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The Dead Sea scrolls: was there a cover up?.

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posted on Nov, 7 2002 @ 06:04 PM
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Unfortunatly, the media is often ready to sieze on statements by a sensationalist if they knock the church or the Bible.
There have been several instances of this concerning the dead sea scrolls. It has given the public the impression that they expose christianity as something invented by those who wrote the scrolls from 130 BC to AD 68 and they go on to accuse the church of trying to cover up these things. The accusation is laughable for anyone who knows even a few basic facts. The scrolls actually are a great testimony to the accuracy of our Bible text.
Instead of there being an attempt to prevent the scrolls coming to public attention, it was prominent clerics and scholars of the church who rescued many copies and brought them so that they could be translated for all to read.

NO COVER UP.

Five of the scrolls were found in cave 1. The archbishop of the syrian orthodox monastry in jerusalem, bought them and as he could not read hebrew, he told the american school of oriental research about the find, hoping that their scholars could translate the scrolls, so there was no cover up there.
By the Lord's providence, John Trevor was director and a good photographer. He photographed each column of the great scroll of Isaiah. This was 24 feet long and ten inches high. In great excitement, he sent some of the prints to Dr W.F. Albright in the USA.
Albright replied immediately.
"My heartiest congratulations on the greatest manuscript discovery of modern times... What an incredible find! And there can happily not be the slightest doubt in the world about the genuineness of the manuscript...I date it around 100 BC.' He meant that it was about the year that this copy was made from earlier copies. These in turn went back to when Isaiah wrote the original during a period around 740 to 722 BC.
The importance of the discovery was that it proved the great accuracy of the copyists over a period of 1000 years, because before this discovery, our oldest copy was made in the tenth century AD.
Gleason Archer states that it 'proved to be word-for word identicalwith our standard Hebrew Bible'. There were onlu a few variations which were no more than slips of pen and variations in spelling. It supported the fidelity of the massorete system of copying.
Edmund Wilson was one who wrote the first report of the discovery in 1955. Later in 1969, he wrote a review in which he admits that, as a journalist, he and others gave a tabloid sensational type of report on the origins of christianity. These journalists assumed that christ got all his ideas from the dead sea scrolls. To his credit, he then wrote a re-assessment fourteen years later.
He tells us that he had no affiliation with any church. To me, this explains why, when he read in the Dead sea scrolls some phrases that Jesus used, he thought that Jesus got his teaching from the scrolls. Only one who did not know that these phrases were in the old testament prophecies concerning the messiah, would misunderstand. What were those phrases? Jesus described himself as " The son of man". Where did Jesus get this expression from? It was from Daniel's prophecy about him in chapter 7:13. Was this invented by the scrolls? Of course not. They come much later.
"I saw in the night visions, and behold, with the clouds of heaven there came one like the son of man... and to him was give dominion and glory and kingdom."
The Dead sea scrolls echo this prophecy too. This is why Jesus replied to the high priest at his trial (Matthew26:64): "hereafter you will see the son of man seated at the right hand of power and coming on the clouds of heaven". He was Quoting that same phrophecy of Daniel.
Another phrase was about, "the teacher of righteousnees" who would be "favoured with divine revelations". Was this invented by the scrolls? No. Any christian familiar with the old testament knows that this was foretold by God to Jeremiah in chapter 31:31-34.

"Behold the days will come, says the lord, when I will make a new covenant (or new testament) with the house of Israel... I will write it in their hearts... they shall all know me from the least of them to the greatest of them, says the lord, for I will forgive their iniquity and remember their sin no more."

That is why the Lord jesus at the Last supper took the cup and said, "This is the new covenant in my blood which is shed for you." It is through trusting in the cleansing blood of christ that our sins are forgiven, and anybody can come to know God personally from the humblest to the greatest.



More to add later.




posted on Nov, 7 2002 @ 06:42 PM
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What did the eleven caves at Qumran yield? Their most familiar contents are texts of the Hebrew Bible-texts (mainly quite fragmentary) for every book but Esther. There are also works based on or related to the Hebrew Bible, sometimes called the Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha. Among them are Hebrew and Aramaic texts of works transmitted in secondary versions (1 Enoch, Jubilees, Sirach), as well as previously unknown works (Genesis Apocryphon, "pesharim" or biblical commentaries on the Prophets and Psalms, targums of Job and Leviticus). Moreover, there are many previously unknown "rules" for community life (Community Rule), for the eschatological battle (War Scroll), and for the ideal-temple city (Temple Scroll). Finally there are poetic and liturgical pieces (Thanksgiving Hymns, Songs of the Sabbath Sacrifice), wisdom instructions, legal rulings (4QMMT), horoscopes, and even a treasure map (Copper Scroll).[2]



posted on Nov, 7 2002 @ 06:49 PM
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The blood and bread of Christ thing probably ticked a lot of conservative Israelis off big time in those days.

