Monday, March 16, 2009

Who Wrote The Dead Sea Scrolls?

It should be noted that the article below is nothing new. Many scholars have questioned the essenes authorship of the dead sea scrolls since they were found. I have read these theories many times. This is not some new theory that "rocks the world of Biblical scholarship." This is an overhyped rehashing of a common theory. It may be true but the important thing is to remember it doesn't change the fact that we have copies of hundreds of prophecies fulfilled by Jesus written and stored in caves hundreds of years before his birth. It doesn't not change the date nor the accuracy of the dead sea scrolls which is well established.

Josephus himself never says the dead sea scrolls were written by the essenes. In fact, he didn't know of the dead sea scrolls existence because they were buried some 200 years before his life and were not discovered is until 1900 years after his death. He merely mentions the essenes living near where they were found and people have assumed they wrote the scrolls. We don't know for sure who wrote them.

The title to the article below is a misleading lie. Notice that the scholar doesn't claim the authors never existed. She says the priests following Zadok authored them. She merely claims that the authors were not the Essenes as many claim. In fact, she beleives the Essenes never existed. But she DOES NOT believe the authors of the Dead Sea Scrolls never existed. This is an example of the misleading titles almost always placed on articles about the historicity of the Bible. 

The title makes it sound like the dead sea scrolls are unreliable because who wrote them is questioned. Unless you read the entire article (which most people wont) you would think it draws doubts on the scrolls authenticity which is not questioned by any scholar. I believe this is done purposely to discredit the Dead Sea Scroll in peoples minds so that this great evidence of the reliability of scripture will be doubted. Don't fall for their manipulative titles,  guess work and supposed earth shaking theories which are a rehashing of old theories.

Scholar Claims Dead Sea Scrolls 'Authors' Never Existed


Biblical scholars have long argued that the Dead Sea Scrolls were the work of an ascetic and celibate Jewish community known as the Essenes, which flourished in the 1st century A.D. in the scorching desert canyons near the Dead Sea. Now a prominent Israeli scholar, Rachel Elior, disputes that the Essenes ever existed at all - a claim that has shaken the bedrock of biblical scholarship.

Elior, who teaches Jewish mysticism at Jerusalem's Hebrew University, claims that the Essenes were a fabrication by the 1st century A.D. Jewish-Roman historian Flavius Josephus and that his faulty reporting was passed on as fact throughout the centuries. As Elior explains, the Essenes make no mention of themselves in the 900 scrolls found by a Bedouin shepherd in 1947 in the caves of Qumran, near the Dead Sea. "Sixty years of research have been wasted trying to find the Essenes in the scrolls," Elior tells TIME. "But they didn't exist. This is legend on a legend." (This is a guess. There is no outside proof that it is legend or not legend).

Elior contends that Josephus, a former Jewish priest who wrote his history while being held captive in Rome, "wanted to explain to the Romans that the Jews weren't all losers and traitors, that there were many exceptional Jews of religious devotion and heroism. You might say it was the first rebuttal to anti-Semitic literature." She adds, "He was probably inspired by the Spartans. For the Romans, the Spartans were the highest ideal of human behavior, and Josephus wanted to portray Jews who were like the Spartans in their ideals and high virtue." (This is pure unsubstantiated speculation 1900 years after the fact)

Early descriptions of the Essenes by Greek and Roman historians has them numbering in the thousands, living communally ("The first kibbutz," jokes Elior) and forsaking sex - which goes against the Judaic exhortation to "go forth and multiply." Says Elior: "It doesn't make sense that you have thousands of people living against the Jewish law and there's no mention of them in any of the Jewish texts and sources of that period." (That is the same argument they used to say Hittites didn't exist until they dug up entire cities built by Hittites)

So who were the real authors of the Dead Sea Scrolls? Elior theorizes that the Essenes were really the renegade sons of Zadok, a priestly caste banished from the Temple of Jerusalem by intriguing Greek rulers in 2nd century B.C. When they left, they took the source of their wisdom - their scrolls - with them. "In Qumran, the remnants of a huge library were found," Elior says, with some of the early Hebrew texts dating back to the 2nd century B.C. Until the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls, the earliest known version of the Old Testament dated back to the 9th century A.D. "The scrolls attest to a biblical priestly heritage," says Elior, who speculates that the scrolls were hidden in Qumran for safekeeping. (This may be true and is just as good a theory as the Essenes theory. )

Elior's theory has landed like a bombshell in the cloistered world of biblical scholarship. James Charlesworth, director of the Dead Sea Scrolls project at Princeton Theological Seminary and an expert on Josephus, says it is not unusual that the word Essenes does not appear in the scrolls. "It's a foreign label," he tells TIME. "When they refer to themselves, it's as 'men of holiness' or 'sons of light.' " Charlesworth contends that at least eight scholars in antiquity refer to the Essenes. One proof of Essene authorship of the Dead Sea Scrolls, he says, is the large number of inkpots found by archaeologists at Qumran.

But Elior claims says these ancient historians, namely Philo and Pliny the Elder, either borrowed from each other or retailed second-hand stories as fact. "Pliny the Elder describes the Essenes as 'choosing the company of date palms' beside the Dead Sea. We know Pliny was a great reader, but he probably never visited Israel," she says. (More speculation)

Elior is braced for more criticism of her theory. "Usually my opponents have only read Josephus and the other classical references to the Essenes," she says. "They should read the Dead Sea Scrolls - all 39 volumes. The proof is there."

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Islam... religion of peace.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

God Bless North Dakota's House of Representatives!!!!!

North Dakota's House of Representatives has passed a bill effectively outlawing abortion.

The House voted 51-41 this afternoon to declare that a fertilized egg has all the rights of any person.

That means a fetus could not be legally aborted without the procedure being considered murder.

Minot Republican Dan Ruby has sponsored other bills banning abortion in previous legislative sessions - all of which failed.

He also sponsored today's bill and says it is compatable with Roe versus Wade - the Supreme Court decision which legalized abortion.

(Rep. Dan Ruby, -R- Minot) "This is the exact language that's required by Roe vs. Wade. It stipulated that before a challenge can be made, we have to identify when life begins, and that's what this does." VO CONTINUES But Minot Democrat Kari Conrad says the bill will land North Dakota in court, trying to defend the constitutionality of a law that goes against the Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion.

(Rep. Kari Conrad, -D- Minot) "People who presented this bill, were very clear that they intended to challenge Roe versus Wade. So they intend to put the state of North Dakota into court defending Roe vs. Wade"