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DSS and biblical manuscripts:


Bill Hamblin

Do the biblical manuscripts of the DSS match exactly with the Masoretic text of the Hebrew Bible?  

11 members have voted

  1. 1. Do the biblical manuscripts of the DSS match exactly with the Masoretic text of the Hebrew Bible?

    • 1- They match exactly, confirming the inerrant Bible.
      1
    • 2- They match closely, with only insignificant scribal errors.
      0
    • 3- They match closely, but with some differences
      0
    • 4- They match broadly, but have many significant differences.
      10


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Of course this depends on what is meant by "inerrancy" in this topic. From what I know, I would go with number 2 as well, although I'm not remotely an expert on the subject. Would this affect my belief in inerrancy if there were major differences? Depends on what the differences were, I guess. I believe that the Bible is inerrant on matters that it claims to deal with. It is not a science book, nor is it primarily a work of history. It is a very definite story of God's interactions with mankind over thousands of years. If the differences were along the lines of "Yes, we worship many Gods" or "We worship a woman", those would probably be pretty significant. If you're talking about differences like "So-and-so went to Beersheba" when the KJV say "So-and-so went to Cana", that wouldn't bother me very much at all.

Random, is it kosher to say I'm evangelical Protestant with Catholic tendencies? :P

Take care, everyone. <_<

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The most common position I have seen (but this is only on ZLMB and here so is probably skewed from the typical EV position) is that the Bible is inerrant in its doctrinal teachings, there is no significant changes as far as doctrine is concerned.

Since analysis of the doctrine is based on the interpretation, this position is problematic to contest.

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  • 1 year later...

Which version of the Bible, more particularly, the OT? The LXX or the MT, or maybe some other version?

Margaret Barker, in her most excellent article Text and Context talked a bit, well, quite a bit about the problems the Early Christians had with the Hebrew Bible and why these problems existed.

Jerome, (around 400 CE) made a new translation of the Bible to replace the many older Latin versions. Where there was a Hebrew original to use, he made this the basis of his translation, but the books found only in the Greek Old Testament, which had been the Churchâ??s Scripture from the beginning, he considered to be of less importance. Thus there arose a division within the Christian Old Testament, not on the basis of Church custom but on the basis of the Jewish canon of Scripture. Augustine warned that this procedure would divide the Church by implying that the Greek tradition was defective, and would create difficulties for Christians in the West who would not have access to a Hebrew text in cases of dispute. [1] Jerome argued that a translation from the Hebrew text (and the Hebrew canon) was imperative, if the Jews were to accept it as the basis for discussion and cease their declaration that the Church had false Scriptures [2]. Jerome used the Hebrew text of his day, even though there had been accusations in the second century that the Jews had altered the text of Scripture after the advent of Christianity. [3] Jeromeâ??s was a mismatch of both text and canon, even though he believed that he was promoting Hebraica veritas, Hebrew truth.

Origen, in the early third century, did not use that description, but he knew that passages important for Christians (i.e. ones used in debate) were not in the current Jewish texts, and that the Jewish Scriptures had passages not in the Christian text. He recognised the importance of these differences â??so that in our debates with the Jews we do not use passages that are not in their texts, and so that we use those passages which are in their texts but not in ours.â?? [4] It is likely that his Hexapla was compiled as the basis for discussion with Jews, and he did not intend it for use in the Christian communities:

Should we suppress the texts used by the churches and order the community to reject the sacred books which they use and flatter the Jews and persuade them to give us pure texts in their place, without any forged additions? [5]

Unfortunately â??Origen began with the incorrect assumption of a single Hebrew form of the biblical textâ?? [6]; he was not aware of the variety of Hebrew texts which had been superseded by the one he knew. He â??correctedâ?? the Greek Old Testament which the Christians were using in the light of the current Hebrew and of the Greek translations made from that Hebrew, and the result was a disaster for our knowledge of the original Christian Old Testament. [7] Even though Enoch had long been treated as Scripture by the Church â?? Jude and Barnabas had quoted it â?? Origen also felt that he could not quote it in his exposition of Numbers, on the grounds that the books did not seem to have authority with the Hebrews. [8]

....

[1] Jeromeâ??s Letters 104: â??â?¦quod a Graecis ecclesiis Latinae ecclesiae dissonabuntâ?¦ vix aut numquam ad Hebraea testimonia pervenitur quibus defendatur obiectumâ??.

[2] Preface to Isaiah: â??ne Iudaei de falsitate Scripturarum ecclesiis eius diutius insultarentâ??.

[3] E.Ulrich, The Dead Sea Scrolls and the Origin of the Bible, Grand Rapids and Leiden, 1999, p.47: â??Are there any indications that they (Jerome and the Reformation Bible translators) chose the MT in contradistinction to alternate Hebrew texts forms of whose existence they were aware but which they passed over?â??

[4] Letter to Julius Africanus 5(9).

[5] Ibid., 4(:P. See S.P.Brock, â??Origenâ??s Aims as a Textual Critic of the Old Testamentâ??, Studia Patristica X (1970), pp.215-18.

[6] Ulrich, op.cit. (note 3 above), p.224.

[7] D.Barth

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Ahhhhhhhhhhhh, I see you like that lil Barker lady too eh? :P

And depending on *whos* Dead Sea Scrolls translations one reads, depends on whether they match the Bible or not.......its all hermeneutics anyway, not inerrancy. But alas, I speak out of line and out of turn since I am not one of the Evangelicals.

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Ahhhhhhhhhhhh, I see you like that lil Barker lady too eh? :P

And depending on *whos* Dead Sea Scrolls translations one reads, depends on whether they match the Bible or not.......its all hermeneutics anyway, not inerrancy. But alas, I speak out of line and out of turn since I am not one of the Evangelicals.

You are talking about translations of the Dead Sea Scrolls and translations of the Old Testament. We can make direct comparisons to ancient text. There are in general two problems. One is that the Dead Sea Scrolls contain multiple versions of all the Old Testament books except one. This was a big surprise to everybody. The second problem is that the versions that most resemble the versions used in the Old Testament all of the Dead Sea Scrolls are quite different. One of the most accurate versions turns out to be the Samaritan version. Some believe that since the Samaritan version was considered corrupt - no one worried about it so it was copied quite accurately except for the known changes concerning Jerusalem and the temple.

The Traveler

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Regardless, the Masoretic and the LXX, and the Dead Sea scrolls (if they contain all of Genesis) are far more accurate than the Joseph Smith translation of Genesis, especially the last few verses in the final chapter.]

Since the JST is not a translation from existing Hebrew and Greek manuscripts, why would you even bring it up in this discussion?

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Since the JST is not a translation from existing Hebrew and Greek manuscripts, why would you even bring it up in this discussion?

Well, even so, while we are on the topic, it is very interesting to note that another part of the JST for Genesis 50 has remarkable support. Viz: That Joseph prophesied that his descendents would be enslaved by the Egyptians and that Moses and Aaron would arise to liberate them. You can read the ancient texts in support of this in Echoes and Evidences of the Book of Mormon

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