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Shane Berg, “Ben Sira, the Genesis Creation Accounts, and the Knowledge of God’s Will”

In Ben Sira, Durham, Genesis, Justin A. Mihoc, SEMINAR REPORTS, Shane BERG on November 5, 2010 at 4:40 pm

This is a report on a paper presented by Shane Berg, Assistant Professor in New Testament in the Department of Biblical Studies at Princeton Theological Seminary, in the New Testament Research Seminar at the Department of Theology and Religion, Durham University, 25 Oct 2010.

The list of forthcoming papers in the NT Research Seminars at Durham University can be found here.

In his paper, Shane Berg presented an interesting view on religious epistemology by analysing Ben Sira’s reading of the Creation account in B S 16:24-17:17 and the possibility of Law obedience in 15:11-20, and by comparing them with the theme of the knowledge of the Torah as found in 4Q417 l i 16-18 and 1QHa VII, 12-14.

Following Greg Schmidt Goering’s view [see Goering’s Wisdom’s Root Revealed: Ben Sira and the Election of Israel, JSJ Sup 139, (Leiden: Brill, 2009)], Berg opines that Ben Sira’s unique approach to wisdom represents a departure from natural reaction to the wisdom theology, through linking wisdom to the Torah. Read the rest of this entry »

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Shane Berg, ”Revelation and Anthropology in the Community Hymns of the Hodayot and in Romans”

In Cambridge, Hodayot, Paul, Romans, Samuli Siikavirta, SEMINAR REPORTS, Shane BERG on October 28, 2010 at 12:20 am

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 »