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Dead Sea Scrolls christian

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  • Wieland Willker
    Well, good story. From the Toronto Star, May 5. Note the name Philip Comfort below. He has his revised version of NT Greek Manuscripts out these days, btw.
    Message 1 of 2 , May 7, 2001
      Well, good story. From the Toronto Star, May 5.
      Note the name Philip Comfort below. He has his revised version of "NT Greek Manuscripts"
      out these days, btw.

      Best wishes
      Wieland
      <><
      ---------------
      Wieland Willker, Bremen, Germany
      mailto:willker@...-bremen.de
      http://www.uni-bremen.de/~wie

      ---------------
      See: [line wrap!]
      http://www.thestar.com/apps/AppLogic+FTContentServer?pagename=thestar/Layout/Article_Type1
      &c=Article&cid=988774402047&call_page=TS_Entertainment,Life&call_pageid=968867495754&call_
      pagepath=Entertainment,Life/News

      Who wrote Dead Sea Scrolls?
      Integrity of scholars and Bible itself at stake in debate
      Neil Altman and David Crowder
      SPECIAL TO THE STAR

      Since the discovery in the late 1940s of a huge cache of scrolls in caves near the Dead
      Sea, a tight-knit community of scholars has insisted they were written by a Jewish sect
      before the birth of Jesus.

      But new theories and findings are stirring up the debate about the origins of the scrolls
      as images of them have become more available to scholars and the public. And evidence is
      mounting they were written later, perhaps hundreds of years later than most scholars
      believe, by Christians.

      At stake is the credibility of the original eight-member team of Dead Sea Scroll scholars.
      Also at stake is the integrity of the Bible itself, which has undergone scores of changes
      because of the scrolls. And more changes are on the way.

      Some scholars, for instance, say the Temple Scroll should be incorporated into the Old
      Testament as the sixth book of Moses.

      "The New Revised Standard Version (of the Bible) adds a significant passage to 1 Samuel
      10:27 from the text of the Qumran Samuel scroll," says David Scholer of Fuller Theological
      Seminary in Pasadena, Calif.

      Interestingly, it is Christian versions of the Old Testament to which almost all of the
      changes have been made. Publishers of Jewish Bibles are far less willing to alter the
      scriptures because of the scrolls.

      Among Christians, their ministers and priests, few are aware that the Dead Sea Scrolls
      have led to more than 800 "minor" changes in Old Testament editions so far.

      The first scrolls reportedly were found in 1947 in a cave near the ruins of Qumran
      overlooking the Dead Sea. Archaeologists and others discovered 11 caves in all that held
      more than 800 manuscripts, some remarkably well preserved and others reduced to fragments.
      Among the documents were parts of all but one of the 39 books of the Old Testament.

      The prevalent theory is that the scrolls were hidden there in about 68 A.D. to keep them
      out of Roman hands during the Jewish revolt that led to the destruction of Jerusalem in 70
      A.D.

      A long line of scholars have asserted the manuscripts belonged to the Essenes, a Jewish
      sect thought to have occupied Qumran before the time of Christ. But St. Epiphanius, a 4th
      century A.D. scholar and church father, wrote that the name Essene, or "lessaeans" in
      Greek, was used to designate early gentile followers of Jesus. And the actual writers of
      the scrolls never called themselves Essenes, but referred to themselves in Christian
      terms, such as "the poor" or "poor in spirit.''

      Christianity is generally unaware of its Jewish roots and influences, which existed well
      into the medieval period that began about 300 A.D. and lasted 1,300 years.

      If the scrolls are regarded as documents that Essene scribes did not produce, they take on
      a much broader significance and become a link in showing just how much Judaism influenced
      medieval Christian thought.

      One well-known scholar and author broke ranks with the Dead Sea Scrolls establishment in
      the 1990s, contending that many of the major scrolls come from the first and second
      century A.D. and speak cryptically of Jesus and his brother, James.

      "If we can identify the scrolls within the first century (A.D.), then all the official
      positions of scroll scholarship collapse," says Robert Eisenman, chairman of the Religious
      Studies Department at California State University in Long Beach.

