By James H. Charlesworth (ed.)
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Extra info for John and Qumran
Also 3 : 21 ; 8 : 31f. (cf. 1 Jn 3 : 1ff. ; also 2 : 26f. ; 1 : 6 ; 2 : 4). 7 9 1 Jn 1 : 7. s o 1 Jn 2: 3f. ; 5 : 3. 8 1 1 Jn 1 : 8f. ; 2: 1 f. ; 3 : 4. 8 2 1 Jn 3 : 2f. s 3 1 Jn 2 : 9ff. ; 3 : 1 4ff. ; 4 : 7ff. 8 4Jn 1 5 : lff. 26 IOHN AND QUMRAN which have been granted him; for having put into his heart "teaching and understanding" so that he might bear witness to the divine power and glory in the midst of "the congregation of the Sons of Heaven". 8 ft What am I, that Thou shouldst [teach] me the counsel of Thy truth and give me understanding of Thy marvellous works ; that Thou shouldst lay hymns of thanksgiving within my mouth and [praise] upon my tongue .
13 . Is it possible to define with precision this dualistic position ? Efforts by scholars have resulted in divergent views. Terms such as metaphysical, cosmological, psychological, ethical-to note but a few -have been employed, which seem to mean different things to different scholars, and one or more of these adjectives have been used to the exclusion of others. 16 There is, however, agreement on one point. The dualism of Qumran was certainly not an absolute dualism, either in the sense of affirming a limitless coexistence and coequality of good and evil beings or forces, or of spirit and matter.
Belief in "the God of Israel" as Creator led the sectarians to espouse a "modified dualism", or perhaps one should say, a qualified or relative system. Much interest has centred on the question : to what do the "two spirits" have reference? Does the Qumran dualism merely express, in mythological language, a belief similar to that set forth in rabbinic literature, that God created in man two impulses or propensities, a good and an evil yet�er? 18 But references to the "dominions" of "the Angel of Darkness" (elsewhere given the personal name "Belial"19) and to God's "Angel of Truth" or "Prince of Light" (probably "Michael" of 1QM), 20 and to the baneful or helpful influences which these powers exert upon men, seem to demand a dualism that is cosmic in its dimensions.