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Author Topic: What is the best English translation of the Dead Sea Scrolls?  (Read 3017 times) Average Rating: 0
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Matthew777
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« on: November 25, 2006, 02:35:18 AM »

I don't know much concerning the Dead Sea Scrolls, other than how it's been believed to have been written by Essenes. I would like to find an English translation that's as literal as possible, while still remaining readable, to compare it with English translations of the Peshitta, the Septuagint, and the Masoretic text.
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« Reply #1 on: November 25, 2006, 02:42:39 AM »

The "Essene" origin theory is not the only one.  Other possible sources were Sadducees, or that they came from the Temple in Jerusalem and there are others.

Here is a link to the UChicago site about the scrolls. There's some interesting things there.

http://oi.uchicago.edu/OI/PROJ/SCR/Scrolls.html

Might one ask "Why are you looking into the DSS?"

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« Reply #2 on: November 25, 2006, 02:46:44 AM »

There will be a display of part of the DSS in Seattle, and I'd like to gain a deeper appreciation and understanding before seeing them. Furthermore, I'd like to know whether it agrees more with the Masoretic text or the traditional Christian renderings of the Old Testament.

Peace.
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« Reply #3 on: November 25, 2006, 07:59:29 AM »

How does one define "best" here? Oh, I know; the one YOU like the best! Got it...
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« Reply #4 on: November 25, 2006, 06:08:27 PM »

Like I said, the one that's as literal as possible while remaining readable.

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« Reply #5 on: November 25, 2006, 07:49:19 PM »

There is a version done by Penguin Press...the author starts with a "V" ...I can't remember right now.  Its the most widely accepted version. 

There are more that i'll post as soon as I get back to my library...(critical texts, etc.) 
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« Reply #6 on: November 25, 2006, 11:18:53 PM »

Thank you.

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« Reply #7 on: November 26, 2006, 09:03:07 AM »

Sorry that this took so long...

Two books stood out for me when I went and checked out what was available to me...

1.  "The Dead See Scrolls"  Translated and Commentary by Michael Wise, Martin Abegg Jr. and Edward Cook.

2.  "The Dead Sea Scrolls Bible"  Translated and Commentary by Martin Abegg Jr., Peter Flint, and Eugene Ulrich

So in both of those one of the translators is Margin Abegg, so I suggest looking him up.  These are both good texts, I personally prefer #2 but it depends on what you like. 

Hope that helps!   Smiley
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« Reply #8 on: November 26, 2006, 11:55:32 AM »

There will be a display of part of the DSS in Seattle, and I'd like to gain a deeper appreciation and understanding before seeing them. Furthermore, I'd like to know whether it agrees more with the Masoretic text or the traditional Christian renderings of the Old Testament.

In relation to this subject, it behooves one also to use the Samaritan Hexateuch as a reference.  Samaritan scriptures favour the L.X.X. over the work of the Masoretes.
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« Reply #9 on: November 27, 2006, 01:59:54 AM »

Is it true that after their rejection of Christ, the Jews perverted their Scriptures as to minimize the prophecies of His coming?
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« Reply #10 on: November 27, 2006, 05:38:00 PM »

Maybe you should start another thread asking that question, since it really has very little to do with the original question/topic.   Wink
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« Reply #11 on: November 27, 2006, 07:46:44 PM »

There is a version done by Penguin Press...the author starts with a "V" ...I can't remember right now.  Its the most widely accepted version. 

There are more that i'll post as soon as I get back to my library...(critical texts, etc.) 

The Complete Dead Sea Scrolls in English, transl. Geza Vermes (Penguin)  I believe it only includes those texts which were in the scrolls but not found elsewhere in the Bible (i.e. if there were parts of the scrolls that matched 100%, then they weren't included... but I'm not sure, since it's been awhile since I read through it).
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« Reply #12 on: November 28, 2006, 08:16:57 AM »

Is it true that after their rejection of Christ, the Jews perverted their Scriptures as to minimize the prophecies of His coming?

There have been alterations made, but I can't say to what degree; the one I hear of the most concerns the word 'virgin' in Isaias' prophecies.

It would appear that alterations of the text even go back to Old Testament times, to the Sopherim.  These alterations are incorporated into the Christian versions of the Old Testament.  The emendations would be recorded as they were made.  One of them involving a Davidic psalm and replacing the Tetragrammaton with 'Adonai', were it to be removed would render a particular line of the psalm in its original form where a hinted reference to the Trinity can be found.   

