11.17.2006

Dead Sea Scrolls - Seattle through Jan 7.





I'll be leaving later this evening for Seattle to see the Dead Sea Scrolls. They were found in 1947 near the Dead Sea. The scrolls, also called the Qumran texts are dated two centuries or more before the time of Christ. They are on display at the Pacific Science Center in Seattle through January 7th.

Here's the thing about these scrolls. Over the centuries, it has been a common question as to how a book written so many years ago - The Bible - can have withstood the test of time as believers claim. One typical responses to a claim would sound something like this.

"There are countless passages in the bible that have lost the intended meaning through translation."

Which passages? What intended meaning was lost? If there are ‘countless passages’, surely people could find at least ONE illustrated point. Moreover, where is proof? Can you produce or point to ancient biblical manuscripts in the original languages with a different intended meaning? While there are many atheists that try to press that canard, there is an overwhelming amount of manuscript evidence supporting the reliability of Scripture.

The Dead Sea Scrolls, which have many fragments of ancient manuscripts, included a copy of the entire book of Isaiah (dated 150 B.C.) that was essentially identical (no loss of ‘intended meaning’) to the earliest copy that had been in our possession prior to the discovery (dated to AD 900). There are also thousands of partial and complete ancient New Testament manuscripts that have literally identical verbage and meaning. Since these ancient manuscripts can be inspected, you may want to consider that there would be a deafening cry of ‘fraud’, by biblical and secular scholars who can read the original languages, PARTICULARLY if there were linguistic deviations in the more recent manuscripts, BUT THERE ARE NONE!!!!!

So, here's what I would kindly suggest (if this is you), is that you rely on the results of reliable scholarship rather than the oft-refuted assertions of pedantic athiests who neither exhibit interest in learning the ancient languages themselves nor offer proof of their fabrications.

Nothing has withstood the test of time and utmost vehement hostility towards what it claims other than the Bible. The dead sea scrolls are more than enough to authenticate the historical accuracy of the Bible. The proof is in the pudding.

15 comments:

wasmachstdugern said...

except that this isn't true...

there are many prophecies in the dead sea scrolls that aren't mentioned in the OT (from the books of daniel, jeremiah, ezekial) and there are stories about abraham (a story of abraham questioning god as to why he asked him to kill his son), enoch, noah, naphtali, abman (noah's dad- i think that's his name) and others that i can't remember off the top of my head. there are also some additions to the books of jubilees (accepted by catholics in their canon) that aren't found in today's bible. so, yes, there actually IS a discrepancy between the OT we see today and that found in the DSS.

perhaps my biggest beef w/this post's assertion (that the similarity between these scrolls and the OT we have today proves that the OT is trustworthy as a historical document) is that the dead sea scrolls were found in 1947, but they date from about 200 BC- 79 AD (and even this is under some attack- see the recent works of golb, hirschfeld, magen and peleg). now it is one thing to say that the texts survived relatively unscathed during the period from 200 BC to the modern era because the technology of writing was in full effect which no doubt lent toward more faithful replication of ancient texts. but to assert that the OT texts have been preserved THROUGHOUT HISTORY is quite another thing as the invention of writing that was so important to accurate replication wasn't being utilized (and in fact didn't even exist!) for much of the OT's history BEFORE 200 BC. so all your post really proves is that the OT has been relatively faithfully copied from 200 BC to now, and that is due mainly to a technology (writing) that didn't exist in the infant stages of these documents.

that said, i am still very very skeptical that the OT has been communicated throughout the ages faithfully or accurately especially since the tool by which the best replication was done didn't exist for most of it's history.

Matt said...

I'm not quite sure what that comment was even saying.

Jon, let me know when you're going to go see the scrolls. That'd be something sweet to partake of, so let me know when you go and I'll see if I can swing it.

