University of Cambridge
Faculty of Divinity, University of Cambridge

Justification and Variegated Nomism

Cambridge Seminar for NT PhD students

Drs. M.N.A. Bockmuehl & P.M. Head


This web page was created alongside a series of seven seminars held in the Divinity Faculty of the University of Cambridge for PhD students in NT studies. The purpose of the web page was simply to ease communication about the programme and also allow papers to be read easily by those who may have missed a seminar session. Although the seminar series is now ended, the web site will be maintained in the hope that some of the material here may be of use to others. For the next series of seminars see Eusebius, Ecclesiastical History.


I. Introduction & Rationale:

i)                     New Book: Justification and Variegated Nomism: 16 chapters on salvation, justification and Torah in Second Temple Judaism

ii)                   How adequate is “covenantal nomism” [E.P. Sanders, Paul and Palestinian Judaism (London: SCM, 1977)]?

iii)                  Crucial for contemporary Pauline theology (which you’ll probably be teaching in a few years whatever you are doing now) and important for all areas of NT theology.

iv)                 Introduction to texts and theology of selected Jewish texts

v)                   I’ve set up this web site as a way of providing information to/for you. If you want to load up your contributions then just send them to me in an email. If you find other worthwhile links that might be fun too. [mailto:]



II. The book: Justification and Variegated Nomism. Volume I. The Complexities of Second Temple Judaism (eds: D.A. Carson, P.T. O’Brien & M.A. Seifrid; WUNT2.140; Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck & Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2001).

1. Introduction                                                                                                              D.A.Carson

2. Prayers and Psalms                                                                                                  D. Falk

3. Scripture-Based Stories in the Pseudepigrapha                                                  C.A. Evans

4. Expansions of Scripture                                                                                          P. Enns

5. Didactic Stories                                                                                                        P.R. Davies

6. Apocalypses                                                                                                            R. Bauckham

7. Testaments                                                                                                               R.A. Kugler

8. Wisdom                                                                                                                     D.E. Gowan

9. Josephus                                                                                                                   P. Spilsbury

10. Torah and Salvation in Tannaitic Literature                                                      P.S. Alexander

11. Some Targum Themes                                                                                           M. McNamara

12. Philo of Alexandria                                                                                                D.M. Hay

13. 1QS and Salvation at Qumran                                                                              M Bockmuehl

14. Righteousness Language in the Hebrew Scriptures and Early Judaism       M.A. Seifrid

15. The Pharisees between “Judaisms” and “Common Judaism”                        R. Deines

16. Summaries and Conclusion                                                                                  D.A. Carson



III. The Seminar Plan:

Session 1 (14.1.2002): Prayers & Psalms (Falk, JVN; cf. Sanders, PPJ, 387-409)

a)       Text for discussion: Ps Sol 9 (Greek) Greek text from Rahlfs, LXX, 2.471-489; ET: R.B. Wright in Charlesworth (ed.), OTPseud 2.639-670.

Greek text and translation notes (by D. Jongkind): PssSol 9

PSALMS OF SOLOMON (Translated from Greek and Syriac manuscripts by G. Buchanan Gray in R. H. Charles, ed., The Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha of the Old Testament in English (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1913) 2: 631-652)

On-line Bibliography

b)       One PhD student to introduce Psalms of Solomon (10-15 minutes).                           Dirk Jongkind on PssSol

c)       One PhD student to respond to Falk (10-15 minutes)                                    Richard Deibert on Falk (on Sanders)

Dan Falk                Falk on DSS

d)       General Discussion



Session 2 (11.2.2002) Apocalypses (Bauckham, JVN, ch. 6, pp. 135-187; cf. Sanders, PPJ, pp. 409-418)

a)       One PhD student to introduce 4 Ezra (10-15 minutes)                                   John Taylor on 4 Ezra

b)       Text for discussion: 4 Ezra (whole in ET) 4 Ezra = 2 Esdras 3-14 (ET: B.M. Metzger in Charlesworth (ed.), OTPseud 1.517-559 [& RSV Apocrypha]). Latin: R.L. Bensly, The Fourth Book of Ezra (TS 3.2; Cambridge: CUP, 1895) or B. Violet, Die Ezra-Apokalypse (IV. Ezra) (GCS 18; Leipzig: J.C. Hinrichs, 1910) [with GT of other versions]

2 Esdras, 4 Ezra

Latin Vulgate Bible - 4 Ezra

4 Ezra Bibliography

Prof. Stone's biography and bibliography

c)       One PhD student to respond to Bauckham (10-15 minutes)                                         Bill Salier on Bauckham

Prof. Bauckham's Homepage

d)       General Discussion



Session 3 (15.3.2002) 1QS and Salvation at Qumran (Bockmuehl, JVN, ch. 13, pp. 381-414; cf. Sanders, PPJ, pp. 239-328)

a)       One participant to introduce 1QS (10-15 minutes)                                                          P. Head on Community Rule

b)       Text for discussion: 1QS 10-11. Text: F.G. Martinez & E.J.C. Tigchelaar, The Dead Sea Scrolls Study Edition (Leiden: Brill, 1997-8; 2 vols); vol. 1. Or J.H. Charlesworth (ed.), Princeton Theological Seminary DSS Project. Volume One (Tübingen: Mohr(Siebeck), 1994).

1QS Images

Transcription of 1QS by David L. Washburn

1QS: Intro & Bibliog.


