I beleive the Bible to be the word of God as far as it is translated, copied, and interpreted correctly. In the course of my studies of the Bible, I've discovered that it has a long and convoluted history. So, these are my discoveries and my musings of Christian history and doctrines.

Location: Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, United States

Tuesday, May 31, 2005

The Dead Sea Scrolls Compared to Our Bible

Just about everybody has heard of the Dead Sea Scrolls, but other than the fact that a bunch of books were discovered in caves near the Dead Sea, I have to confess that I, and many others like myself, have been largely ignorant of what those books were about. The Reader's Digest book entitled The Bible Through Ages states gives a brief synopsis of what exactly was found there.

Many of the books found there tell us about the daily life in this small, remote community. In addition to those books describing community life were found about 170 "Biblical" manuscripts, including books used as scripture that are not found in our modern day Bibles. One example is The Testaments of the Twelve Patriarchs which is supposed to be the biographies of the twelve sons of Jacob. Another book called the Jubilees which discusses the chronology of biblical history.

Comparing the Dead Sea books with those that are found in our Bibles today, there were some marked differences. Within that same little community there existed TWO different versions of Isaiah. The Psalms were arranged in a different order than ours and included three additional unknown Psalms. A remnant of 1st Samuel gives hitherto unkown details regarding Saul. Over all though, much of their scripture was very much like ours giving "an indication to some scholars that there was a trend toward standardization of the text during the first century A.D."

What? Do they mean to tell me that it wasn't any standardization for the thousands of years before the first century A.D.?

  • The History of the Bible (Pleasantville, New York: The Reader's Digest Association, Inc., 1996), p. 111.


Anonymous Barb said...

On a funny note.... There was an article in the Reader's Digest at one time telling people topics to bring up at parties that were sure to impress friends that was mainly a spoof. The Dead Sea Scrolls made the list. The author said that nobody knows enough about them to know if you are telling the truth. :)

11:13 PM  
Blogger Scott N. Ashby said...

That's too funny, but true.

2:59 PM  

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