Saturday, June 18, 2016

Isaiah, Daniel, and the Dead Sea Scrolls (Patrick Zuckeran)

These quotes originate with Zuckeran:

The Dead Sea Scrolls provided further proof that the Old Testament canon existed prior to the third century B.C. Thousands of manuscript fragments from all the Old Testament books except Esther were found predating Christ's birth, and some date as early as the third century B.C. For example, portions from the book of Samuel date that early, and fragments from Daniel date to the second century B.C. Portions from the twelve Minor Prophets date from 150 B.C. to 25 B.C. Since the documents were found to be identical with our Masoretic Text, we can be reasonably sure that our Old Testament is the same one that the Essenes were studying and working from.

One of the most important Dead Sea documents is the Isaiah Scroll. This twenty-four foot long scroll is well preserved and contains the complete book of Isaiah. The scroll is dated 100 B.C. and contains one of the clearest and most detailed prophecies of the Messiah in chapter fifty-three, called the "Suffering Servant." Although some Jewish scholars teach that this refers to Israel, a careful reading shows that this prophecy can only refer to Christ.

[SPACE]

Before the discovery of the scrolls, critical scholars argued that the Aramaic language used in Daniel was from a time no earlier than 167 B.C. during the Maccabean period. Other scholars, such as well-respected archaeologist Kenneth Kitchen, studied Daniel and found that ninety percent of Daniel's Aramaic vocabulary was used in documents from the fifth century B.C. or earlier. The Dead Sea Scrolls revealed that Kitchen's conclusion was well founded. The Aramaic language used in the Dead Sea Scrolls proved to be very different from that found in the book of Daniel. Old Testament scholars have concluded that the Aramaic in Daniel is closer to the form used in the fourth and fifth century B.C. than to the second century B.C.

To read the entire article, see https://bible.org/article/dead-sea-scrolls

Compare http://biblicalstudies.org.uk/blog/prof-kenneth-kitchen-on-the-aramaic-of-daniel/#.V2XOfaLVvQo

49 comments:

Philip Fletcher said...

Nice article, I like this info more than a lot of what you blog about. Excellent.

Duncan said...

http://dssenglishbible.com/scroll1QIsaa.htm
50 B.C.

Interesting variation at 53:9.

http://dssenglishbible.com/scroll1QIsab.htm
30 B.C. - 68 A.D.

http://dssenglishbible.com/scroll4Q58.htm
30-68 A.D.

Duncan said...

"SincE the documents were found to be identical with our Masoretic Text," ???

Duncan said...

I'd rather rely on Tov.

http://www.biblicalarchaeology.org/daily/biblical-topics/bible-versions-and-translations/the-original-bible-and-the-dead-sea-scrolls/

Sean Killackey said...

I liked the comment about the true identity of the suffering servant in Isaiah 53. It is obvious that there are two servants. One foolish and rebellious, the other wise and righteous. Giving Israel's history in the Bible, I don't think Israel is ther latter.

Duncan said...

"From the beginning of the finds of the scrolls, it was known that proto-Masoretic scrolls were found at Qumran, but it was not until the last decennium that it became clear that the medieval MT in its purest form was not found at Qumran, but at the Judean Desert sites other than Qumran, namely Wadi Murabba‘at, Wadi Sdeir(Naḥal David), Naḥal Ḥever, Naḥal Ṣe’elim, and Masada.1) In fact, these sites contain no texts other than MT."

TOV.

omar meza solano said...

Edgar query friend how are you in Hebrews 1: 3 in RV60 the word "substance" appears hypostasis is it correct to translate that?

omar meza solano said...

if you can send me information about Hebrews 1: 3 and the correct translation, you would appreciate

Edgar Foster said...

Philip,

Thank you. I appreciate your input. On this blog, I also try to cover a variety of subjects, but I always try to center the discussion around theology or the original biblical languages.

Edgar Foster said...

Duncan,

When you read that entire article by Tov that you linked, it doesn't necessarily conflict with Zuckeran's paper. Tov is exhorting us to use the DSS "judiciously" plus he thinks it needs to be supplemented with the LXX. Not exactly a refutation of Zukeran.