Lets face its one thing to state in the Bible that Jesus was going to do something unique. Its another to go up against on of the tenants of Jewish faith. Not to say it was a bad idea.

My impressions is fundamentalism is what is wrong with this world, Jesus did a lot to make that apparent. My impression is it is something many people tried to cover up.



posted on Nov, 7 2002 @ 09:14 PM
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I think the real problem with the scrolls lies in their age...For one thing, no one can be 100% certain that they've all been recovered yet. Another thing is that many of them have succumbed to aging & they're not entirely *intact*.

All in all, between the attempts to translate archaic *meaning* from dead languages & the relative condition of the scrolls themselves, my opinion is that they've done a pretty good job of trying to recover those ancient words.

And yet, how many different *versions* of the Bible exist...Even for the English language alone, let alone the other languages that have been used? How many times & in how many was has the Vatican *changed* writings in the Bible? It's possible that they've tried to stay true to the actual scriptures & have to change them around from time to time in order to keep up with the new discoveries of more scrolls & the methods of translation...But with the heresies & atrocities that came out of the Church (Even to the modern day) makes me wonder how *accurately* the Church keeps true to the actual scriptures themselves...



posted on Nov, 8 2002 @ 01:32 PM
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Gospel of Thomas:

3. "If your leaders say to you, 'Look, the (Father's) kingdom is in the sky,' then the birds of the sky will precede you. If they say to you, 'It is in the sea,' then the fish will precede you. Rather, the (Father's) kingdom is within you and it is outside you."



posted on Nov, 8 2002 @ 06:52 PM
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Thats nice bandit, unfortunatly the Gospel of Thomas is accepted as a fraud...



posted on Nov, 8 2002 @ 06:57 PM
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Well it's a shame it's a fraud because that is probably the best scripture any christian could ever follow.



posted on Nov, 8 2002 @ 11:00 PM
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Steward It would seem apparent that what you have presented conflicts with what I have presented.

What are your thoughts?



posted on Jan, 24 2006 @ 09:23 PM
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due to a technicality, or they'd still be unpublished. The long delay in releasing the translations was too long for any other reason than not wanting to do it. If a woman who had copies of photos of them hadn't died and her heirs not realized their ability to make them public, they may still be secret.



posted on Jan, 25 2006 @ 07:16 AM
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If there is any question of church cover up in your mind all thatyou
need to do is to compare the DSS and the Nag Hammadi discoveries.

the DSS was handled and controled by church scholars. The NHL was handled
by private sector scholars.



posted on Jan, 26 2006 @ 07:27 AM
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Originally posted by stalkingwolf
If there is any question of church cover up in your mind all thatyou
need to do is to compare the DSS and the Nag Hammadi discoveries.

the DSS was handled and controled by church scholars. The NHL was handled by private sector scholars.


Were not the DSS controlled by *Jewish* scholars, who claimed copyright?

The NHL suffered exactly the same fate as the DSS, and very little appeared for 20 years until James Robinson took an interest, got the backing of UNESCO, and forced publication.

In both cases the problem was selfishness, as far as I can tell. Each text was handed out to a scholar to produce a printed edition. Each wanted to enhance his reputation with the 'best possible' edition, rather than quick publication. Even Robinson wasn't able to overcome this; the Manichaean texts from Medinet Madu have not all been published.

All the best,

Roger Pearse

[edit on 26/1/2006 by roger_pearse]



posted on Jan, 27 2006 @ 08:03 AM
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No. all researchers prior to 67-8 had to be approved by the RCC. As I
recall it was the modern version of the Holy Office that did the approving.

Since 67-8 Israel has had a great deal more control and say in the matter.
One person that comes to mind is Gaza Vermes.



posted on Jan, 28 2006 @ 08:55 AM
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Originally posted by stalkingwolf
No. all researchers prior to 67-8 had to be approved by the RCC. As I
recall it was the modern version of the Holy Office that did the approving.


The Jewish state of Israel delegated approval to the RCC?

