This is a report on a paper of Shane Berg, Assistant Professor of New Testament at Princeton Theological Seminary, presented in the Senior NT seminar at the Faculty of Divinity, University of Cambridge, 26 Oct 2010.
The list of this term’s papers in this particular seminar is available here.
Shane Berg’s paper presented the interesting hypothesis that the anthropology and religious epistemology of the community hymns of the Qumran Hodayot (thanksgiving hymns) have similarities with those of Romans. Berg argued that both the Hodayot and Romans assert universal human sinfulness in light of the creation and Fall narratives of Genesis on the one hand and the remedying agency of the Spirit on the other.
Amongst other Qumran texts, the paper mentioned 1QHa 9:10-18; 6:13; 20:11-12 and 7:12-14 as examples of community hymns with universal sinfulness in their anthropology. They depict human existence in a negative fashion, emphasising human sinfulness, ignorance and frail and inadequate cognition to come to God’s will. Men are composed of dust and cannot know God – and idea that has its Biblical background in Gen. 2-3 (cf. Job 10:9; 4:19; 34:15; Ecclesiastes 3:20; 12:7; Ps 103:14; 104:29). Read the rest of this entry »