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How Similiar Dead Sea Scrolls to Old Testament?

PostPosted: Tue Jun 05, 2018 11:30 am
by Garudaman

Re: How Similiar Dead Sea Scrolls to Old Testament?

PostPosted: Tue Jun 05, 2018 11:41 am
by manfred
Please write something too... a few links is not really much of a topic.

Re: How Similiar Dead Sea Scrolls to Old Testament?

PostPosted: Tue Jun 05, 2018 4:05 pm
by manfred
The dead sea scrolls are a very big subject... Most of them are just little fragments of text, but there are a few bigger texts. Of these some are biblical texts, some ore other writings, such as songs, prayers and discussions of biblical texts.

Some of the biblical texts, such as Ezekiel, have short extra passages compared with the bible, others are the same text, for example there is a copy of Leviticus. There are fragments of almost all books of the Hebrew bible (not Esther), and some are complete, such as Isaiah. (two copies, one complete, one in large fragments)

It is thought that the scrolls were probably a kind of library of a religious community who lived in Qumran a few years before Christ, some suggest the "Essenes". These were a semi-monastic group, keeping themselves away from the "mainstream" Jewish establishment and most likely had variant religious beliefs.

They were expecting the messiah any day soon, and some writers suggest many of them became Christians.

The actual texts have not been made public for a number of years, but you can now get facsimile copies easily. Most of them are in Hebrew.

There are no NT texts among the scrolls.

But the dead sea scrolls have in fact the oldest existing manuscripts of the Hebrew bible, by a long margin. Papyrus texts do not generally last that long, and therefore they often simply renewed.

There are some differences to "standard" Hebrew bible texts, but overall they are not of great significance, such as the height of Goliath is given as about 2 metres in the dead sea scroll, but he was taller in the book of Samuel.

It seems that before the official "canon" of the Hebrew bible was drawn up, there were multiple "editions" to many biblical books, with small variations. I have said for some time that we should get a "synoptic" Hebrew bible, with the Qumran texts sided by side the other text, so that everyone can see.

Re: How Similiar Dead Sea Scrolls to Old Testament?

PostPosted: Tue Jun 05, 2018 9:15 pm
by Hombre
manfred wrote:Please write something too... a few links is not really much of a topic.
Very much agree. I already learned to ignore them.

Re: How Similiar Dead Sea Scrolls to Old Testament?

PostPosted: Wed Jun 06, 2018 11:22 am
by Garudaman
manfred wrote:Please write something too... a few links is not really much of a topic.

i think the title of thread already explain all this topic about.

Re: How Similiar Dead Sea Scrolls to Old Testament?

PostPosted: Wed Jun 06, 2018 4:08 pm
by Eagle
The Dead Sea scrolls are dated between 150 BCE and 70 CE meaning there is still over 1000 years of history between this time period and the time of Moses, let alone Abraham, Isaac and Ishmael. But this is besides the point since no Torah was found among the scrolls of Qumran. The oldest known Torah fragment is from the silver scrolls dating back to 700BCE and contains Numbers 6:24-26.

The written Torah was completely destroyed, alog with the first Temple. It was rewritten by Ezra through "divine miracle" according to Jewish traditions, obviously as it was majoritarily forgotten despite their claims of unbroken chain of transmission up to Moses. In fact there are even indications of that "chain" having broken even in the first or second generation following Moses Judges2:10"After that whole generation had been gathered to their ancestors, another generation grew up who knew neither the Lord nor what he had done for Israel". There are other examples attesting not only to forgetfulness as to the contents of the books, let alone complete despise towards them Hos8:12, but also to their whereabouts. For example during the reign of Joshiah and while the Temple was being repaired, the high priest came across a manuscript not knowing what it was until it was presented to the King who rent his clothes appart upon recognizing it 2kings22.

