The "Way of the Lord" in the Hebrew Bible, New Testament, and Dead Sea Scrolls
What is the “Way of the Lord”? The biblical prophet Isaiah uses the “Way of the Lord” to talk about Judeans returning from Babylonian exile in 538 BCE. Authors of the Dead Sea Scrolls said that the “Way of the Lord” was the path through the desert to their community as well as their way of life. Writers of the New Testament gospels use the “Way of the Lord” to talk about the teachings of John the Baptist and Jesus. Why was the notion of the “Way of the Lord” such a powerful idea to ancient Judean writers in such a variety of historical and social contexts? How is this “way” a physical road or path – returning home from exile or towards a new home in the desert? How is this “way” also used as a metaphor for a variety of theological claims? In this seminar, we will read passages from ancient Judean literature and discuss how authors adapted traditional religious ideas within new social contexts.