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Wisdom Literature (Eerdmans Comentaries on the Dead Sea Scrolls) Paperback – March 16, 2011

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Editorial Reviews


Bibliotheca Orientalis
“A comprehensive presentation of the wisdom texts from the DSS. . . . an excellent guide.”

“This is an excellent guide to the Qumran wisdom literature, providing updated introductions, new translations, and judicious commentaries on all the texts. John Kampen has succeeded in presenting this vast body of literature as a research tool for the advanced scholar and the beginning student alike, and has done so in an attractive way.”
--Emanuel Tov
Hebrew University, Jerusalem

“This volume provides an accessible collection of ten of the major wisdom documents found at Qumran. Based on his many years of work on this genre, Kampen has judiciously chosen key issues to focus on in the introductions to each work and in the commentaries. Concisely, yet with depth, he demonstrates what these wisdom texts can contribute to our understanding of Second Temple Judaism and the New Testament, and he alerts us to many questions that await further study and reflection.”
-- Eileen Schuller
McMaster University

“John Kampen, celebrated for his focus on wisdom in the Dead Sea Scrolls, has written, in an exciting and lucid manner, the first focused commentary on the Qumran wisdom texts. While the Cave 1 manuscripts rarely concern ‘wisdom,’ the scrolls Kampen translates are devoted to it. Studying a corpus of texts and not a definition is the beginning of wisdom. I find Kampen’s book exciting and perspicacious.”
-- James H. Charlesworth
Princeton University

“The Qumran wisdom texts, most of which only became known in the last wave of access to the Dead Sea Scrolls in the 1990s, are of enormous significance for our understanding of the Jewish wisdom tradition. . . . Kampen effortlessly opens up this new treasure trove of texts and puts their study on a firm footing. Essential reading.”
-- Charlotte Hempel
University of Birmingham

About the Author

John Kampen is professor of New Testament at Methodist Theological School in Ohio. An eminent scholar of the Dead Sea Scrolls and the New Testament, he is also coeditor (with John C. Reeves) of Pursuing the Text: Studies in Honor of Ben Zion Wacholder on the Occasion of his Seventieth Birthday.
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Product Details

  • Series: Eerdmans Comentaries on the Dead Sea Scrolls
  • Paperback: 408 pages
  • Publisher: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co.; First Edition edition (March 16, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0802843840
  • ISBN-13: 978-0802843845
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 6.4 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,722,852 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Tom D VINE VOICE on October 2, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Incredible piece of work and utterly fascinating. This is a heavily annotated work of translation and commentary on the Dead Sea Scrolls (of course) Wisdom literature. Keep in mind that the scrolls exist in parts, larger or smaller, sometimes just scraps.

Each of the ten primary chapters, some broken into many sub-chapters, offers an introduction, translation, line by line notes, extensive footnotes, commentary and bibliography. This is more of a reference books. Some readers might want to tackle it from beginning to end, but I'd guess most would focus on a particular area of interest.

There is an index of Bible verses, Old and New Testament to the relevant pages in the text and I suspect that for many people who are interested in better understanding the meaning of any passage in a contemporary translation, this will be the most useful way to access the text. There are not references for all verses and in some cases, such as the New Testament book of John, there are no references. In this context it is useful to remember that this book is one in an Eerdmans (publisher) series.

There are a lot of frustrations reading this, because the original material is so fragmented. At the same time it really is interesting, challenging and makes you wonder what kind of life and times produces this literature.
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