I checked out that website you linked to. Pretty entertaining. A couple of gems:

"You believe that planes, computers, calculators, compasses, etc, were 'all obviously designed,' yet the human body, being intricately more complex was 'obviously a product of biological evolution.' It seems the more complex the apparatus, the more obvious the 'fact' that it was not designed."

"You think that humans are products of chance but when it comes to human reason we can believe in logic!"

Haha, classic.

wasmachstdugern said...

you didn't understand it because A) you're obtuse (my money is on this one), or B) you don't want to understand it.

the difference between clocks and the body is that one DID have intelligent design behind it. anything human made IS intelligently designed. there is NO logical correlation between the two. read the blind watchmaker.

Jon said...

I've NEVER seen a blind watchmaker...

Jon said...

or C) He (we) is (are) using the evidence to deduce a quite logical inference. (My money is is on this one)

I'll write more when I get a chance. I'm in class.

Matt said...

I'll go with C, Jonny T.

Although, name calling...man, that's a pretty good way to go. Demonstrates a clear level of maturity and understanding. I'll definitely go with name calling over solid discussion any day.

Jon said...

Oh, always keeping me on my toes...

What I don't understand (putting everything aside, I'M TALKING EVERYTHING), is how WE can look at our bodys, including the intricacies, qwerks, abilities, and mechanisms, while not seing any form of design. Consider the many achievments our world has made in technology, consider again the greatest achievment. It is mere pennies compared to the intricate complexity of our bodies. The very building blocks (cells) of us hold information we can't even fathon. Does it not scream Designer??? Am I wrong?

wasmachstdugern said...

where you might look at the body and see design and amazing function, i can look at it and see superfluous appendages, lack of efficiency and bad design. so does that imply a bad designer?

Jon said...

Good, Bad, or even ugly...You still see design, just like me. I look at the Ford Pinto and think it's amazing, some models have wood paneling, double mirrors, and pleather seats...you look at the Ford Pinto and realize it's a hunk of junk that catches on fire and has a bunch of oddities. It goes down in history as one of Ford's biggest mistakes. We both see value (or don't value) different things regarding the Ford Pinto, yet it would be silly to think that it had no designer.....Agreed?

Terry said
"where you might look at the body and see design and amazing function, i can look at it and see superfluous appendages, lack of efficiency and bad design...."

And efficiency, you really want to talk efficincy, rather, lack there of...look at a car, a light bulb, and half the other "efficient" things in your apartment. Lightbulbs are designed to give light (I know that's pretty profound), yet they give most of their energy in the form of heat, they are getting better, but any SCIENTIST will agree, they are highly inefficient. Same with cars, they are designed to move forward, yet a tremendous amount of this "moving forward" energy is spent cooling the engine, as it cannot cool itself. They are hardly as efficient as our bodies, which by the way, perspires to cool itself, without us doing anything but raising our heartbeat. Our tempurature raises only minimally before we cool again. Efficiency???...I'm talking about our human body, which can RUN more than 100 miles in a day, on nothing more than some snickers bars. As a matter of fact, we can fuel our bodies with three types of fuel too...carbohydrates, fats, and protiens. No electronic device that can do that...I mean, there's only A/C and D/C, unless I'm forgetting others??? Name one animal/mammal/whatever that's as efficent as that??? Terry? Name one machine that can physically play the drums with the ease and essential non-effort that you once did?? You don't even have to think about it....that's efficiency. We could literally spend eons trying to create/manufacture a "thing" as efficient as us, that learns like us, and performs like us, yet again and again we would fall far short. I'd argue that our bodies are more efficient than most anything you could even name.

Computer programmers, and video game designers can't even duplicate a running human very well, even with state of the art computers and cutting edge technology.

BAD DESIGN? You fall down, you get cut, you get a scab...weeks later it's gone, and perfect virgin skin remains, the hair grows back too??? Are you kidding me??????? A car that "un-dents" itself. A computer that automatically diagnosis and replaces a bad piece of memory??? A piece of siding that magically returns to its original form after being the victim of a flood? For crying out loud, we could sit in the bathtub for a week, get out, and our wrinkles will go away in an hour!!!!!