There are also mention of entire pieces having been purposely burned by the corrupt elite, such as the scroll of Jeremiah Jer36:23, and even though it was re-writen later Jer36:27-32, it reveals the complete careless attitude of the comunity's most prominent figures towards sacred texts. Jeremiah, Hosea and others often lamented at their behavior and manipulations Jer8:8,Hosea4:6etc

Ezra was the founder of the "Great Assembly", the institution that provided religious guidance to the Jews during the second temple era (520BCE – 70CE). These 120 men are said to have "finalized" the Hebrew Bible and enacted many laws, under the prophet Ezra's authority who was divinely inspired. They, after much debates, decided what to include in the final canon of the Tanakh/Hebrew bible.

In fact Israelite tradition isnt even sure in which language the Torah was given to them originally, whether it was ancient Hebrew, Assyrian, or Samaritan or whether it was later changed to Samaritan as a punishement (Sanhedrin 21b,22a,Y'rushalmi M'gillah 10a − chapter 1 halachah 9).

In the process, they even forgot how to pronounce God's name hence the use of the tetragammaton. What is agreed upon is that upon his return from the Babylonian exile and into Israel, Ezra rewrote the HB in Hebrew but using the Aramaic alphabet (the lingua franca of those days)

It is an undisputed fact that;
- there are parts of the Torah that must have been written long after Moses' death (Burial, Dan, etc)
- that Ezra at least re-introduced the people to the Torah (see Nehemia8) if not added rituals to festivals such as "Sukkot" that the Jews never knew about until he showed up Neh8:17 while the details of this ritual are found in Lev23 which was supposedly written by Moses.
- that Ezra is known as "the scribe", compared to none other than the one who received the Law, ie Moses who is seen as the greatest of prophets in the Talmud Sanhedrin 21b-22a
- that even in the mainstream Jewish tradition there is acceptance that Ezra at least made minor edits to the Torah
- that there is an entire book from 2,000 years ago (albeit a few hundred years after Ezra's time) that claims Ezra wrote the current version of the Torah (2Esdras14)
- that Ezra initiated the particulars of the prayer ritual

The Dead Sea Scrolls contain many non-canonical manuscripts such as the Books of Enoch, Jubilees, Tobit, Sirach, additional psalms, etc., that were not ultimately canonized, as well as "Sectarian" speaking of the beliefs of smaller groups within Judaism. There is even a Book in the canonized Bible that is not found in the DSS, namely the Book of Esther. Less than 40% of the documents found are classified as Biblical.

Encyclopedia Britannica:
"..They [DSS] make clear the existence of several textual traditions even in Hebrew..they(DSS) have not solved its(OT) fundamental problem..this problem is probably insoluble, and the best that can be achieved is an approximation of the text of the OT..it has numerous differences of both little and great significance when compared to the Septuagint" Some of the MSS(manuscripts) found are like the LXX others like the Samaritan Pentateuch, and some are very similar to the Masoretic text (Encyclopedia Americana). This leads scholars to think that a “proto-Masoretic” text was established by the year 100 A.D. In Cave 4, 157 fragments of biblical texts were found, among which all books of the Hebrew canon except Esther and Nehemiah. The fragments revealed differences during the transmission of the OT. For example 1-2 Samuel,Jeremiah,Exodus differ with the Masoretic tradition leading scholars to conclude the MT represents a Palestinian rewording, Jeremiah is shorter than the Septuagint version(jer33:14-26 used as prophecy for Jesus isnt found in the fragments) and it cannot be due to translation issues from the greek as the fragment is dated to the 2nd century B. C. wile work on the Septuagint version began in Alexandria around 285 B.C. which shows a different pre-Christian form of the Hebrew text was used in both cases, Exodus is longer and its form is only found in Samaritan writings. (The Dead Sea Scrolls and the Bible: After Forty Years," America, October 31, 1987, p. 302)


The Oxford Companion to Archaeology:
The biblical manuscripts from Qumran, which include at least fragments from every book of the Old Testament, except perhaps for the Book of Esther, provide a far older cross section of scriptural tradition than that available to scholars before. While some of the Qumran biblical manuscripts are nearly identical to the Masoretic, or traditional, Hebrew text of the Old Testament, some manuscripts of the books of Exodus and Samuel found in Cave Four exhibit dramatic differences in both language and content. In their astonishing range of textual variants, the Qumran biblical discoveries have prompted scholars to reconsider the once-accepted theories of the development of the modern biblical text from only three manuscript families: of the Masoretic text, of the Hebrew original of the Septuagint, and of the Samaritan Pentateuch. It is now becoming increasingly clear that the Old Testament scripture was extremely fluid until its canonization around A.D. 100.


