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4QTestimonia (or Messianic Anthology, 4Q175 [4QTest])

Click the image to view an enhanced version.
Testimonia was found in Cave Four near the site of Khirbet Qumran near the shores of the Dead Sea in the early 1950's. It is a short document, complete except for a piece missing in the lower right corner. The name "Testimonia" comes from an early type of Christian writing, which it resembles in literary style. The Christian Testimonia was a collection of verses from the Bible about the messiah, strung together to prove some kind of point. Verses used like this are usually called "proof-texts." The Testimonia from Qumran is not a Christian document, but does resemble the early Christian Testimonia because of its use of a number of verses dealing with a theme.

The Qumran text includes five biblical quotations connected by interpretation. The first two quotations refer to the raising up of a prophet like Moses. The third quotation refers to a royal Messiah, the fourth to a priestly Messiah. The quotation from Joshua is connected to the coming of a time of great disaster, brought on by those dedicated to evil. The manuscript is usually dated to the middle of the first century B.C.E.

Photograph by Bruce and Kenneth Zuckerman, West Semitic Research, in collaboration with the Princeton Theological Seminary. Courtesy Department of Antiquities, Jordan.

Commentary by Marilyn J. Lundberg.

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