The Dead Sea Scrolls include community regulations, poetry, commentaries, and 225 biblical manuscripts that contain at least parts of every book of the Jewish Bible and Protestant Old Testament. These Hebrew and Aramaic portions, found in manuscripts copied in the decades immediately before and after Jesus, are a full millennium older than the medieval Masoretic text (our primary source until the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls a little over 50 years ago). This book translates these biblical portions (highlighting the differences with the Masoretic text in italics), and includes a few psalms that never made the biblical canon. This is fascinating textual criticism and the nearest thing to having "the Bible Jesus read."
To understand what conversion is and does, Peace set out to examine the conversion of Paul, less by examining Paul's description of his conversion (as scholars usually do) and more by Luke's presentation of it. Peace concludes this is the Bible's normative understanding of "Christian conversion" (which consists of three movements: "insight, turning, and transformation").
He then uses this understanding to analyze the conversion of the twelve disciples as described in Mark's Gospel. The organizing principle in Mark, Peace argues, is not Christology, as most scholars argue, but the conversion of the twelve. Peace concludes that these conversions, though they "occur in different ways," share the "specific characteristic" of Pauline conversion.
He concludes by critiquing "encounter evangelism," which seeks instantaneous conversion, and encouraging "process evangelism," which understands conversion as a pilgrimage.
The authors' burden is to show that their title is not an oxymoron: more specifically, "to explore ...1
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