BAD DESIGN? BAD DESIGN?? it is not. That's so crazily taken for granted, I don't even know what else to say.

We live with this body that we don't even understand the complexities of. It's like the age old girlfriend...you never know how much she really meant to you until she's gone. You know what I'm syain'? If we were to step outside our bodies, and look at them from the outside, as an outsider, we would die from cardiac arrest. It's simply unfathomable...the complexities and efficiencies of YOU and I.

Matt said...

Dang Jon.

You rock.

wasmachstdugern said...

i do understand how awesome it may seem to see the body, but again i must say that it IS inefficient. i am not sure how telling me the obvious (that things we design aren't efficient either, like light bulbs and such) furthers your point. just because we don't design things that well doesn't make the body look any better, since it too is just as inefficient as the things we create. human muscles for example run at about 25% efficiency. compare this to 35% of an internal combustion engine. neither one is very well designed. they are both incredibly intricate but so what? it seems as if you want to focus on the intricacies and ignore the shortcomings of the body. what is wrong w/my view of focusing on the shortcomings and drawing conclusions from them instead of the other way around?

finally, i think it all fairness you must admit that pitting current technology up against millions of years of evolution isn't quite fair. given enough time, i really do think we will be able to replicate just about every facet and aspect of the human body. if you think about it, we could just literally replicate, molecule for molecule, a human if we wanted to take that process on. the body may be complex but it isn't of another world; it is simply a physical entity that can be manipulated and copied like any other chemical-based composition in the universe.

Jon said...

BRO. WHAT???

Telling you about the latest developments in technolgy, such as light bulbs, cars, computer designers, etc..., definitely furthers my point. It states that even with the best minds in SCIENCE working to be more efficient, it doesn't happen. Billions of dollars are spent every year trying to make machines that are more and more efficent, but the fact of the matter is...billions of dollars still add up to unfathomed inefficiency. Plain and simple!!!

I googled "Efficiency of the human body", and this came up.

In motion, the human body also uses energy very efficiently. For example, a person running a marathon (26.2 miles or 42 km) burns only about 2,600 calories. In other words, you burn only about 100 calories per mile (about 62 calories per km) when you are running.
You can see just how efficient the human body is if you compare your body to a car. A typical car in the United States gets between 15 and 30 miles per gallon of gasoline (6 to 12 km/L). A gallon of gas contains about 31,000 calories. That means that if a human being could drink gasoline instead of eating hamburgers to take in calories, a human being could run 26 miles on about one-twelfth of a gallon of gas (0.3 L). In other words, a human being gets MORE THAN 300 MILES PER GALLON (120 km/L)! If you put a human being on a bicycle to increase the efficiency, a human being can get well over 1,000 miles per gallon (more than 500 km/L)!

God created us with some pretty cool features huh?

Also, our bodies don't just use energy, but they have also been designed to store excess energy in the form of fat. For those days when you don't get enough food or carbohydrates, they turn to your fat stores. That's freakin' amazing. Again, to stick with the car analogy....there ain't no car that does that.

Aloha

paul said...

Hey Jon thx for leaving a comment on my blog, just sharing the love
-Paulos

wasmachstdugern said...

your numbers don't add up. you aren't taking into account the weight difference! if a human weights 150lbs (which may be average) and a car weights 3000lbs (on the lighter side- many weight double that) OF COURSE IT WILL TAKE MORE GASOLINE TO RUN THE CAR. simple physics. so all your post says is what we already know: the smaller something is the less energy it takes to move it. what it does not mean is that the human body is more/less efficient than a car.
read the intro to this article (http://www.coachesinfo.com/category/rowing/77/) to see just how inefficient muscles are.

Jon said...

Ok, I can side with that...It wasn't my article, but it sure looked good at first glance. But c.mon, being able to drink gas, and get 300 miles/gallon....that's pretty amazing, all other things aside.