Question re: TerryWalstrom post on Reza Aslan

by Esse quam videri 3 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • Esse quam videri
    Esse quam videri

    As I understand Reza Alsan's explanation of our view of history vs the ancients, the ancients were not so committed to recording accurate facts as recording ideas which, Reza Aslan stated , would be their understanding of truth. It appears many have been quick to accept Reza Aslan's comments as having great weight. He is a convincing speaker, I think mainly, because he believes what he says. Many here have, in the past, given convincing arguments to support subjects they now reject.

    My questions are the following:

    Why has accepted evidence shown that the ancients were so fastidious in making accurate records if the idea was the important thing? Why meticulous recording of events as they were handed down generation after generation?

    I direct attention to comments regarding the Dead Sea Scrolls as a contribution to this topic.

    After years of careful study, it has been concluded that the Dead Sea Scrolls give substantial confirmation that our Old Testament has been accurately preserved. The scrolls were found to be almost identical with the Masoretic text. Hebrew Scholar Millar Burrows writes, “It is a matter of wonder that through something like one thousand years the text underwent so little alteration. As I said in my first article on the scroll, ‘Herein lies its chief importance, supporting the fidelity of the Masoretic tradition.'”{6}

    A significant comparison study was conducted with the Isaiah Scroll written around 100 B.C. that was found among the Dead Sea documents and the book of Isaiah found in the Masoretic text. After much research, scholars found that the two texts were practically identical. Most variants were minor spelling differences, and none affected the meaning of the text.

    One of the most respected Old Testament scholars, the late Gleason Archer, examined the two Isaiah scrolls found in Cave 1 and wrote, “Even though the two copies of Isaiah discovered in Qumran Cave 1 near the Dead Sea in 1947 were a thousand years earlier than the oldest dated manuscript previously known (A.D. 980), they proved to be word for word identical with our standard Hebrew Bible in more than 95 percent of the text. The five percent of variation consisted chiefly of obvious slips of the pen and variations in spelling.”{7}

    Despite the thousand year gap, scholars found the Masoretic Text and Dead Sea Scrolls to be nearly identical. The Dead Sea Scrolls provide valuable evidence that the Old Testament had been accurately and carefully preserved.

  • Village Idiot
    Village Idiot

    Perfect preservation? 

    The  Additions to Esther is most likely the work of an Egyptian Jew, writing around 170 BC, who sought to give the book a more religious tone, and to suggest that the Jews were saved from destruction because of their piety. The additions completely change the tone of the book from what was originally intended from the Hebrew Manuscripts...and the additions were NEVER in the Hebrew scriptures.

  • Village Idiot
    Village Idiot

    The Greek Additions to the Old Testament that are accepted by the Orthodox Churches are the following:

    First Esdras
    Second Esdras

    [The Greek Orthodox accept 1st Esdras, but not 2nd Esdras, considering 2nd Esdras to be the proto-canonical Ezra-Nehemiah. The Russian Church accepts both, but titles them 2nd and 3rd Esdras, 1st Esdras being the proto-canonical Ezra-Nehemiah.]

    Additions to Esther
    The Wisdom of Solomon
    Ecclesiasticus, or the Wisdom of Jesus the Son of Sirach
    The Letter of Jeremiah
    Additions to Daniel: 
    Song of the Three Youths
    Daniel, Bel and the Dragon 
    The Prayer of Manasseh
    First Maccabees
    Second Maccabees
    Third Maccabees
    Fourth Maccabees
  • Esse quam videri
    Esse quam videri

    Village Idiot :

    Thank-you for your comments.

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