Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Dead Sea Scrolls

This past weekend we visited the Royal Ontario Museum to see, among other things, the Dead Sea Scrolls display. These little scraps of the Old Testament and other extra-Biblical texts have suffered more wear and tear in the last 60 years than the previous 2,000+ years. Some of the Biblical Dead Sea scrolls are almost 1,000 years older than the next-oldest-know copies of the Hebrew Bible. Now
I know there is some "controversy" over the extra-Biblical texts, which some are using to attack the Christian faith and Christ himself. But forget about that. What I took away from the visit is how amazing that there was virtually no change in the wording of God's word after 1,000 years of time passing. I remember learning in college how painstacking the scribes were when transcribing the Words of the torah and the prophets, completely starting over if even one grammatical error was made in the copying process.
Because of its importance and its claim to be the very Word of God, the Bible has suffered more vicious attacks and attempts to destroy it than any other book in history. From early Roman Emperors like Diocletian, through communist dictators and on to modern-day atheists and agnostics, the Bible has withstood and outlasted all of its attackers and is still today the most widely published book in the world.

Throughout time, skeptics have regarded the Bible as mythological, but archeology has confirmed it as historical. Opponents have attacked its teaching as primitive and outdated, but its moral and legal concepts and teachings have had a positive influence on societies and cultures throughout the world. It continues to be attacked by pseudo-science, psychology, and political movements, yet it remains just as true and relevant today as it was when it was first written. It is a book that has transformed countless lives and cultures throughout the last 2000 years. No matter how its opponents try to attack, destroy, or discredit it, the Bible remains; its veracity and impact on lives is unmistakable. The accuracy which has been preserved despite every attempt to corrupt, attack, or destroy it is clear testimony to the fact that the Bible is truly God’s Word and is supernaturally protected by Him. It should not surprise us that, no matter how the Bible is attacked, it always comes out unchanged and unscathed. After all, Jesus said,

“Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away” (Mark 13:31). After looking at the evidence, one can say without a doubt that, yes, the Bible is truly God’s Word.

As I saw the pesher scrolls of Isaiah 10:22-11:5 read "A shoot will issue from the stump of Jesse and a bud will sprout its roots. Upon Him will be placed the Spirit of the Lord and His delight will be in respecting the Lord," it sent chills up my spine to see the written prophecies of the Messiah transcribed before His appearance! Of course even the pesher (commentary) of the scholars and scribrs of this time believed that a Messiah from the line of David would come and fulfill this prophecy (Jesse is David's father).
So if you are living in Ontario I would highly recomment going to see the scrolls before they leave on Janaury 3rd!

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