Graduate Colloquium in Biblical & Early Christian Studies

2016-05-01 Family @Keble College (3)
Keble College. Photo (c) 2017

This collaborative seminar meets in the Gibbs Room at Keble College on alternate Wednesdays 8.15-9.45 beginning with breakfast, to discuss topics and texts in the development of biblical and early Christian faith and practice. The subject focus varies, but may include Jewish or early Christian primary sources, classic or important recent publications, or alternatively research in progress by members of the group.  Suggestions for future work are always welcome; please contact Prof. Bockmuehl for further information or to be added to the mailing list.

In Michaelmas Term 2017 we will study a selection of Messianic texts from the Dead Sea Scrolls. At least the most relevant passages will be considered in Hebrew, but graduates of all reading abilities are certainly welcome.  The programme will be approximately as follows:

  1. Week 2 (18 Oct): General Introduction; The Rule of the Congregation (1QSa)
  2. Week 4 (1 Nov): Apocalypses and related texts (4Q246, 4Q285, 4Q521)
  3. Week 6 (15 Nov): Scriptural Commentary (4Q161, 4Q174, 4Q252, 11Q13)
  4. Week 8 (29 Nov): Scriptural Commentary, ctd.

This list of texts is obviously partial: if you think there are texts we should add or exclude, please get in touch!

Please come prepared to discuss, having read the assigned texts at least in translation and where possible in Hebrew. I hope to make an additional bibliography available at the first meeting, and will also be inviting volunteers to help introduce subsequent texts.

Although in a few of its textual and translational decisions it is now ageing a little, we will be using the readily available bilingual Dead Sea Scrolls Study Edition, ed. F. Garcia Martinez & E.J.C. Tigchelaar, 2 vols, Grand Rapids: Eerdmans 1997-98.  In addition to numerous library copies around Oxford this is also readily available as an E-book through SOLO here, which in turn can be used to copy or print the relevant pages. If you wish to purchase your own copy, I recommend either the paperback or the Logos E-book (cheaper in a DSS/Jewish Studies bundle). Word to the wise: do not rely on the cheap Kindle edition, as its Hebrew layout is unusable!

Those who would like a little more formal training may wish to note a Qumran Hebrew reading class to be taught by Matthew Albanese on Tuesdays at 11am at OCHJS this term (Room 205). Matt has kindly made available two handouts: a basic guide to Qumran Hebrew and a bibliography.

Finally: we will experiment with a slightly different breakfast arrangement this term: Coffee and tea and a selection of croissants and pastries will be available in the Gibbs Room at 8.15, instead of beginning with the customary breakfast in Hall. Comments welcome!


Tentative plans for Hilary Term 2018: extracts from Irenaeus, Against Heresies. Trinity 2018: Origen, Against Celsus.