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An Understanding of the Salvation of the Righteous in 1QpHab vii.5-viii.3

Pong Dae Im 1

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ABSTRACT

In this study, I will attempt to evaluate the salvation of the righteous through the lens of Pesher Habakkuk (1QpHab), particularly vii.5-viii.3, which is the interpretation of the biblical text of Habakkuk 2:3-4. This requires a previous understanding of a figure of the Teacher of Righteousness since the text describes the salvation of the righteous as "their trouble and fidelity to the Teacher of the Righteous"(1QpHab viii.1-3). The interpretation of Habakkuk 2:4b in 1QpHab viii.1-3 gives us a clear view of God's salvation from the house of judgment through both lm'['(‘āmāl, trouble) and hn"mua/(’emunâ, fidelity) to the Teacher of Righteousness. The Teacher of Righteousness is the founder of the community and the supreme interpreter of the Law. He confronts opponents from within and without, including "the Man of Lies" and "the Wicked Priest." While the Man of Lies is the leader of opposition among his own community who rises up against the Teacher, the Wicked Priest is the high priesthood of the Temple, from which the Teacher of Righteousness and his community separate themselves. The perspective of 1QpHab shows that the Qumran community knew the concept of the need for righteousness imputed by God. Here is also a significant development beyond the Old Testament itself in that the Qumran community already understood Habakkuk's words in terms of relationship to a person. This enabled Paul to apply Habakkuk 2:4 to Jesus Christ and to understand it. When it comes to faith in Jesus Christ, Paul understood this text teaches that one is not justified before God through the works of the law but accomplished through faith. This was intensified as the declaration of the Reformation by Martin Luther, which is “Only by faith” (sola fide), and became the core of the Reformed credo of Christianity. However, we can say that, in 1QpHab, the salvation of the righteous is not the alternative of ‘by works’ or ‘by faith.’ This understanding leads us to reconsider the Reformed credo “Only by faith” (sola fide) in the context of the modern church, which is confronted not only with spiritual issues but also ethical ones.

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