Melchizedek Again

18 Jan

Melchizedek seems to have been a pretty important figure in heterodox Jewish literature. I wrote in an earlier post that in 2 Enoch, Melchizedek was born from a virgin during the time of Noah. In the Qumran community, Melchizedek is seen as an archangel who serves as a high priest in heaven, much like Philo’s “Logos”. Both seem to be the prescedent for the Greek writing author of Hebrews.

The DSS community writes about Melchizedek in 11Q13 or the Scroll of Melchizedek (link to it at the Gnostic Library). Why is Melchizedek such an important figure in heterodox Jewish literature, but only shows up in the canonical Jewish bible at Genesis 14 and Psalm 110? What’s even more odd is that the Melchizedek Scroll above never quotes from Psalm 110. 11Q13 has been dated to the later 2nd / early 1st century before the Christian era… what if Psalm 110 was written after the sectarian writings of the DSS community?

The word “Melchizedek” might be liberally translated as “my righteous king”, oddly sharing etymology with the Sadducees (tzedekim). Another parchment found at Qumran 4QAmram 2.3 has the opposite name Melchi-resha (“king of evil”) for a chief angel of darkness.

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Posted by on January 18, 2010 in melchizedek, sadducees


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