      The most famous of all Dead Sea Scrolls, the Great Isaiah Scroll, contains an abundance of
      evidence that suggests it was copied much later in Christian times.

      Prior to the scrolls' discovery, the three oldest known copies of Isaiah were part of the
      Cairo, Aleppo and Leningrad codices, which have been dated from 895 to 950 A.D. The Isaiah
      scroll has been officially dated at 100 B.C., yet it contains clear separations between
      sentences and paragraphs that appear more advanced than the three medieval Isaiah texts.

      The evolution of Hebrew manuscripts is described in the Encyclopedia Of Judaism, where
      sentence and paragraph separation — along with vowel marks — are said to have been
      developed by the Masoretes from the 6th to the 10th centuries A.D.

      The Isaiah scroll also contains examples of how Christians, rather than Jews, copied
      Biblical manuscripts. Corrections made in the body of Isaiah text, for instance, suggest
      it was transcribed by Christian hands because Jewish scribes made their corrections in the
      margins of biblical texts. In 1992, The Lutheran magazine reported that Christian copyists
      usually made the change in the text itself.

      Since 1950, scholars have recognized that the Great Isaiah Scroll, the most complete
      biblical text found at Qumran, contains eleven Xs, most of which are heavily marked in the
      margins. Randall Price, in his 1996 book The Secrets Of The Dead Sea Scrolls, writes that
      Eastern Christianity's Syriac Church used the X as a sign of the cross in manuscripts to
      mark passages about Jesus Christ. That fact, Price wrote, came from Epiphanius.

      The Xs in the Isaiah scroll also correspond to passages often recognized as prophecy about
      the coming messiah, adding credence to the possibility those marks were made in the
      Christian era.

      "Isaiah chapters 42:1 and 42:6 are clearly messianic passages that speak of Jesus, and the
      Xs here relating to him are an extremely important discovery," says Philip Comfort, senior
      Bible editor at Tyndale Publishing House.

      There is a previously undiscovered 12th X at the start of Isaiah 7:14 that deals with the
      virgin birth of the Messiah. The presence of that X is confirmed by Sheynin and other
      scholars consulted for this article.

      Sheynin also confirms that a uniquely Christian-sounding change was made in the 11th verse
      of Chapter 7 in the Great Isaiah Scroll.

      In that passage, according to the New International Version of the Bible, God tells the
      Jewish king Ahaz, "Ask the Lord your God for a sign, whether in the deepest depths or in
      the highest heights.''

      But it reads very differently in the Isaiah scroll — a fact overlooked by scroll scholars
      but confirmed by Sheynin and others. As it appears in the scroll, Sheynin says he would
      translate the passage as ``Ask a sign from the father of the Lord (your) God . . .''
      Sheynin says, "it looks like somebody wrote and corrected it. There is a possibility that
      someone corrected it to fit his own religious beliefs.

      "The change was made after Christianity became prominent. We cannot think anything like
      this would appear before 90 AD.''

      Other scholars give the passage an even more Christian twist, saying it could also be
      translated as God telling Ahaz to ask for a sign not from the father of God, but from the
      mother of God.

      John Trever, the first scholar to photograph the scrolls, now disputes the transcription
      of Isaiah 7:11 that appears in the 1950 book written around his photos, The Dead Sea
      Scrolls Of St. Mark's Monastery, and in his own book about the scrolls, published in 1972.
      Asked why the passage was given the traditional reading that omits any reference to the
      words "mother" or "father," Trever says, "That's a good question, and I don't have an
      answer.''

      Norman Golb, who holds the chair of the Jewish people at the University of Chicago and
      author of Who Wrote The Dead Sea Scrolls? (Scribners, 1995), reluctantly acknowledged the
      change as well when, during an interview, he provided an on-the-spot translation of Isaiah
      7:11.

      "Ask of thyself a sign from the mother of God," Golb says, adding, "or the father of
      God.''

      Asked why the passage was not accurately transcribed, Golb dismissed the change, saying
      that it would have been "gibberish" to refer either to the mother or father of God.

      While scholars were willing to discuss the changes in Isaiah 7:11, they balked at the
      apparent changes in Isaiah 53, a chapter that Christians believe refers to the Messiah's
      suffering for the sins of mankind.

