions? For what reasons does one decide to prohibit images? Are there any precursors to the biblical commandment in the ancient Near East or elsewhere?
Mardi 5 mai 2015
9 h 30 Introduction to the Symposium (Ouverture du colloque): Thomas Römer
- 9 h 45 Stefan Maul (Université de Heidelberg), Images of Gods and Representation of the Divine in the Ancient Near East: a Warning not to Confuse the God with its Representation
- 10h15 Lionel Marti (CNRS, UMR 7192), The Question of Representing the Divine in the Assyrian World
- 10h45 Nele Ziegler (CNRS, UMR 7192), Making Divine Statues – and Then What?
Présidence : Thomas Römer
- 11h30 Pierre-Yves Brandt (Université de Lausanne), Representations of Gods in Children’s Drawings
- 12h00 Christoph Uehlinger (Université de Zürich), Sociable Gods, or how to Represent a Pantheon?
- 12h30 David Hamidovic (Université de Lausanne), Reviewing an Ancient Controversy: the Worship of the Donkey or Donkey’s Head in the Jerusalem Temple
Présidence : Michaël Guichard
- 14h30 Fabian Pfitzmann (Collège de France, UMR 7192), The “Master of the Ostriches”: a Specificity of the Representation of Yhwh in the South?
- 15h00 Martin Leuenberger (Université de Tübingen), “Here are your Gods, Israel, who Brought you up out of the Land of Egypt” (1 Kings 12.28). Representations of Yhwh in Official Worship in the Kingdom of Israel
- 15h30 Jean-Daniel Macchi (Université de Genève, UMR 7192), “Now my Eye has Seen You”: Job and the Representation of the Divine
Présidence : Christophe Nihan
- 16h15 Youri Volokhine (Université de Genève), Monotheism / Aniconism / Iconoclasm: Discussions around the “One God” of Akhenaton
- 16h45 Jacqueline Chabbi (Professeur honoraire des universités), The Koran in its Time: a Pragmatic Figure of the Divine
- 17h15 François Déroche (Collège de France, UMR 7192), Anthropomorphism and Aniconism
Mercredi 6 mai 2015
Présidence : Nele Ziegler
- 9h30 Dominique Charpin (Collège de France, UMR 7192), Divine Symbols in the Paleo-Babylonian Archives
- 10h00 Michaël Guichard (EPHE IVe section, UMR 7192), Statues in Mari, According to the Texts
- 10h30 Jean-Marie Durand (Collège de France, UMR 7192), The Baetyli
Présidence : Dominique Charpin
- 11h15 Herbert Niehr (Université de Tübingen), The Divinised King and his Image in Ugaritic Worship
- 11h45 Christophe Nihan (Université de Lausanne, UMR 7192), Yhwh Ṣěbā’ôt and the Powers of War
- 12h15 Sylvie Honigman (Université de Tel Aviv), Founding Figures in the Traditions of Ezra and the Books of the Maccabees
Présidence : Jean-Marie Durand
- 14h30 Shirly Ben-Dor Evian (Universités de Tel Aviv et de Lausanne), Representations of the “People of the Sea” in the Iconography of the Ancient Near East
- 15h00 Pierre Keith (Université de Strasbourg), Images for Worship and the Representation of Supernature in the Book of Daniel
- 15h45 Tallay Ornan (Université de Jérusalem) et Benjamin Sass (Université de Tel Aviv), Eyes, Triangles and Horned Animals: a Divine Journey across the Near East and the Mediterranean, 5000-550 BCE
- 16h15 Thomas Römer (Collège de France, UMR 7192), Why is it Necessary to Forbid Divine Images?
16h45 Discussion et clôture du colloque
Professor Alan Segal (then emeritus at Barnard College) delivered a lecture on “Life After Death in Judaism” on November 13, 2008, at Stanford University. Alan Segal discusses near death experiences (NDEs), The Sopranos, Sheol, apocalyptic, martyrdom, resurrection, and transformation into angels.
Alan Segal was the author of Life After Death: A History of the Afterlife in Western Religion (2010).
Over eight videos, Harold W. Attridge (Yale Divinity School) and David L. Bartlett (Yale Divinity School) discuss the book of Revelation.
The conversation is part of the Yale Bible Study Series presented in cooperation with The Congregational Church of New Canaan in New Canaan, CT.
The videos are accompanied by study materials on Revelation, made available by the Congregational Church of New Canaan.
Professor Elaine Pagels (Princeton University) delivered a talk on April 11, 2014, at the Facing History and Ourselves’ Day of Learning, “Confronting Evil in Individuals and Societies”.
Pagels explains that many interpretations of evil throughout history are inspired by the Book of Revelation, and she uses artistic depictions to describe the events of the story. She then illustrates examples of people using the imagery from the Book of Revelation at different times of war to justify their position and vilify their enemy.
Trinity Western University have made public a series of videos developed primarily for students enrolled in the “Introduction to the Dead Sea Scrolls” (RELS 320) course, lectured by Dr Andrew B. Perrin in 2015.
The course provides an introduction to the Dead Sea scrolls within the context of early Judaism.