All the best,

Roger Pearse



posted on Jan, 28 2006 @ 01:49 PM
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Originally posted by Netchicken
Thats nice bandit, unfortunatly the Gospel of Thomas is accepted as a fraud...


The Gospel of Thomas is accepted by the majority of scholars to be an authentic text written in 50 AD.

There is a minority of Christian scholars who believe it was written in 150 AD, but there are virtually no scholars who believe it was a fraud.

Inverencial Peace,
Akashic



posted on Jan, 28 2006 @ 02:21 PM
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That's rubbish Akashic. Most conservative scholars readily see the Gospel of Thomas as a fraud because of the gnostic preamble right at the beginning which gives away who really wrote it. Of course a few discredited scholars such as the Jesus seminar hold it to be true (based on the sensationalist nonsense of Q).

[edit on 28-1-2006 by Nakash]



posted on Jan, 28 2006 @ 03:11 PM
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Originally posted by Nakash
Most conservative scholars readily see the Gospel of Thomas as a fraud because of the gnostic preamble right at the beginning which gives away who really wrote it.


The authorship of the Gospel (Gnostic or Orthodox) has no bearing on the authenticity of the document. The Gospel is known to be Gnostic in origin, and there are very few people who disagree with that premise.

What has bearing on the authenticity is the date and setting in which it was written. With little research you can see that most scholars believe that it was written in 50 AD, while some conservative scholars believe it was written 100 years later. Either way the authenticity of the Gospel is not debated, as it is accepted by all parties to be from the first or second century AD.

Inverencial Peace,
Akashic


[edit on 28/1/2006 by AkashicWanderer]



posted on Jan, 28 2006 @ 04:33 PM
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Originally posted by AkashicWanderer

Originally posted by Netchicken
Thats nice bandit, unfortunatly the Gospel of Thomas is accepted as a fraud...


The Gospel of Thomas is accepted by the majority of scholars to be an authentic text written in 50 AD.


I think you need to document these assertions, which I think are in fact untrue.

Note that there are several apocryphal gospels which claim to be by Thomas; you refer to the Coptic gospel. On the consensus of scholars:

"The date of Thomas is likely to be mid-second century, although earlier dates have been proposed, and its provenance possibly Edessa; links with the Syriac Acts of Thomas are suggestive."

J.K.Elliot, "The New Testament Apocrypha", Oxford University Press (1993), p. 124.



There is a minority of Christian scholars who believe it was written in 150 AD,


I'm not sure why you suppose there is a confessional issue here, but you are welcome to document this. If you cannot, well, should we state things as fact that we don't know to be true?



but there are virtually no scholars who believe it was a fraud.


I'm not sure what you mean, but if you are saying every scholar thinks the text was written by the apostle Thomas, I venture to disagree!

Facts: The text must be second century at least since it contains gnostic elements, and gnosticism begins with Basilides. It cannot be later since fragments in Greek of that date exist, in a different recension. Some scholars propose an earlier version, dating from the first century; but such a text is not extant.

The text was never used by the church which was actually founded by the apostles. The only ancient reference to it is in Hippolytus (3rd century) who describes it as a fake used by people in Egypt.

All the best,

Roger Pearse

[edit on 28/1/2006 by roger_pearse]



posted on Jan, 28 2006 @ 04:37 PM
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Originally posted by Nakash
That's rubbish Akashic. Most conservative scholars readily see the Gospel of Thomas as a fraud because of the gnostic preamble right at the beginning which gives away who really wrote it. Of course a few discredited scholars such as the Jesus seminar hold it to be true (based on the sensationalist nonsense of Q).


I believe this is correct.

All the best,

Roger Pearse



posted on Jan, 28 2006 @ 06:43 PM
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Originally posted by roger_pearse

Originally posted by AkashicWanderer
The Gospel of Thomas is accepted by the majority of scholars to be an authentic text written in 50 AD.


I think you need to document these assertions, which I think are in fact untrue.


The most recent authoritative work on the NHL is The Gnostic Gospels of Jesus (2005) by Marvin Meyer. In the introduction to the Gospel of Thomas Marvin says,


A reasonable case can be made for a first-century date for the first edition of the Gospel of Thomas, though some scholars prefer a second-century date.


Bolding by me.

Without being bias to either side, it seems Marvin is saying that there are more scholars who support an earlier date for the original Gospel of Thomas. If the consensus was second century AD, it would seem appropiate to put most in the place of some.