      Isaiah 53:1, the Hebrew word "al" was changed to "El'', implying that the Messiah would be
      God.

      Farther down, in the Isaiah 53:9, a passage that refers to the slain Messiah, the scribe
      again altered the traditional text by adding a word that can be translated as "awaken,"
      suggesting the resurrection that is at the heart of Christianity.

      Although the Dead Sea Scrolls were reportedly discovered 53 years ago, scholars have paid
      little attention to the use of red ink in some of the Biblical texts found at Qumran.

      Yet, University of Pennsylvania scholars say the earliest use of red ink in Biblical
      manuscripts, such as the Codex Sinaiticus written by Christian monks, was in the 3rd or
      4th century A.D. Sheynin says it wasn't until 1,000 years later that red ink first
      appeared in Hebrew manuscripts.

      Rabbinical sources state categorically that from ancient times on, only black ink was to
      be used in Torah texts. Yet red ink is used in more than a few scroll fragments, including
      two from the biblical book of Numbers. That would seem to suggest that the texts were
      written by non-Jewish scribes


      --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
      Neil Altman is a Philadelphia-based writer who specializes in the Dead Sea Scrolls and
      religion. David Crowder is an investigative reporter for the El Paso Times.
    • John Schmitt
      Deidre, Just in case you hadn t seen this -- ... From: Wieland Willker To: LXX-List ; TC-List
      Message 2 of 2 , May 7, 2001
        Deidre,

        Just in case you hadn't seen this --


        -----Original Message-----
        From: Wieland Willker <willker@...-bremen.de>
        To: LXX-List <lxx@yahoogroups.com>; TC-List <tc-list@...-certr.org>
        Date: Monday, May 07, 2001 2:47 AM
        Subject: [lxx] Dead Sea Scrolls christian


