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Major Subsections: Old & New Testament | Apocalypse Commentaries | Apocrypha | Dead Sea Scrolls | Jewish Sources: Apocalyptic - Midrash - Pseudepigraphia - Talmud - Targums 

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 (1500BC-AD70)
 


JEWISH/CHRISTIAN BIBLICAL STUDIES (1500BC-AD70)
EARLY CHRISTIAN PRETERISM (AD70-1000)
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 (AD1000-2008)


Old Testament

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Apocryphal Deuterocanonical

  • Tobit
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  • Baruch  "Kneucker, Marshall, and several other recent critics, however, place its composition after the capture of Jerusalem by Titus, holding that the "strange nation" of iv. 3 ("give not thine honor . . . to a strange nation") refers to the Christians, and relates to a time when the antagonism between Judaism and Christianity had become pronounced."

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OTHER GENRES OF JEWISH LITERATURE


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New Testament
With Robinson's Dates | King Jesus

Mark Goodacre: Dating the Crucial Sources in Early Christianity (2008 PDF)
 

  • 2 Corinthians (early 56)
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PRE-CHRISTIAN PRETERISM

 Expectation of a "Romano-Judaic Eschaton" in First Century BC/AD Judaism as Revealed in the Dead Sea Scrolls

"And we recognize that some of the blessings and curses have come, (24) those written in the Bo[ok of Mo]ses; therefore this is the End of Days" (4Q397 - 399)

The Dead Sea Scrolls and other archeological finds are pouring light onto the period of time reckoned by Preterists as "the last days": AD30-70.   When fleeing Jerusalem during the Roman siege, scribes sealed numerous texts into the caves of the southwest Dead Sea area.  A portion of these was first discovered in 1947, with many more finds since then.  Below are excerpts from the various scrolls.  They collectively teach that they lived in "the end of days" and that a ruler was coming out of the East who would rule the world.  Josephus and others reckoned this figure with Roman general Vespasian, who was indeed hailed Emperor by his legions while still in Palestine.   Regardless, the glory of Christ's throne outshines that of Vespasian to this day, and shows no sign of diminishing.   The "War Scroll" pits the Romans against Israel, using the term "Kittim" or "Chaldea" to refer to the Roman Empire.  The "Roman-Judean" end times view expressed in the Dead Sea Scrolls is also precisely what was taught by Daniel, Jesus, the first century Christians, and is also what is believed by Preterist Christians today.
 

JEWISH SOURCES - Comments from Josephus, the Talmud, Midrashim, and Apocalyptic Literature, including that found in among the Dead Sea Scrolls.  Contemporary Jewish literature is also collected under the classification. 

PRE-CHRISTIAN PRETERISM:
 

THE DEAD SEA SCROLLS AND "THE KITTIM"

DEAD SEA SCROLLS - Materials Unearthed From Judean Wilderness  (From roughly second century B.C. to A.D.68 - Color coded with Jewish Soures)

Kittim as Rome - Pre-Christian Preterism

Refugees from Jerusalem's besiegement stored numerous documents east of the city near Qumran.  Also found are likely Essene sect scrolls (Calvinistic Apocalypticism).    They are all of utmost significance for first century studies, and are highly preteristic -- the commentaries (persherim) on Daniel and Habakkuk found among the documents remarkably identify the Romans with the apocalyptic nation referred to as "Chaldea" or "Kittim" in Numbers 24:24 and Daniel 11:30, making it the earliest known Preterist commentary (pre 68 B.C.)

This point is quite important, for if the Kittim of the Dead Sea Scrolls is to be identified with Rome, then according to their interpretation, the full scope of biblical prophecy ends with reference to Rome.   This is pre-christian preterism indeed! 

Numbers 24:24 (Balaam's prophecy) "But ships will come from the coast of Kittim to subdue Ashur and subdue 'Ever, but they too will come to destruction. 25 Then Bil'am got up, left and returned to his home; and Balak too went his way.."