Edgar Foster said...

Omar,

I don't believe "substance" is the best rendering for Heb. 1:3. My BDAG Greek-English Lexicon says for hypostasis in Heb. 1:3:

"the essential or basic structure/nature of an entity, substantial nature, essence, actual being, reality . . ."

This lexicon glosses Heb. 1:3 this way:

"a(n) exact representation of (God's) real being (i.e. as one who is in charge of the universe)"

NET Bible has:

"The Son is the radiance of his glory and the representation of his essence"

Edgar Foster said...

Kitchen, who wrote on Daniel, was also no scholarly slouch.

Duncan said...

The documentary finds from these other sites are not as old & there is still the Jewish bias of trying to distance the DSS from Jerusalem. There is no real evidence of these witnesses originating in the desert.

Duncan said...

"A group of devoted Jews removed themselves from the mainstream and began a monastic life in the Judean desert." - pure fantasy.

Duncan said...

What I do not think you are taking into account is that the Jews are using the same tactics that the Hindus use to distance themselves from the Rig Veda - something to claim ownership of because of it's age but then treat it with suspicion because of the conflicts between it and later texts.

Duncan said...

https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=xESwCQAAQBAJ&pg=PA182&lpg=PA182&dq=%22The+Aramaic+Text+and+Language+of+Daniel+and+Ezra+in+the+Light+of+Some+Manuscripts+from+Qumran%22&source=bl&ots=ThTl41dVvH&sig=P3PdCFDw6lwR1Lfb8J7IC2M-Lt8&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjhiOSHwLbNAhVMBMAKHXslD7wQ6AEIHzAB#v=snippet&q=date&f=false

See Page 17ff.:- Issues of date and provenance.

Duncan said...

http://www.learnassyrian.com/assyrianlibrary/assyrianbooks/language/19%20The%20Verbal%20System%20of%20the%20Aramaic%20of%20Daniel.pdf

Duncan said...

http://www.learnassyrian.com/assyrianlibrary/assyrianbooks/language/18%20The%20Aramaic%20of%20Daniel%20in%20the%20Light%20of%20Old%20Aramaic.pdf

Edgar Foster said...

Another take on the DDS-Daniel by Dr. Peter Flint:

http://swbts.edu/news/releases/flint-dead-sea-scrolls-confirm-accuracy-biblical-text

This page also provides more details from Flint:

http://christianthinktank.com/qwhendan3a.html

Edgar Foster said...

Duncan,

Thanks very much for the pdf link. The work looks worth studying, although the writer has chosen not to say much about dating and provenance. Nevertheless, props to you for this one. :)

Edgar Foster said...

A few more links on DSS origins:

http://fathom.lib.uchicago.edu/1/777777190227/

http://members.bib-arch.org/collections-who-wrote-dss.asp

https://www.usc.edu/dept/LAS/wsrp/educational_site/dead_sea_scrolls/discovery.shtml

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/religion/portrait/essenes.html

Duncan said...

From one of the links you provided:-

From this response and others like it, we see that the Qumran-Essene hypothesis had become a fact in the minds of the editors, serving as a touchstone for the interpretation of the manuscripts--a procedure in disharmony with normal scholarly method and common sense.

Duncan said...

From another link:-

Many scholars who believe the scrolls were written by the Essenes suggest that Qumran was an Essene settlement. But it is by no means universally agreed that Qumran was Essene. All scholars agree, however, that the group of scrolls is “sectarian”; that is, they represent the views of non- mainstream (Temple) Jews. Whoever wrote these sectarian scrolls was bitterly opposed to the Jewish priests who controlled the Temple in Jerusalem.

All scholars agree - that's a first.

Qumran was not a settlement - it was a pottery factory.

How do we know the views of the "mainstream" that did control the temple?

Bitter opposition was always at the temple, it did not need to disappear into an unknown settlement in the desert.

Edgar Foster said...

Duncan,

I usually teach my students that we don't know who produced the DSS. It might have been the essenes, but we don't know for sure. However, if you Google qumran settlement, you'll find it's considered a given in DSS studies. I'm not dogmatic about the essenes writing the scrolls, but its possible. I'll post more about the mainstream later.