        >Well, good story. From the Toronto Star, May 5.
        >Note the name Philip Comfort below. He has his revised version of "NT Greek
        Manuscripts"
        >out these days, btw.
        >
        >Best wishes
        > Wieland
        > <><
        >---------------
        >Wieland Willker, Bremen, Germany
        >mailto:willker@...-bremen.de
        >http://www.uni-bremen.de/~wie
        >
        >---------------
        >See: [line wrap!]
        >http://www.thestar.com/apps/AppLogic+FTContentServer?pagename=thestar/Layou
        t/Article_Type1
        >&c=Article&cid=988774402047&call_page=TS_Entertainment,Life&call_pageid=968
        867495754&call_
        >pagepath=Entertainment,Life/News
        >
        >Who wrote Dead Sea Scrolls?
        >Integrity of scholars and Bible itself at stake in debate
        >Neil Altman and David Crowder
        >SPECIAL TO THE STAR
        >
        >Since the discovery in the late 1940s of a huge cache of scrolls in caves
        near the Dead
        >Sea, a tight-knit community of scholars has insisted they were written by a
        Jewish sect
        >before the birth of Jesus.
        >
        >But new theories and findings are stirring up the debate about the origins
        of the scrolls
        >as images of them have become more available to scholars and the public.
        And evidence is
        >mounting they were written later, perhaps hundreds of years later than most
        scholars
        >believe, by Christians.
        >
        >At stake is the credibility of the original eight-member team of Dead Sea
        Scroll scholars.
        >Also at stake is the integrity of the Bible itself, which has undergone
        scores of changes
        >because of the scrolls. And more changes are on the way.
        >
        >Some scholars, for instance, say the Temple Scroll should be incorporated
        into the Old
        >Testament as the sixth book of Moses.
        >
        >"The New Revised Standard Version (of the Bible) adds a significant passage
        to 1 Samuel
        >10:27 from the text of the Qumran Samuel scroll," says David Scholer of
        Fuller Theological
        >Seminary in Pasadena, Calif.
        >
        >Interestingly, it is Christian versions of the Old Testament to which
        almost all of the
        >changes have been made. Publishers of Jewish Bibles are far less willing to
        alter the
        >scriptures because of the scrolls.
        >
        >Among Christians, their ministers and priests, few are aware that the Dead
        Sea Scrolls
        >have led to more than 800 "minor" changes in Old Testament editions so far.
        >
        >The first scrolls reportedly were found in 1947 in a cave near the ruins of
        Qumran
        >overlooking the Dead Sea. Archaeologists and others discovered 11 caves in
        all that held
        >more than 800 manuscripts, some remarkably well preserved and others
        reduced to fragments.
        >Among the documents were parts of all but one of the 39 books of the Old
        Testament.
        >
        >The prevalent theory is that the scrolls were hidden there in about 68 A.D.
        to keep them
        >out of Roman hands during the Jewish revolt that led to the destruction of
        Jerusalem in 70
        >A.D.
        >
        >A long line of scholars have asserted the manuscripts belonged to the
        Essenes, a Jewish
        >sect thought to have occupied Qumran before the time of Christ. But St.
        Epiphanius, a 4th
        >century A.D. scholar and church father, wrote that the name Essene, or
        "lessaeans" in
        >Greek, was used to designate early gentile followers of Jesus. And the
        actual writers of
        >the scrolls never called themselves Essenes, but referred to themselves in
        Christian
        >terms, such as "the poor" or "poor in spirit.''
        >
        >Christianity is generally unaware of its Jewish roots and influences, which
        existed well
        >into the medieval period that began about 300 A.D. and lasted 1,300 years.
        >
        >If the scrolls are regarded as documents that Essene scribes did not
        produce, they take on
        >a much broader significance and become a link in showing just how much
        Judaism influenced
        >medieval Christian thought.
        >
        >One well-known scholar and author broke ranks with the Dead Sea Scrolls
        establishment in
        >the 1990s, contending that many of the major scrolls come from the first
        and second
        >century A.D. and speak cryptically of Jesus and his brother, James.
        >
        >"If we can identify the scrolls within the first century (A.D.), then all
        the official
        >positions of scroll scholarship collapse," says Robert Eisenman, chairman
        of the Religious
        >Studies Department at California State University in Long Beach.
        >
        >The most famous of all Dead Sea Scrolls, the Great Isaiah Scroll, contains
        an abundance of
        >evidence that suggests it was copied much later in Christian times.
        >
        >Prior to the scrolls' discovery, the three oldest known copies of Isaiah
        were part of the
        >Cairo, Aleppo and Leningrad codices, which have been dated from 895 to 950
        A.D. The Isaiah
        >scroll has been officially dated at 100 B.C., yet it contains clear
        separations between
        >sentences and paragraphs that appear more advanced than the three medieval
        Isaiah texts.
        >
        >The evolution of Hebrew manuscripts is described in the Encyclopedia Of
        Judaism, where
        >sentence and paragraph separation — along with vowel marks — are said to
        have been
        >developed by the Masoretes from the 6th to the 10th centuries A.D.
        >
        >The Isaiah scroll also contains examples of how Christians, rather than
        Jews, copied
        >Biblical manuscripts. Corrections made in the body of Isaiah text, for
        instance, suggest
        >it was transcribed by Christian hands because Jewish scribes made their
