Wednesday 31 December 2008

Dead Sea Scrolls from the Fringe

The Dead Sea Scrolls are "an assault against the very authority of the holy Bible."

Welcome to the fringe world of fundamentalism; in this case the outer limb of what was once known as "Armstrongism." The DSS are "spurious fragments" that "modern scholars turn to in order to find reason to doubt the power of God to preserve His written Word for us."

Profound, huh? And the conclusion of that matter?

"It’s time we return to common sense and quit following every scholarly whim and flight of fancy. Let’s not be drawn into the whirlpool of academic speculations about the Bible. Holy Scripture is what it always has been — the inspired and revealed Word of the Living God."

So there!

From a nameless devotee of the Edmond, Oklahoma Philadelphia Church of God (led by a latter-day "Teacher of Righteousness") to the more measured tones of an apparatchik in the David Hulme sect (a related group, but with better quality pretensions) - The Legacy of the Scrolls. Author Peter Nathan once ran the Auckland office of the Worldwide Church of God.

But back to the PCG offering. Scary fact: the cult's unaccredited college sends its students to help dig at an archaeological site in Jerusalem under Eilat Mazar!

Good help is obviously hard to find...

1 comment:

  1. There are sincere people who study and compare many different texts in an effort to arrive at the most precise meaning of scripture. They actually do this with a sense of reverence, not in an effort to discredit or destroy.

    The late Dr. Gene Scott was somewhat of a human polyglot. In his lectures, he would often write the ancient languages on his white board, translate and compare scriptures and attempt to give a deeper and more expansive meaning to them. Most people who are into the KJV probably are unaware of Ethiopic, Syriac, or Coptic versions of New Testament scripture, utilized by Christians in the lands reputedly evangelized by some of Jesus' disciples.

    The beauty of the so called Dead Sea Scrolls is that they are the oldest texts extant, and yet our modern translations differ very little from them, in spite of the passage of thousands of years. Some theologians believe that modern understanding of dead languages, coupled with the comparative studies of more available ancient texts is leading to ever more precise translations of scripture. One would think that especially a legalist would find this to be of great value. Why a legalist would instead choose to make statements reminiscent of Jethro Bodine somehow escapes me. It is all too typical of the anti-intellectual Armstrong movement.