The above discreprencies lead honest Bible scholars, mainly the Jews, to conclude that these caves of Qumran where the scrolls were found might very well be a g'nizah - a storage place for faulty sacred books (containing scribal errors) and other ritual items as was done in ancient times.

Re: How Similiar Dead Sea Scrolls to Old Testament?

PostPosted: Wed Jun 06, 2018 5:16 pm
by manfred
In the process, they even forgot how to pronounce God's name hence the use of the tetragammaton.


Really? So what is this name? And you know this from where?

The written Torah was completely destroyed


There were more than one copy... The one in the temple may have been destroyed but not all the rest.
There are also mention of entire pieces having been purposely burned by the corrupt elite, such as the scroll of Jeremiah Jer36:23, and even though it was re-writen later Jer36:27-32, it reveals the complete careless attitude of the comunity's most prominent figures towards sacred texts. Jeremiah, Hosea and others often lamented at their behavior and manipulations Jer8:8,Hosea4:6etc


Given that Hosea lived about 200 years before Jeremiah, I am surprised to learn he complained about some alleged corruption of a text which will not be written for another 200 years.

As to Jeremiah 36, did you read that? It tells the story of Jeremiah upsetting Jehoiakim, the king of Judah, and he tried to capture Jeremiah. He burnt a scroll he wrote. But in the end the scroll was rewritten. We know all this from Jeremiah's own account. It was not some "careless attitude" that caused the scrill to be burnt, it was because Jeremiah suffered persecution, because he said things some people, notably Jehoiakim, found offensive.

As to Jeremiah 8:8

"'How can you say, "We are wise, for we have the law of the LORD," when actually the lying pen of the scribes has handled it falsely?


He does not accuse people altering biblical texts, something quite futile, as you cannot alter all the copies in existence at the same time. He accuses the religious establishment of ignoring the law and of teaching falsely.

As to the idea that it was the dead sea scroll were a sort of grave yard for "faulty" texts, interesting theory, by why would people want to keep them? I think there were various "editions", and the texts in Qumran were used by a religious community somewhat off-set from the mainstream Jewish religion. Think about it... they were carefully hidden. Why? To prevent some people finding them and burning them. Who? That could only be the Temple establishment.

As to the authorship of the Torah... do you actually think Moses wrote that? How did Moses get to describe his own funeral? Dear eagle, that part of the Hebrew bible has several authors, all quite some time after Moses. There are four main ones, but we do not have the names. The Yahwist is probably the oldest, then there is the Elohist. If you look closely at the beginning of Genesis, you find that these two sources have been combined into a sort of synopsis, hence the repetition. Then there is the Priestly source, probably several authors, mostly responsible for Leviticus, but also other bit. The newest is the Deuteronomist, a writer summarising the "law" in his own way and commenting on it.

The oldest parts of the Torah are some 200 years AFTER Moses.

Re: How Similiar Dead Sea Scrolls to Old Testament?

PostPosted: Wed Jun 06, 2018 9:18 pm
by Eagle
Nobody spoke of textual corruption. What was shown wasthe utter carelessness of every individual as regards God's word, leading to the physical loss of the Torah. Add to it the oral manipulation through misinterpretation as well as thr successive destructions, scaytering and assimilations into foreign cultures and all elements are there for the loss of the original. Hence the claims of divine intervention through Ezra to restore it.

Another thing to add to the 2kings22 episode referred to prior, the text says what was found was "the" Torah not "a" Torah. Talmudic rabbis explain this difficulty by stating that the uniqueness of this find, and the fact nobody knew a priori what it was, doesnt mean no other Torah was in circulation, rather that it was written in a forgotten script very few could read...

