Freshly Pressed: The Dead Sea Scrolls


The Dead Sea Scroll manuscripts have been in Saint Paul this summer. Since post World War II, when a couple kids found the right academic with money, The Dead Sea Scroll have been studied for insight into the origin of many Hebrew manuscripts. But all in all, no one has ever found, to the best of my knowledge, the “original” Tanach.

Does God, since World War II, ever tire of it all? When Canadian Catholics hear a different translation of the bible from the one heard in the United States. Is there one Bible written by human hands, based upon translation of ancient Greek, Hebrew or Aramaic, without error? As I told my barber last spring, the “original” Tanach did not show up as some kind of second millennium discovery like the New World. The original basis for the Dead Sea Scrolls, probably first told orally before being written down, even if divinely inspired, were written by human hands. With all of the ensuing disagreement over authority and authoritative text?

Identity. Depending upon whether you were Jewish, Catholic, Orthodox or Protestant, each faith recognizes what the Bible is as something slightly different from each other. Jews with the “Tanach,” not the Old Testament–or specifically the Hebrew text of the Tanach. Protestants and Catholics recognize a different “Old Testament” based upon the authoritative text read by Jesus, if there had been any particular Jewish “canon” in Jesus’ day. But many years prior to Jesus’ birth, due to that Babylonian captivity, a Greek versions of the “Tanach” had emerged, called the Septuagint.

See the John W. Martens’ piece, http://www.americamagazine.org/blog/entry.cfm?blog_id=1&entry_id=3211

Humans seeking authority, in the name of God? And then all of affect of the disagreement on His people. From age to age, from east to west? In a world where all leaders seem less and less inspired? To me.

About the treatment of the teachings in the Bible, what the Bible means determine who can marry in “the church,” or who can have a “Catholic funeral.” While Catholics, the Orthodox, Protestants long since have looked for the inspiration resting in the original text, in the original authors of the text, in every translation of the text, Catholics, the Orthodox, Protestants must think the Jews not only didn’t understand their own Scripture, but even in hindsight they can’t figure out the goatskin. And so in human history, there have been pogroms until the Great Holocaust against the Jews, the recipients of the “Tanach,” for their stupidity, about what was hidden inside the goatskin.

Tired of wrestling with identity and the theme of recognition? Over birthright and inheritance. Tired of wrestling with all of the questions about God? Or about your spouse? All of the wrestling on the authoritative issues, in a relationship? In the age of divorce? Who is the boss? Wanting to have the fun of youth again, but not wanting to spend time together having the same old fights? Because you knew what your spouse was gonna say. When the sacredness was now missing from the relationship, in the real world, if not Scripture?

And so, the proper Jewish translation(s) of the Hebrew into Greek. And then back into your current language. So that the whole Christian world prayed alike. Before taking on the Moslem world. Wrestling on the authoritative issues, over who was infallible on issues of birth control or abortion or sexual abuse. Those issues of faith and morals and human cover-ups, like some kind of Mexican police force. And all of the alimony you had to pay, to support your kids, or your church for the cover-up by the leaders. Because children were the future. And you were still trying to pass down something in the way of tradition. However imperfect the modern translation were looking to be, in the more and more secular world.

The Dead Sea Scroll manuscripts have been in Saint Paul this summer, apparently in a much better exhibit than the people of Milwaukee had, earlier this year. Or maybe it was just the view of a new Bret Favre fan who thought that the people of Wisconsin did not like or appreciate antiquity. But I have not walked the few blocks down the hill to see the Dead Sea Scrolls. Maybe because they did not sound Freshly Pressed.

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