Monday, November 13, 2006

Ephesians 5:21 and the Dead Sea Scrolls

Here are some interesting passages I’ve come across in reading The Dead Sea Scrolls Translated: The Qumran Texts in English Second Edition by Florentino Garcia Martinez (Eerdmans, 1996). I haven’t seen any articles discussing the conceptual and grammatical structure on “submitting to one another” in the Dead Sea Scrolls, and how they might help in discussions of Ephesians 5:21’s “submitting to one another” passage, but I would like to point out a similar structure I found.

In Ephesians 5:21 we read, “Submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ.” Following this we see a breakout of three different groups, husbands and wives, parents and children, and slave owners and slaves. It is apparent that Paul spells out more clearly what he means by his general statement of submission with these three life applications.

In the following, we see the same structure, a general command to obey one another, followed by a more explicit statement of what it looks like.

One another texts in the Dead Sea Scrolls:

And they shall be recorded in the Rule, each one before his fellow, according to his insight and his deeds, in such a way that each one obeys his fellow, junior under senior.
1QS V 23 (Matinez, 9) see also 4QSd Frag. 1 col. II 2-3 (Matinez, 22)

When ever one fellow meets another, the junior shall obey the senior in work and money.
1QS VI 2 (Matinez, 9) see also 4QSd Frag. 1 col. II 6-7 (Matinez, 23)

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