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The "Righteous Teacher"

 This paper will offer a comparison and contrasting of the "Righteous Teacher," as suggested in the translation of the restored Scroll of Habakkuk recovered from the first cave at Qumran in 1948, and the figure of Jesus of Nazareth, the Christ of the New Testament, as presented in the Gospel of Matthew; specifically, the "Sermon on the Mount" in Chapters 5, 6, and 7, which was His first discourse, on the Righteousness of the Kingdom.

The Midrash Pesher of Habakkuk, as Brownlee titles it, is perhaps a mixed metaphor in terms of biblical commentary. In the strictest sense, midrash is seen as scholarly, rabbinical commentary on and interpretation of the books of the Hebrew Scriptures, and Jewish religious observance and practice in the light thereof. The Midrashic tradition traces its origin to the first days of the Exile in the sixth century BCE, and extends to roughly the thirteenth century CE. The various midrashim can be divided into groupings according to the type of commentary they provide: halakhah, or that which is primarily concerned with the law (civil or religious) and codes of behavior; and, aggadah (or, haggadah), or that which has been described as "all the nonlegal literature of rabbinic Judaism. It is . . . a kind of 'imaginative' literature" (Holtz, 178). On the other hand, pesher is viewed as prophetic interpretation or insight, which does not necessarily devolve from rabbinic sources, although this should not be taken to mean that it is any less "authoritative."

As Brownlee (24-25) proposes, the Pesher of Habakkuk (and the others like it) fairly argues for the creation of a wholly new category of midrash, namely, "midrash pesher," because the literary form of the writing includes both elements of halakhic and aggadic interpretation as well as prophetic and eschatological interpretation and exegesis. Because of this, as Brownlee argues (25), "it seems more logical to . . . recognize a new species of Mid...

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The "Righteous Teacher". (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 23:55, June 15, 2019, from