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|Title:||The Concept of Purity at Qumran and in the Letters of Paul|
|Authors:||Newton, Clive Michael|
|Abstract:||<p>It is the aim of this study to examine the use that is made of he concept of purity in the letters of Paul. It is found that Paul's use of the concept centres on the view that the Church, the community of believers, constitutes the Temple of God which enjoys God's presence and as such requires a pure environment so that the divine presence may be maintained.</p> <p>This view is not unique in the first century Jewish tradition to which Paul was closely connected. The religious community at Qumran, which was responsible for the Dead Sea Scrolls, held a similar view and indeed it has been shown that this idea was central to Judaism of the time. It was, in fact, to the Temple that all concerns with purity were eventually directed.</p> <p>What is distinctive about both Paul and the Qumran community is that they applied their use of the concept of purity to the conviction that their respective communities now constituted the Temple of God even while the Temple at Jerusalem still stood.</p> <p>This study, therefore, re-examines the use made of he idea of purity at Qumran in the light of this. It is shown how this group applied the purity concerns of the Jerusalem Temple to their own community. In addition it is noted that the idea of purity governed many other aspects of their religious life. This analysis of purity at Qumran is necessary in order to provide the groundwork of our study of Paul, who exhibits similar concerns.</p> <p>Little attention has been paid to the concept of purity in Paul, or elsewhere in the New Testament for that matter. Those involved in the study of early Christianity have, for the most part, not been aware of the role of purity in the religious system of Judaism and have ignored any reference to purity or have dismissed it as a primitive notion left over from a superstitious past which, in their opinion, was superseded by a higher spiritual religion; namely Christianity. Such approaches are misguided and this study demonstrates that purity is not to be overlooked if, in this case, the full ramifications of Paul's religious thought are to be properly understood. This study concludes that while purity had an important place in the religious life of Judaism, it also shaped the way that Paul thought about the community of believers, its behaviour and its relationship to the divine.</p>|
|Appears in Collections:||Open Access Dissertations and Theses|
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