You're right that all scholars agreeing would be a first.

Duncan said...

Well put it this way. I have heard stories like this before. Like the site that for many years was claimed to be one of Solomon's many stables for his many horses which when excavated and analysed properly turned out to be a copper smelt factory. There seems to be a then and now attitude. That the ancients could not possibly have had industry like we do today even though we know it from places like Greece and that assuming an industrial use to a site is the last resort.

https://www.google.co.uk/url?sa=t&source=web&rct=j&url=http://faculty.bennington.edu/~kwoods/classes/env%2520hist%2520ag/readings_11/runnels.pdf&ved=0ahUKEwjI25ejtrjNAhWKL8AKHQ_gADI4ChAWCCQwBA&usg=AFQjCNGFZxUhOw3mZ6O7MNylJhr3NAmZPg&sig2=wbNursBh_T397nakskHxVg

https://www.gsb.stanford.edu/insights/what-we-can-learn-ancient-athens-manufacturing-industry

Duncan said...

https://www.eisenbrauns.com/ECOM/_4NX04IGIM.HTM

Duncan said...

http://members.bib-arch.org/publication.asp?PubID=BSBA&Volume=32&Issue=5&ArticleID=7

https://www.loc.gov/exhibits/scrolls/art2.html

http://www.nytimes.com/2006/08/15/science/15scroll.html?_r=0

https://www.google.co.uk/url?sa=t&source=web&rct=j&url=http://www.uhl.ac/index.php/download_file/view/33/131/&ved=0ahUKEwjj8ZS4urjNAhXnJcAKHejEB8UQFggxMAc&usg=AFQjCNHpkezIgLviNEIeaz79RjTq2_ERTg&sig2=v_Phg0rcor33Aqr8dNMe1A

Some argue against it this way

https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=LgDLCQAAQBAJ&pg=PT85&lpg=PT85&dq=qumran+pottery+factory&source=bl&ots=BxHFmnJme_&sig=vYsbU4kqNIpLR9TspwIS8xFd_40&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwi3w_3fu7jNAhXrLMAKHaz1CdM4ChDoAQgZMAA#v=onepage&q=qumran%20pottery%20factory&f=false

But they ignore environmental degradation and the shear amount of trees that have been lost in this region.

Duncan said...

http://www.bibleinterp.com/articles/qumfort.shtml

https://www.sbl-site.org/publications/article.aspx?articleId=817

Many ideas abound but are made to conform to the existing mainstream theory. I am just not buying it at the moment.

Evidence is required & so far there is none that I know of.

Duncan said...

http://www.emanueltov.info/docs/books/scribal-practices1.publ.books.pdf

Pg 14 sums up the attitude quite well - we do not have the evidence but someday we will have the evidence. Even DNA testing if the animal skins is irrelevant unless the can be proved unique to the region at the time which seems to me to be an impossibility.

Edgar Foster said...

Personally, I don't have strong feelings either way on the DSS or the Qumran Community. But where's the proof that Qumran was a pottery factory? History is always a provisional enterprise that requires adjustments from time to time. I don't blame you for following the evidence, but I don't have a problem with calling Qumran a settlement, nor I am averse to the terminology "Qumran settlement." Our knowledge regarding this issue will likely change one day. In the meantime, what function Qumran served is not high on my list of priorities. On the other hand, it's understandable if you and others find this issue compelling or worth the pursuit.

None of what I've said above should be interpreted as snide or dismissive. I'm just statting that other issues preoccupy me. That doesn't mean I won't post on the DSS from time to time.

Best,

Edgar

Edgar Foster said...

The main point I was trying to make by posting the link on the DSS was to show how we have good reason to believe that our current biblica texts are reliable contra Ehrman and members of his ilk.

Edgar Foster said...

Tov states that it's permissible to use terminology like Qumran community, as long as the appropriate qualifications are made (i.e., mutatis mutandis).

Duncan said...

This may surface as evidence:-

http://www.antiquities.org.il/images/shop/jsp/jsp6_qumran_color.pdf

However you slice it, this seems more evidence than the opposite camp has to offer.

If there is anything newer that contradict these findings based on facts, I would be happy to know about it - perhaps other readers of your blog might know?