As to the 4letters name, to forget the correct pronunciation of a recurrent word which happens to be one of God's names is quite revealing as regards their carelessness.

The Lord of all people, as taught in the final revelation to mankind can be named by absolutely any name, so long as it is the "best of names" that emphasize, evoke or describe certain of His attributes and the ways He interracts with the universe 17:110"Call upon Allah or call upon, Al-Rahman; whichever you call upon, He has the best names".

Re: How Similiar Dead Sea Scrolls to Old Testament?

PostPosted: Wed Jun 06, 2018 9:40 pm
by manfred
What was shown wasthe utter carelessness of every individual as regards God's word, leading to the physical loss of the Torah


You mentioned the destruction of the temple and the copy of the torah therein. So you say that the Romans destroyed the temple is due to Jewish "carelessness" in matters of religion?

And the story of Ezra does not say he rewrote the Torah... he merely re-introduced it to Jerusalem after the Babylonian exile. What he actually took back is not certain, as some parts of the Torah post date him.

As to the 4letters name, to forget the correct pronunciation of a recurrent word which happens to be one of God's names is quite revealing as regards their carelessness.


The tetragrammaton was FORBIDDEN to say out loud. We know how to say it, but you are not supposed to do that.

Re: How Similiar Dead Sea Scrolls to Old Testament?

PostPosted: Wed Jun 06, 2018 10:29 pm
by Eagle
Only Christians "know" how to say it. Jews are ignorant of it and according to tradition will remain so until the messianic age. Jews, contrary to Christians, respect God by admitting to their ignorance since it is impossible to pronounce a word consisting of four consonants only, without any vowels, without resulting in an incorrect pronunciation to anyone who tries, and there is nothing more insulting than mispronouncing someone's name, let alone God's name. The pronunciation "Yahweh" or "Jehovah" is based on that used by some of the Church Fathers but even among biblical scholars there is no certainty at all in this matter which is why most prefer to render it simply as YHWH without the vowels. In fact the pronounciation "Yahweh" is a big blunder by ancient Christians who ignorantly took the vowelization which Jews use for ADNY (The aleph has the vowel "ah", the daled has "o", the nun has "ah" and it ends with a yud = AhDoNahY) and applied it to YHWH (They gave the first "ah" to the Y, then the "o" to the H, and finally the last "ah" to the letter vav = YaHoVah, regularily pronounced Yahweh or Jehovah).

Seeing God's name as so sacred that it shouldn't be mentioned is condemned as a great injustice in the Quran 2:114. The remembrance of God, praising Him by His name and attributes is an important part of a worshiper's rituals, continuously commanded in the Quran 87:1"Glorify the name of your Lord, the Most High".

Ezra gave the Torah its final shape even according to the most conservative views although other parts may have been added later. He also rewrote it in a language accessible to post exile Jews, adding unknown rituals and laws in the process.

Re: How Similiar Dead Sea Scrolls to Old Testament?

PostPosted: Wed Jun 06, 2018 11:06 pm
by manfred
The "Jehovah" thing is a 19th century error by Charles Taze Russell, the man who brought about the "Jehovah's witnesses", an American preacher and self-styled "pastor", who could not read Hebrew, hence the mistake.

Of course do Jews know how to say the word, maybe not all of them but certainly every single Rabbi I know does. It is easy for one Jew to teach another how to say the name of God, just but writing it down, with the correct vowel signs. That way nether needs to say it.

And God's name is not mentioned in the Qur'an. Allah is something different altogether.


"Glorify the name of your Lord, the Most High"


Let them praise the name of the LORD, for his name alone is exalted; his splendour is above the earth and the heavens.


Psalm 148: 13 ( and several other places)
For the LORD Most High is awesome, the great King over all the earth.

Psalm 47:2 and several other places

So Mohammed copied and used bits from the psalms in the Qur'an.