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Old 05-04-2002, 04:39 PM   #1
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Dead Sea Scrolls: Tell Me What You Know

Please.

Remember, I am not a Christian, so my knowledge of Scripture and the history surrounding it is limited. So, explain the finer points.

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Old 05-05-2002, 02:52 AM   #2
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Heh, clearly no one knows anything about them! Ehhh, I'd help you...but yah, I knoweth nothing on the subject, sorry.

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Old 05-05-2002, 10:53 AM   #3
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Thank you, darling Lilly! At least you tried, and I appreciate it. Maybe we should just make something up?

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Old 05-05-2002, 05:28 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally posted by martha:
Maybe we should just make something up?
Are you sure you're not a Christian?
Sorry, can't help either...
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Old 05-05-2002, 06:09 PM   #5
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Hmm...

The Dead Sea Scrolls are Old Testament scrolls that date from a few hundred years B.C. to about A.D. 70, suggesting that the Jewish sect at Qumran (sp?) hid these scrolls during the Roman destruction of Jerusalem.

Why these scrolls are so important to so many people is because they are the oldest known manuscripts of the Bible, predating the manuscripts used for the modern Bibles by about 1000 years. The most interesting aspect of the Dead Sea Scrolls, so far, is to see that these later texts added more (meaning that the Bible was not a fixed text, but changed over the centuries) and that several areas had been mistranslated. Neither have surprised me.

Melon

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Old 05-05-2002, 09:48 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally posted by martha:
Maybe we should just make something up?

Jesus was a guy who lived a looooong time ago, see. And before that (or maybe after) there were these scrolls writted and ehm, they were found in the dead sea. Their contents pertain to religion.

How was that?

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Old 05-05-2002, 09:52 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally posted by Lilly:
writted
*cough* maybe it's time for Lilly to review the English language a bit. See, I have an AP lit & composition test tomorrow, and maybe knowing verb conjugations would help.


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Old 05-06-2002, 12:19 AM   #8
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It was just a typo, Lills, that's all. Due to fatigue. Yeah, due to fatigue.


Thanks, melon, for some actual information.

Dr. Teeth, you are bad.

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Old 05-07-2002, 02:34 AM   #9
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I agree with Melon on what the Dead See Scrolls are...but he failed to discuss the finer points. For instance, what did the scrolls REVEAL about the translations of modern Bible books that were in the dead sea?
What bible books were in the dead sea and which were not?
When were the dead sea scrolls written?

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Old 05-07-2002, 05:36 AM   #10
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Surely a little bit of carbon dating would tell us when they were written?
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Old 05-07-2002, 07:42 AM   #11
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Last year I bought an idiot's guide to the middle east, and learned this about the dead c scrolls: There was a group that lived in Qumran near the Dead Sea; referred to as the Dead Sea Sect or something.

Some facts: in 1947 a Bedouin guy stumbled onto these scrolls in cave containing ancient artifactrs and jars with manuscripts in them that describe the beliefs of the sect and events of the time.

And I quote my idiot's guide, "The similarity of the substance of the material found in the scrolls to that in the modern scriptures has confirmed the authenticity of the Bible used today."

foray
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Old 05-07-2002, 05:47 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally posted by ]{arao]{e:
I agree with Melon on what the Dead See Scrolls are...but he failed to discuss the finer points. For instance, what did the scrolls REVEAL about the translations of modern Bible books that were in the dead sea?
What bible books were in the dead sea and which were not?
When were the dead sea scrolls written?
Thanks for the honest inquiry. I will try and answer them.

1) What was revealed was that the "newer" texts (written after the Dead Sea Scrolls) had more instances of "legalism" than the Dead Sea Scrolls. What this suggests is that the Old Testament has never been a fixed text. I have a feeling that if we found a text older than the Dead Sea Scrolls, it would be different from these texts as well.

What is very likely, in my opinion, is that when Jewish religious leaders made additional copies of the text (remember, this was the days before the printing press), they put in their added/revised laws. The idea that the Bible was the "true" and "unchangeable" "word of God" only really occurred with the Gnostics of A.D. 100-300 and with the rise of Protestantism in 1520 onwards. History does not support this claim.

2) To answer this question, I must first say that Judaism, at this time, was not wholly centralized (and still isn't). Just as Catholicism and Protestantism have different books in their Bibles, it is probably likely that different Jewish sects valued certain books over others. These are the books that the sect at Qum'ran valued, at the very minimum. Chronicles, for instance, was not a popular book with many Jewish sects, due to the more pro-Greek stances it has.

In 1999, a "Dead Sea Scrolls Bible" was published. Obviously, with the full translation of the scrolls only in 2001, revisions are due. However, here are the books that they listed in the table of contents:

Genesis
Exodus
Leviticus
Numbers
Deuteronomy
Jubilees
Prophets
Joshua
Judges
Samuel
Kings
Isaiah
Jeremiah
Ezekiel
The Book of the Twelve Minor Prophets
Hosea
Joel
Amos
Obadiah
Jonah
Micah
Nahum
Habakkuk
Zephaniah
Haggai
Zechariah
Malachi
1 Enoch
Daniel
Other Books
Psalms
Job
Proverbs
Ben Sira (Sirach)
Ruth
The Song of Songs (Canticles)
Qohelet (Ecclesiastes)
Lamentations
The Epistle of Jeremiah
Esther
Chronicles
Ezra-Nehemiah
Tobit

What you will notice is that books labelled "apocryphal" by Martin Luther during the Reformation are in this book. This is certainly not a slight to Luther's intentions; he discounted their divinity, due to the fact that original texts did not exist in his time--and did not "exist" until our lifetimes! I do believe that this does answer Luther's unending question after all.

Another thing to mention is the place of "inclusive language." To use more inclusive language is actually correct, rather than the patriarchal "he" in many instances (but not all). What English lacks, unfortunately, is an acceptable gender-neutral pronoun to refer to people. So, historically, "he" was designated the gender-neutral pronoun to make up for this fact. Unfortunately, this fact was glossed over in the modern era, instead incorrectly stating that the Bible was written wholly male. Beings like the Holy Spirit, for instance, are actually gender neutral, neither male nor female.

3) The scrolls were written from approximately the third century B.C. to A.D. 68, predating all previous existing versions of the Old Testament by 1000 years. It is surmised that, due to the close proximity of the Roman destruction of Jerusalem in A.D. 70 that this is why the scrolls were hidden in the caves. However, this is only a hypothesis; there really could have been any number of reasons why they were put there.

And, yes, these dates were verified using radiocarbon dating.

Please, by all means, I suggest doing your own research if you find this to be interesting. I always feel that self-teaching always makes one's faith stronger.

Melon

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[This message has been edited by melon (edited 05-07-2002).]
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Old 05-07-2002, 06:14 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally posted by melon:

Please, by all means, I suggest doing your own research if you find this to be interesting.

Melon

I went to a lecture on Friday night by Robert Eisenman (I know, what a geek way to spend a Friday night!). He's an authority on the Dead Sea Scrolls. My interest was piqued, and so I decided to get ready to do some reading about them once school is over and I'm off my feet for a few weeks. This should be fun. (Another geek comment.)

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