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Question about Habakkuk 3

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Question about Habakkuk 3

Postby JNjr. » Mon Dec 29, 2014 8:38 pm


I'm right now studying the prophet Habakkuk and I have a question that - mayby someone of you - can answer. As some of you will know, in liberal theology the unity of the book of the prophet is questioned. They argue that, because the Habakkuk-Comentary, wich was found in Qumran Cave I, does'nt mention Habakkuk chap. 3, this text must be written in the time after the babylonian exile.

I read that in Wadi Murabba'at a srcoll with the Minor Prophets was found too and that this scroll includes the whole book of Habakkuk (including chap. 3). But I didn't found further validation about it. Can anyone confirm this information? Has anyone moore information about any manuscript of the book getting back to 200 B.C.?

I really would appreciate your help. Thanks!


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Re: Question about Habakkuk 3

Postby TWTY-Admin » Tue Dec 30, 2014 9:10 am

Hi JNjr,

I can confirm that the Wadi Murabba'at Minor Prophets scroll (MurXII - get transcriptions from here) does indeed include Habakkuk chapters 1-3. However, the Wadi Murabba'at scroll is dated to be around the 100 CE mark, so three centuries removed from 200BCE.

There are two other Dead Sea Scrolls containing text from the book of Habakkuk - 4QXIIg and the Greek Minor prophets scroll from Nahal Hever/8HevXIIgr (again, see here under Habakkuk).

Unfortunately, the Hebrew manuscript 4QXIIg is quite fragmentary when it comes to Habakkuk, so it actually only contains text from chapter 2:4. How much exactly of Habakkuk it had is open to debate.

The Greek manuscript Nahal Hever/8HevXIIgr on the other hand does have text from all three chapters of Habakkuk, and this is dated to have been written between 50 BCE - 50CE. The fact that it's in Greek is quite significant, in that it shows all three chapters of Habakkuk together in a translation from the Hebrew, and not separated.

Therefore, the Dead Sea Scrolls really don't help in deducing whether Habakkuk chapter 3 was a later addition to Chapters 1-2 or not.

It will be said however that there really is no actual proof that Habakkuk didn't write all three chapters, or that he himself didn't add the chapter to his own writings at a later date; in the same way there's no evidence that the book of Isaiah was written by more than one person, or that the Torah was written over several centuries in order for scholars to develop their "documentary hypothesis" of how it's written.

It's all speculation, and those that would pronounce the above as "facts" would be far from telling the truth.
TWTY website and forum Administrator.

Please respect everyone, and try to not get too heated when discussing one's point of view :)


Re: Question about Habakkuk 3

Postby JNjr. » Fri Feb 06, 2015 2:46 pm

Hi TWTY-Admin,

thank you so much for your fast and detailed answer! While I study a biblical subject like Habakkuk right now, I prepare my notes in a way that I can use them later for my biblestudy-group. So it is important for me, not to put any speculations into this papers, but solid confirmed facts.

Thanks again & greetings from Germany ;)

Last bumped by Anonymous on Fri Feb 06, 2015 2:46 pm.

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