Sunday, September 9, 2018

Notes On The Dead Sea Scrolls

"While the Dead Sea scrolls contain copies of several books of the Apocrypha, they contain far more copies of pseudepigraphal books like 1 Enoch that even the Roman Catholic church admits are clearly not inspired. What is important to note here, however, is that owning copies of a book does not imply belief in that book's inspiration. The Dead Sea Scrolls contain a variety of community rules, historical documents, festival calendars, and other uninspired documents that the community found useful. The scrolls do not contain commentaries on the Apocrypha as they do for the Jewish Old Testament books, and they do not cite the Apocrypha authoritatively as scripture. This probably indicates that even the Essene community did not regard the Apocrypha as highly as the Jewish Old Testament books." (Ryan Turner,, "Reasons why the Apocrypha does not belong in the Bible")

" 1947, some Bedouin shepherds were looking for some lost sheep in the hill sides surrounding the Dead Sea in Israel. One of the shepherds threw a rock into a distant cave and heard the sound of pottery shattering.

...What scholars discovered was not just one cave, but eleven caves. Instead of a few manuscripts, scholars uncovered a library of writings from the Essene community including various books from the Old Testament, commentaries on Old Testament books, and other extra-Biblical literature.

Interestingly, these writings included parts of every single book of the Old Testament minus the book of Esther. Perhaps the most interesting discovery was an almost complete Isaiah scroll. When scholars compared the Isaiah scroll to our earliest copies of Isaiah previous to then (900 to 1000 A.D.), they found that there were only about 13 textual variations. Regarding Isaiah 53, which predicts the suffering and death of Jesus, they only found one variation in the entire chapter that had any possible significance: putting "light" in Isaiah 53:11." (Ryan Turner,, "Has the Old Testament been corrupted?")