Qumran General: Library of Congress Exhibition

Dead Sea Scrolls (time-line, people, scrolls and links)

Inventory of Manuscripts from Qumran

Orion Center: Site Map       DJD Index              Dead Sea Scrolls Bibliography

c)       One PhD student to respond to Bockmuehl (10-15 minutes)                                        Bill Salier on Bockmuehl

Bockmuehl Web page (mostly teaching, bibliog.)

d)       General Discussion



Session 4 (22.4.2002) Pharisees (Deines, JVN, ch. 15, pp. 443-504)

a)       One PhD student to introduce 4QMMT (10-15 minutes)                                              Jeff Dryden on 4QMMT

b)       Text for discussion: 4QMMT (= 4Q394-399). Composite text & ET: DJD X, pp. 44-63; Separate documents: Martinez & Tigchelaar, DSSSE, vol. 2, pp. 790-805.

UU Qumran Seminar - About 4QMMT (Bibliog.)

4QMMT: Intro & Bibliog.

4Q396 (Picture and Info with ET)


Qumran General: Library of Congress Exhibition

Dead Sea Scrolls (time-line, people, scrolls and links)

Inventory of Manuscripts from Qumran

Orion Center: Site Map       DJD Index              Dead Sea Scrolls Bibliography

c)       One PhD student to respond to Deines (10-15 minutes)                                               Rob Bewley on Deines (Pharisees)

Roland Deines

Pharisees (by Douglas R. de Lacey, 1995)


d)       General Discussion



Session 5 (27.5.2002) Torah and Salvation in Tannaitic Literature (Alexander, JVN, ch. 10, pp. 261-301; cf. Sanders, PPJ, pp. 147-182)

a)      Our volunteer for this session finished his PhD and went home! So we had an open session on the Mishnah.

Mishnah: picture and basic info

A Page of Talmud

Introductory Studies:

J. Neusner, ‘Rabbinic Literature: Mishnah and Tosefta’, Dictionary of New Testament Background (ed C.A. Evans & S.E. Porter; Downers Grove & Leicester: IVP, 2000), 893-897 (brief! Expert opinion).

R. Brooks, ‘Mishnah’, Anchor Bible Dictionary (only a couple of pages: general orientation)

E.E. Urbach, ‘Mishnah’, Encyclopedia Judaica, vol. 12, pp. 93-109 (fuller, traditional)

H.L. Strack & G. Stemberger, Introduction to the Talmud and Midrash (ET M.N.A. Bockmuehl; Edinburgh: T&T Clark, 1991), 119-166.

J. Neusner, The Raibbinic Traditions About the Pharisees before 70 (3 vols; Leiden: Brill, 1971).

TRENT: David Instone-Brewer, Traditions of the Rabbis from the Era of the New Testament Introduction to Rabbinic Literature and Dating Rabbinic Traditions on-line [Tyndale House]

b)      Text for discussion: mAboth 1 and mSanh 10.1-4. Hebrew and English texts: P. Blackman (ed), Mishnayoth. Volume IV Order Nezikin (New York: Judaica Press, 1963). ET: H. Danby, The Mishnah (Oxford: OUP, 1933 & reprints). Hebrew, ET & Comm: R. Travers Herford, Pirke Aboth. The Ethics of the Talmud: Sayings of the Fathers (New York: Schocken, 1962; earlier edition, London, 1925).


c)      General Discussion



Session 6 (17.6.2002): a) Torah and Salvation in Tannaitic Literature (Alexander, JVN, ch. 10, pp. 261-301; cf. Sanders, PPJ, pp. 147-182; b) Righteousness Language (Seifrid, JVN, ch. 14, pp. 415-442; cf. Brauch in Sanders, PPJ, pp. 523-542)

a)       General Discussion of Alexander’s chapter (carried over as unfinished business from our last meeting)

Philip Alexander CV & Photo

b)       One PhD student to respond to Seifrid (10-15 minutes)                                                                J.-P. Lotz

Seifrid Picture & Info

c)       General Discussion (including plans for next year)



Session 7 (24.6.2002) Special Final Session Carson’s ‘Concluding Reflections’, JVN, pp. 543-548.


a) Paper from PhD student on Reflections on the Seminar in light of our discussions and Carson’s ‘Concluding Reflections’, JVN, pp. 543-548. (10-15 minutes)                                                             Carson photo, brief info (scroll down)                            

R. Deibert: Reflections (Longer title: ‘The Justification of Covenantal Nomism: Reflections on Justification and Variegated Nomism, its Editorial Conclusions, and Pauline Theology’)

b) General Discussion



IV. Some Concluding Thoughts:

a.       For those who have stayed the course, the seminar seems to have fulfilled multiple aims: to read and discuss a range of Jewish texts from the second temple period; to (re-)consider the strengths and weaknesses of Sander’s description of Judaism in terms of ‘covenantal nomism’; to begin the process of relating these texts and issues to the exegesis of the New Testament.

b.       Working upwards from the texts themselves, introduced with papers in the seminar, alongside careful corporate reading of selected texts, before turning to the particular chapter of the book under discussion has proven very helpful. The complex nature of the sources themselves, the diversity of genre and context, the linguistic challenges of working with the original languages of the texts, have all been very clear from the outset. In general this has served to support the view (expressed in the sub-title) that, the sources reflect a complexity within Second Temple Judaism that cannot be glibly simplified.

c.       A number of issues have been raised repeatedly which deserve fuller treatment: the nomistic and exclusivist emphases of the sectarian literature and how this relates to divergent conceptions of Israel (highlighted by Falk and Bockmuehl and arising in other discussions as well); whether ‘getting in’ and ‘staying in’ are the best foci for ana