Duncan said...

http://oi.uchicago.edu/sites/oi.uchicago.edu/files/uploads/shared/docs/qumran_%20conundrum_2.pdf

Edgar Foster said...

Duncan,

This link may begin to address the claims made at antiquities.org. It seems that they have convinced few with their findings.

https://www.google.com/webhp?hl=en&authuser=0&gws_rd=ssl#safe=off&hl=en&authuser=0&tbm=bks&q=Yitzhak+Magen+and+Yuval+Peleg

Duncan said...

So many careers have been invested into one theory, it takes time to overturn in general opinion. But as I said before without some level of evidence it inevitably will fall to something with evidence. Whole careers focused on one path are not easily deflected.

This is just like our earlier discussion on the age of the rig Veda and the origins of the people who formulated it.

Duncan said...

Look at the relative locations. They had water as one my links already mentions and they had the fuel. The cedars of Lebanon covered an extensive area and isreal still had extensive woodland until at least 70ce. They had the clay and the method of near eastern pot manufacture was somewhat different to the more water intensive methods used in Staffordshire. This is a poor rebuttal.

Duncan said...

Bear in mind that mycean copper production required two large trees per pound of copper and this culture denuded most of Greece during its activity. Artifacts from this production are found right across Europe. The fuel could be transported a large proportion of the way to qumran from north or south via water and it would not require anywhere near so much.

Edgar Foster said...

I only considered the Google search on the issue to be a start. I believe it was Devant, who said their interpretations have convinved few. So while I can't rebut or disprove Qumran was a pottery factory, I can already see that the current stances on the subject are interpretations of archaeological digs. In truth, most if not all digs must be interpreted. One cannot reach absolute conclusions from any of these finds. But there's usually a reason (good or bad) why some theories remain on the fringe.

Edgar Foster said...

Here's another interesting link about Daniel and the DSS. The site contains a link to the Christian think-tank article on the subject.

http://home.earthlink.net/~ironmen/qumran2.htm

Gives us confidence that Daniel is represented well among the DSS.

Duncan said...

http://home.ccil.org/~wood/writings/religionstudies/the_florilegium.pdf

I do not presently have access to :- The Qumran Community by Michael A. Knibb.

I would be interested to read his reasoning on why this relatively late witness is a copy of an early one.

Duncan said...

http://www.deadseascrolls.org.il/explore-the-archive/image/B-371272

Duncan said...

I agree that digs usually require a level of interpretation:-

http://www.biblicalarchaeology.org/daily/biblical-sites-places/jerusalem/did-i-find-king-davids-palace/

But in this instance we at least have a bulla found on site.

Edgar Foster said...

It's possible that I could pick up a copy of Knibb on amazon or on ebay for a good price. ILL might be another option through my university. Either way, I'll try to obtain the book. I'll also consult the links you posted. Thank you.

Edgar Foster said...

John J. Collins doesn't go into much detail in this work, but he levels some criticism at the pottery factory theory. See https://books.google.com/books?id=9h_FGYXHydsC&pg=PA81&dq=qumran+pottery+factory&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwje1-DXurrNAhXG8CYKHQ8gDAsQ6AEILjAC#v=onepage&q=qumran%20pottery%20factory&f=false

Edgar Foster said...

Here is another work critical of the pottery factory idea, and other alternative explanations. See https://books.google.com/books?id=ZM8qBwAAQBAJ&pg=PT57&dq=qumran+pottery+factory&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwil4IGVu7rNAhUJdyYKHSRQAaw4ChDoAQgkMAA#v=onepage&q=qumran%20pottery%20factory&f=false

Duncan said...

http://www.biblearchaeology.org/post/2015/01/31/The-Sacred-Precinct-on-Mount-Gerizim.aspx

Not related, but another interesting discovery.

Duncan said...

http://www.historydiscussion.net/indus-valley/indus-valley-civilization-town-planning-art-social-life-and-religion/3015

Some similarity in the image.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dzv83U3IqUo

Interpretations may vary.

Edgar Foster said...

Thanks for your contributions. I guess this thread will now be closed, and I'll review the links you've submitted.