        corrections in the
        >margins of biblical texts. In 1992, The Lutheran magazine reported that
        Christian copyists
        >usually made the change in the text itself.
        >
        >Since 1950, scholars have recognized that the Great Isaiah Scroll, the most
        complete
        >biblical text found at Qumran, contains eleven Xs, most of which are
        heavily marked in the
        >margins. Randall Price, in his 1996 book The Secrets Of The Dead Sea
        Scrolls, writes that
        >Eastern Christianity's Syriac Church used the X as a sign of the cross in
        manuscripts to
        >mark passages about Jesus Christ. That fact, Price wrote, came from
        Epiphanius.
        >
        >The Xs in the Isaiah scroll also correspond to passages often recognized as
        prophecy about
        >the coming messiah, adding credence to the possibility those marks were
        made in the
        >Christian era.
        >
        >"Isaiah chapters 42:1 and 42:6 are clearly messianic passages that speak of
        Jesus, and the
        >Xs here relating to him are an extremely important discovery," says Philip
        Comfort, senior
        >Bible editor at Tyndale Publishing House.
        >
        >There is a previously undiscovered 12th X at the start of Isaiah 7:14 that
        deals with the
        >virgin birth of the Messiah. The presence of that X is confirmed by Sheynin
        and other
        >scholars consulted for this article.
        >
        >Sheynin also confirms that a uniquely Christian-sounding change was made in
        the 11th verse
        >of Chapter 7 in the Great Isaiah Scroll.
        >
        >In that passage, according to the New International Version of the Bible,
        God tells the
        >Jewish king Ahaz, "Ask the Lord your God for a sign, whether in the deepest
        depths or in
        >the highest heights.''
        >
        >But it reads very differently in the Isaiah scroll — a fact overlooked by
        scroll scholars
        >but confirmed by Sheynin and others. As it appears in the scroll, Sheynin
        says he would
        >translate the passage as ``Ask a sign from the father of the Lord (your)
        God . . .''
        >Sheynin says, "it looks like somebody wrote and corrected it. There is a
        possibility that
        >someone corrected it to fit his own religious beliefs.
        >
        >"The change was made after Christianity became prominent. We cannot think
        anything like
        >this would appear before 90 AD.''
        >
        >Other scholars give the passage an even more Christian twist, saying it
        could also be
        >translated as God telling Ahaz to ask for a sign not from the father of
        God, but from the
        >mother of God.
        >
        >John Trever, the first scholar to photograph the scrolls, now disputes the
        transcription
        >of Isaiah 7:11 that appears in the 1950 book written around his photos, The
        Dead Sea
        >Scrolls Of St. Mark's Monastery, and in his own book about the scrolls,
        published in 1972.
        >Asked why the passage was given the traditional reading that omits any
        reference to the
        >words "mother" or "father," Trever says, "That's a good question, and I
        don't have an
        >answer.''
        >
        >Norman Golb, who holds the chair of the Jewish people at the University of
        Chicago and
        >author of Who Wrote The Dead Sea Scrolls? (Scribners, 1995), reluctantly
        acknowledged the
        >change as well when, during an interview, he provided an on-the-spot
        translation of Isaiah
        >7:11.
        >
        >"Ask of thyself a sign from the mother of God," Golb says, adding, "or the
        father of
        >God.''
        >
        >Asked why the passage was not accurately transcribed, Golb dismissed the
        change, saying
        >that it would have been "gibberish" to refer either to the mother or father
        of God.
        >
        >While scholars were willing to discuss the changes in Isaiah 7:11, they
        balked at the
        >apparent changes in Isaiah 53, a chapter that Christians believe refers to
        the Messiah's
        >suffering for the sins of mankind.
        >
        >Isaiah 53:1, the Hebrew word "al" was changed to "El'', implying that the
        Messiah would be
        >God.
        >
        >Farther down, in the Isaiah 53:9, a passage that refers to the slain
        Messiah, the scribe
        >again altered the traditional text by adding a word that can be translated
        as "awaken,"
        >suggesting the resurrection that is at the heart of Christianity.
        >
        >Although the Dead Sea Scrolls were reportedly discovered 53 years ago,
        scholars have paid
        >little attention to the use of red ink in some of the Biblical texts found
        at Qumran.
        >
        >Yet, University of Pennsylvania scholars say the earliest use of red ink in
        Biblical
        >manuscripts, such as the Codex Sinaiticus written by Christian monks, was
        in the 3rd or
        >4th century A.D. Sheynin says it wasn't until 1,000 years later that red
        ink first
        >appeared in Hebrew manuscripts.
        >
        >Rabbinical sources state categorically that from ancient times on, only
        black ink was to
        >be used in Torah texts. Yet red ink is used in more than a few scroll
        fragments, including
        >two from the biblical book of Numbers. That would seem to suggest that the
        texts were
        >written by non-Jewish scribes
        >
        >
        >---------------------------------------------------------------------------
        -----
        >Neil Altman is a Philadelphia-based writer who specializes in the Dead Sea
        Scrolls and
        >religion. David Crowder is an investigative reporter for the El Paso Times.
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
        >
        >
        >
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