Confused or intrigued with Second Temple hermeneutics?

Second Temple interpretations of Scripture often look very odd to modern readers. That's because modern readers are missing these interpreters' worldview context.

Sacred Texts and Paradigmatic Revolutions illustrates how modern readers can work to recover this context.

The volume works with the case studies of the Qumran community and the apostle Paul to illustrate how to recover this context in a way that can be applied in other texts as well.

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    "A theoretically informed discussion of the hermeneutical roles attributed to the Righteous Teacher and Messiah Jesus … , this study advances an approach to the comparative study of ancient Jewish and Christian sources that is both methodologically sophisticated and textually grounded."

    Timothy Lim

    University of Edinburgh

    INside the Volume

    Inside Sacred Texts and Paradigmatic Revolutions, chapter 1 lays out a new approach to understanding Second Temple interpreters by focusing on the elements of their worldviews that are so often overlooked.

    Chapter 2 illustrates this approach within the Qumran sectarian manuscripts by focusing on texts that interpret Scripture in terms of the community's Righteous Teacher.

    Chapter 3 illustrates the approach within the apostle Paul's letter to the Romans by focusing on texts that interpret Scripture in terms of Jesus of Nazareth.

    From this approach begins to emerge a profile how convictions about each of these key figures formed the hermeneutics of the communities that followed them, which are summarized in chapter 4.

    More Reviews of Sacred Texts and Paradigmatic Revolutions

    "In this creative and competent study, J. David Stark investigates the hermeneutical paradigms underlying various forms of Second Temple Judaism and Paul’s letter to the Romans. In so doing, he sheds important light on Jewish conceptions of the climactic enactment of the purposes of Abraham’s God for his people."

    ~ Andreas Köstenberger, Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary

    J. David Stark demonstrates an mpressive knowledge of the Qumran texts and the writings of the apostle Paul. He interacts well with primary sources as well as the vast amount of secondary literature on these topics. Those interested in hermeneutics, the Qumran community, or the influences on the apostle Paul, will benefit from reading this well-researched and well-written monograph. Stark has made an excellent contribution to the field of hermeneutics and New Testament studies.

    ~ Benjamin Merkle, Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary

    The author presents a well-researched work. The greatest strength the book lies in the way Stark frames his study through an extensive methodological discussion in chapter one. The book is recommended for those who are keen on exploring how the insights gained in Philiosophical/Theoretical Hermeneutics might be manifested in exegesis as well as those who are interested in comparative studies on biblical interpretation during the Second Temple period.

    ~ Kengo Akiyama, University of Edinburgh

    This book represents an invaluable collection of primary and secondary references to several important issues which students of the New Testament and biblical hermeneutics cannot perennially evade. These include but need not be limited to issues of method and methodology, texts from Qumran, Romans (esp. Rom 9:5), [Thomas] Kuhn, and rhetoric.… I am confident every postgraduate student fo the New Testament will find it most useful.

    ~ M. S. Tshehla, University of South Africa