Trinity Statements in the Dead Sea Scrolls

by Sea Breeze 55 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • Blotty

    I will just add here that "Friend of peace" basically is just translating a common Hebrew idiom "son of peace" or as Cambridge puts it " a son of peace, i.e. a man of peaceful heart. Comp... Luke 16:8, Luke 20:36; John 17:12; Ephesians 5:6; Ephesians 5:8."


    does "son" always literally mean "son" - well kind of, it means literal offspring but can also mean the idiom or in other words "son of specified group" - you are "ruled" or "parented" by the modifying noun.

    In this case a peaceful man.. "a friend of peace" while not a literal translation is justifiable based on not only context but also the meaning to the idiom.. but then again if we take one look at the KJV or NIV we will find quite a few non-literal translations in other places.

    Just because the NWT is a "literal" translation, does NOT mean it will translate everything literally.. (research how translation works.) When needed it may need to clear up the meaning of the text for English readers - We know where literal translations get us with the NWT, stilted and wooden translations which others complain about. This argument may sound familiar, and it should be I'm recycling an older argument used on ones who did the same with "theos" in 1:1c (The ONLY singular, nominative, non-prepositional instance of Theos in 1)

    NIV uses "someone" that's not a literal translation of the word "huios", is the NIV wrong? no - nor is the NWT
    "a friend of peace" simply means the same as "son of peace" but is a better word picture in English, someone who is peaceful or who likes peace, exactly what this verse is trying to convey.

    Lets look at John 18:37, you would be out of your mind to say the NWT translates this wrong. the literal text (in focus) is:
    "“Ἡ βασιλεία ἡ ἐμὴ οὐκ ἔστιν ἐκ τοῦ κόσμου"

    "By "of this world" we are to understand that the nature and origin of His kingdom are not of this world, not that His kingdom will not extend in this world."


    - or in other words as the NWT puts it "part of this world" Christs Kingdom is not from this world, nor has any involvement in it as can be seen from 6:15 and Jesus' actions.

    breaking it down we have ouk meaning "not" "ek" meaning "out of" which is used in the sense of "part" as well in some cases and lit "the world"

    If you want to try and this is a distortion, please go and learn Greek and how ek functions (not just for theologically important texts), as it functions in a variety of ways.

    In sum does [Friend of peace] change the meaning? no, not really. If you want a hyper-literal translation, go and use one.. If you want a paraphrase go and use one.. (I use about 7 different translations) it is by far in the realm of a possible meaning of the text.

    A T Robertson says "It means one inclined to peace, describing the head of the household." - consequently if you are inclined towards something, are you not technically a "friend" of it. (James 4:4)

    anyone who says it (or John 18:36) is not, is either wilfully ignorant or just simply dislikes the NWT for some reason.. Which for the second, may I remind of Golden rule in the Bible?

    sidenote: translate Eph 4:14 literally, then tell me the meaning has been changed or that any bible translation uses a literal translation (not one translates it "literally" - see: Strong's - not even the KJV does, which is odd as I expect it would)

  • peacefulpete

    Unfortunately Ken Johson reveals his complete ignorance by repeatedly calling the 'Testaments of the Twelve Patriarchs' the Dead Sea Scrolls. The TTP was not discovered among the collections at Qumran. Some evidence exists that some tiny fragments MAY represent an early Jewish Vorlage for some of the material in the TTP. However, the TTP as it is written is a product of many years of redaction and interpolation by Christians. In fact a number of scholars take the position that the work as a whole was an early Christian product that utilized Jewish material and traditions so as to make the ancient patriarchs prophesy about Jesus. A few Church Fathers seem aware of the work and may have been even quoting it at times.

    After a fair amount of reading, I've concluded the work was originally Jewish and pre-Christian; however, it was obviously redacted in the centuries prior to its rediscovery in the 13th century by Bishop Richard Grosseteste. It was Richard's view (which Ken Johnson seems to be parroting) that the Jews hid the work to be able to deny Jesus. That view betrays an antisemitism that was of course common in the period and not scholarship.

    The work, even in its interpolated form, has value for research of Christian origins. In my view the work as a whole is overtly pro-Judaism, the concepts and imagery consistent with a work from the 1rst century BCE.

    As an example of the suggested interpolations:

    19 1 Hear ye, therefore, me vision which I saw. 2 I saw twelve harts feeding. And nine of them were dispersed. Now the three were preserved, but on the following day they also were dispersed. 3 And I saw that the three harts became three lambs, and they cried to the Lord, and He brought them forth into a flourishing and well watered place, yea He brought them out of darkness into light. 4 And there they cried unto the Lord until there gathered together unto them the nine harts, and they became as twelve sheep, and after a little time they increased and became many 5 flocks. And after these things I saw and behold, twelve bulls were sucking one cow, which produced a sea of milk, and there drank thereof the twelve flocks and innumerable herds. 6 And the horns of the fourth bull went up unto heaven and became as a wall for the flocks, and in the midst of the two horns there grew 7 another horn. And I saw a bull calf which surrounded them twelve times, and it became a help to the bulls wholly. 8 And I saw in the midst of the horns a virgin [wearing a many-coloured garment, and from her] went forth a lamb; and on his right (was as it were a lion; and) all the beasts and all the reptiles rushed (against him), and the lamb over 9 came them and destroyed them. And the bulls rejoiced because of him, and the cow [and the 10 harts] exulted together with them. And these 11 things must come to pass in their season. Do ye therefore, my children, observe the commandments of the Lord, and honour Levi and Judah; for from them shall arise unto you [the Lamb of God, who taketh away the sin of the world] one who saveth [all the Gentiles and] Israel. 12 For His kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, which shall not pass away; but my kingdom among you shall come to an end as a watcher's hammock, which after the summer disappeareth.

    The bold sections certainly would be suggestive of a Christian redactor modifying the text. I am reluctant to assume it is in entirety however. The language of the maiden/virgin wearing a colored outfit is difficult to explain if Christain. Also, the continuing reference to the bulls and harts seems difficult to explain as Christian , unless the redactor was convinced he understood the passage and imagery and assumed we the reader would also.
  • peacefulpete

    Sorry had issues with the quotation function. In short there are elements within the TTP that lead some to conclude, must be Christian additions but in my mind might in fact preserve Pre-Christian imagery that was inspirational to Christian origins. Ultimately, there are obvious Christian interpolations and there are provocative symbolism and language that reveal that the Messiah figure/s was described with terminology and Christology that mirrored later Christian usage. Son of God, Word, Lamb, Suffering Servant of Isaiah, Light, death on a tree, etc were descriptions in use among some Jewish sectarians in the years before the emergence of Christianity. Language about a maiden birthing the Lamb might be another example. The metaphor of a maiden birthing a child from Isaiah 7 might have been wrapped in messianic cloth before the writer of Matthew added it to the Markan story.

    Were these intertestamental interpretations inspired "prophetic" or were they inspiration for the Jesus story?

  • aqwsed12345
  • Sea Breeze
    Sea Breeze

    PistolPete : "complete ignorance".

  • peacefulpete

    SeaBreeze, Are you directing that comment at me? If so you will need to explain.

Share this