Wikipedia says:


There is currently much debate about when the text was composed, with scholars generally falling into two main camps: an early camp favoring a date in the 50s before the canonical gospels and a late camp favoring a time after the last of the canonical gospels in the 90s. Among critical scholars, the early camp is dominant in North America, while the late camp is more popular in Europe (especially in the U.K. and Germany).


Whether or not the majority of scholars believe that the original Gospel of Thomas was written in the first century is debatable. What is not debatable is that virtually all scholars believe the text to be written prior to 160 AD.



Note that there are several apocryphal gospels which claim to be by Thomas; you refer to the Coptic gospel. On the consensus of scholars:

"The date of Thomas is likely to be mid-second century, although earlier dates have been proposed, and its provenance possibly Edessa; links with the Syriac Acts of Thomas are suggestive."

J.K.Elliot, "The New Testament Apocrypha", Oxford University Press (1993), p. 124.


It seems the concensus of scholars has slightly changed during these 13 years.




There is a minority of Christian scholars who believe it was written in 150 AD,


I'm not sure why you suppose there is a confessional issue here, but you are welcome to document this. If you cannot, well, should we state things as fact that we don't know to be true?


You are correct, although the number of scholars who support either dating stance isn't all that important in determining the authenticity of the Gospel. (not the authorship)




but there are virtually no scholars who believe it was a fraud.


I'm not sure what you mean, but if you are saying every scholar thinks the text was written by the apostle Thomas, I venture to disagree!


I'm not saying that at all. When I say authentic I mean that it is a copy of an original first or second century Gnostic text, which is all it is presumed to be.


Facts: The text must be second century at least since it contains gnostic elements, and gnosticism begins with Basilides.


The Gospel of Thomas contains very few elements of Classical Gnosticism.

It is only Gnostic in the sense that it portrays salvation as something achieved through Gnosis, knowledge through personal experience. The rest of the ideas that are currently attached to Gnosticism such as the Dualist worldview, which may very well have begun with Basilides, are not present.


It cannot be later since fragments in Greek of that date exist, in a different recension.


Agreed.



The text was never used by the church which was actually founded by the apostles.


Do you really know that? Should we state things as fact that we don't know to be true?

Inverencial Peace,
Akashic

[edit on 28/1/2006 by AkashicWanderer]



posted on Jan, 28 2006 @ 11:50 PM
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First:




There is currently much debate about when the text was composed, with scholars generally falling into two main camps: an early camp favoring a date in the 50s before the canonical gospels and a late camp favoring a time after the last of the canonical gospels in the 90s. Among critical scholars, the early camp is dominant in North America, while the late camp is more popular in Europe (especially in the U.K. and Germany).


Another reason why I don't use an encyclopaedia in which Jeffrey Dahmer could edit the section on Christianity. We have a series of complete first century texts such as the codex Vaticanus and several pieces of John (as well as some gospels whose carbon dating even suggest they could be originals, though I HIGHLY doubt that), yet we find copies of this gospel of Thomas at usually the 4th and 3rd centuries (correct me on this one Roger, do we have any copy dating before the third century A.D. ? ). That alone suggests it is of a dubious nature. The Gospel of Thomas was always considered a forgery, but the "critical" scholars of the Jesus Seminar (a detestable group of hoaxsters which have no problem highlighting sections of the attested Gospels which suit their leftist theology while throwing out the rest, yet who seem to put quite a bit of attention on forgeries).




What is not debatable is that virtually all scholars believe the text to be written prior to 160 AD.


Find me a copy before 160 A.D. PLEASE. We can find plenty of first century copies of the other gospels, it should be no problem for you. Once again, this goes back to the fallacious reasoning on Q. Do you want to know what Q was (if it ever existed which it didn't)? How about a real gospel some Gnostic heretic decided to edit.




The Gospel of Thomas contains very few elements of Classical Gnosticism.


ONE drop of gnosticism is enough. Gnosticism is Pagan Neoplatonism and has absolutely no place in Christianity. The concept of salvation through Gnosis itself suggests a late compostion. Salvation through secret codes, knowledge, and ritualism was a concept originating with Valentinus- it was his novel contribution in the so called "Gospel of truth" (an assured influence on Thomas).




It cannot be later since fragments in Greek of that date exist, in a different recension.


Of course- Thomas plagiarizes sections of the other Gospels which DO have very early fragments.

[edit on 28-1-2006 by Nakash]




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