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?Apotropaic? Tactics in the Matthean Temptation
Michael Morris, Michael
Among the Dead Sea Scrolls are a number of texts that provide insight into demonological beliefs and practices in Second Temple Judaism. Some passages are concerned principally with providing safety from demonic influence. This anti-demonic orientation is expressed in two fundamental ways: the first is exorcistic and intends to relieve a person of current demonic affliction; the second is apotropaic and seeks protection from future demonic harm. Assessments of exorcistic and apotropaic works have benefited scholars of both early Jewish and early Christian literature. However, the majority of discussions which intersect Qumran studies with demonological traditions in the Synoptic Gospels have typically focused on exorcism. Still, the growing interest in preventative, apotropaic prayer and the illumination of this tradition by the Qumran material is resulting in recent endeavours to broaden the conversation about anti-demonic elements in the gospels. Building on the latest contributions, I analyse the account of the Temptation in the Gospel of Matthew (Matt 4:1-11) with the aim of demonstrating the presence of apotropaic features in the pericope. Specifically, two components of the narrative are considered: quotations from (1) Deuteronomy and (2) Psalm 91. The nature and function of these biblical quotations in the gospel text are examined against the backdrop of anti-demonic traditions from Qumran. This comparison reveals a similarity between aspects of the Temptation and early Jewish apotropaisms. Not only does this suggest the likelihood of analogous apotropaic features in Qumran texts and a Matthean narrative, it puts key parts of the pericope into sharper focus.
Keyword(s): Dead Sea Scrolls; Matthean temptation; apotropaic; Demonology
Publication Date:
Type: Journal article
Peer-Reviewed: Unknown
Language(s): English
Institution: Trinity College Dublin
Citation(s): Michael Michael Morris, '?Apotropaic? Tactics in the Matthean Temptation', Graduate Students? Union of the University of Dublin, Trinity College, Journal of Postgraduate Research;, 2014
Publisher(s): Graduate Students? Union of the University of Dublin, Trinity College
First Indexed: 2015-03-27 05:36:11 Last Updated: 2018-08-24 07:02:17