Daniel 11:30 (Daniel's prophecy) "For ships of Kittim shall come against him; therefore he shall be grieved, and shall return, and have indignation against the holy covenant, and shall do [his pleasure]: he shall even return, and have regard to those who forsake the holy covenant. [Rendered In the Latin Vulgate (A.D.405): 11:30 Et veniet super eum Trieres, et Romani: Daniel 11:30 "For the Romans shall come against him]

Habakkuk 1:6 (Habakkuk's prophecy)  "For, behold, I raise up the Kasdim, that bitter and hasty nation, that march through the breadth of the eretz, to possess dwelling places that are not theirs." (Jewish Names Bible)

The first scholar to investigate the scrolls seemed likewise excited by this possibility: "The new leather fragment now provided a first-century B.C.-A.D. testimony to the accuracy of the text as it has been preserved - Kasidim was clearly in the text used by the copyist.  The next line, however, begins, "Its interpretation concerns the Kittim...." The modern theory had already been propounded by interpretation by the ancient community two thousand years earlier!" - John C. Trever, The Untold Story of Qumran

Habakkuk 1:6
"For, behold, I raise up the Kasdim, that bitter and hasty nation, that march through the breadth of the eretz, to possess dwelling places that are not theirs."

Comment:
"Its interpretation concerns the Kittim"

Closer Look at the Habakkuk Pesher


Kittim ..in Dead Sea Scrolls texts serves as a code word for "Romans"

Habakkuk 1:11
"Then he sweeps by like the wind, and goes on.  He is indeed guilty, whose strength is his god."

Comment:
"Interpreted, [this concerns] the commanders of the Kittim who, on the counsel of [the] House of Guilt, pass one in front of the other; one after another [their] commanders come to lay waste the earth."


'Kittim' as 'the Romans' interpretation early example of precise preterist interpretations.  The coming destruction at the hands of a 'heathen power' was an ancient message, dating before Moses' declarations in Deuteronomy 28.  However, the identification of this 'heathen power' as Rome (Kittim) is found in Septuagint Daniel and the Habakkuk Commentary found among the Dead Sea Scrolls.  The Syriac Commentary on the Septuagint's Daniel dates between 3rd century B.C. - 1st century B.C.; The "Habakkuk Scroll" dates "prior to 63 B.C."

  • F.F. BruceNew Testament History (Kittim is Rome) "They believed that the iniquities of the Wicked Priest and his associates would bring the judgement of God upon them.  As time went on, they came to see clearly who would be the instruments of God's judgement.  God was raising up the 'Kittim' for this purpose, and by the 'Kittim', as has been said above, they probably meant the Romans.  It was indeed the Romans who, by their occupation of Judaea in 63 B.C., put an end to Hasmonaean domination; but the Qumran community could see the shape of things to come before that date.  They also saw that the Romans would exceed the terms of their commission and incur the divine judgement themselves because of their impiety and rapacity."

  • John Dominic Crosson "The Romans were not singled out as much in their (Essene) secterian documents, although against them, in their so-called War Scroll, they were preparing to fight the ultimate apocalyptic battle.  This was to take place at the end time, when Sons of Light, the members of the group, were to clash with the Sons of Darkness, the Romans, code-named the Kittim.  A battle against Rome did take place eventually, when the Roman general and soon-to-be emperor Vespasian marched through the area on his way to Jerusalem in the early summer of 68 C.E.  But the Qumran Essenes' final battle did not end as the War Scroll imagined.  What de Vaux labeled and archeologists still call Phase II of the site ended in fiery destruction, with Roman arrowheads scattered around the site.  In their final desperate act, the members took and hid their sacred scrolls in nearby caves, rolled up in storage jars with bowls and lids, and they were not discovered again until a Bedouin shepherd stumbled upon them in 1947." (Excavating Jesus, p. 158)

  • Jones, Robert C. The Dead Sea Scrolls and Christianity (1999) "“Kittim” Commentary on Habakkuk 1:17: “This means the Kittim, who cause many to perish by the sword – youths, men, and old men; women and little children – and on the fruit of the womb have no mercy.” (Burrows, p. 367) War Scroll: And the dominion of the Kittim shall come to an end, so that wickedness shall be laid low without any remnant; and there shall be no survivor of the sons of darkness.” (Burrows, p. 390)

  • On Some Points Connected with the Essenes - Lightfoot

  • Dead Sea Scrolls: Reference Materials "It has also been hypothesized that the Qumran scrolls are the secreted library of a community, perhaps Essene, that lived at Qumran, and thus survived the destruction of the settlement in c.A.D. 68. Startling parallels in expression and thought between the Qumran materials and the New Testament have led to speculation as to their influence on early Christianity." (Kittim: "Term appearing in the Dead Sea Scrolls, used of the Romans. The Kittim are referred to as warriors from the west, who capture Jerusalem."

  • Thanksgiving Hymn (I Cent.)

  • Scroll Fragments | Cave Tour

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