It is interesting to see that by the Muslims' very rigorous standards vis a vis the veracity of sacred texts, they were right after all: there is tahreef in our sacred scriptures (and this would include the N.T., also).  However, our definition of God's word and Church criteria for determining whether a form of text is or remains inspired differ from the Muslims', where the absolute standard by which they work deems the alteration of one letter of sacred text to be something that automatically disqualifies the text from being God's word any longer.  Apparently, according to the Christian understanding of inspiration and the properties of inspired texts, alterations of certain kinds and to certain minor degrees would still not be sufficient to disqualify the sacred texts from being God's word, according to Christianity's definition of this.
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« Reply #13 on: November 28, 2006, 09:30:53 AM »

Maybe you should start another thread asking that question, since it really has very little to do with the original question/topic.   Wink

The Dead Sea Scrolls, in being more ancient, could prove that the Masoretic text altered the Old Testament.

The Dead Sea Scrolls are also very important in containing the Septuagint, providing evidence for its common use in Palestine.

Peace.
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« Reply #14 on: November 28, 2006, 09:41:43 AM »

The Dead Sea Scrolls, in being more ancient, could prove that the Masoretic text altered the Old Testament. 

Ok...so what if the Masoritic text did alter the OT?  Did it alter it in such a way as to ...

Quote
the Jews perverted their Scriptures as to minimize the prophecies of His coming?

If the JEWS perverted the scriptures, then how did the Dead Sea Scrolls pervert the scriptures?  Since they are attributed to a different sub-culture? 

Also...

Quote
The Dead Sea Scrolls are also very important in containing the Septuagint, providing evidence for its common use in Palestine.

So...what does the containment of scripture, and its use in Palestine have to do with...

Quote
Is it true that after their rejection of Christ, the Jews perverted their Scriptures as to minimize the prophecies of His coming?

Sorry, i'm just really not understanding your response.  If you could help me by being a little bit more clear I would really appreciate it.  Thanks!   Smiley
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« Reply #15 on: November 28, 2006, 10:17:46 AM »

The Masoretic text is of the middle ages, of much later origin than the Septuagint and the pre-Masoretic Hebrew OT of the Dead Sea Scrolls. By comparing the Masoritic text with a more ancient Hebrew text, one could tell if the unbelieving Jews have changed their Scriptures since the time of their rejection of Christ.
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« Reply #16 on: November 30, 2006, 10:43:12 PM »

Quote
The Masoretic text is of the middle ages, of much later origin than the Septuagint and the pre-Masoretic Hebrew OT of the Dead Sea Scrolls.

I was under the impression that the MT was done in the 7th century...I could be wrong though.

Quote
By comparing the Masoritic text with a more ancient Hebrew text, one could tell if the unbelieving Jews have changed their Scriptures since the time of their rejection of Christ.

First of all, I would be surprised if the Jews did not change their Scriptures IN GENERAL.  Scriptures are a fluid thing, especially in regard to the Hebrew Scriptures after Christ. 

Second, who are the "unbelieving Jews" and what is their Scripture? 

Third, your original question stated the idea that there is a possibility of the minimizing of the prophesy of His Comming, due to perversion of the Scriptures.  How does your entire response above enlighten that question/dialogue? 

Fourth, I am not of the opinion that the changes of the MT created a barier for the belief in Christ as the Messiah.  Christ as Messiah in the OT has been "proven" so whether or not the MT has perverted anything is slightly moot because Christ is in the OT no matter what the historical changes of the MT are. 

Maybe i'm misunderstanding your questions and posts as a whole...Any help you can provide me, in terms of clarity, would be great!   Smiley
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« Reply #17 on: December 01, 2006, 03:25:25 AM »

I was under the impression that the MT was done in the 7th century...I could be wrong though.

Which is much older than the Dead Sea Scrolls and the Septuagint, which could be compared against the later Masoritic text.

Second, who are the "unbelieving Jews" and what is their Scripture? 

The Jews who rejected their Messiah.
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« Reply #18 on: December 02, 2006, 12:55:15 AM »

Which is much older than the Dead Sea Scrolls and the Septuagint, which could be compared against the later Masoritic text.

I thought that the Dead Sea Scrolls orignated from the 4th or 5th centuries?  (Most of the scrolls...)

Isn't the "original" septuagint from around 300 BC? 

So how is the 7th c. MT older than the Dead Sea Scrolls and the LXX?

Quote
The Jews who rejected their Messiah.

So what is their scripture? 

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« Reply #19 on: December 02, 2006, 02:23:32 AM »

Wait, I meant to say that the DSS and LXX are much older than the Masoretic, and therefore more reliable a witness. Please forgive me.

Peac.e
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« Reply #20 on: December 02, 2006, 11:22:18 AM »

Nothing to forgive, I'm glad I understand that point now...

In the light of this, then I agree with you. 

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« Reply #21 on: December 03, 2006, 03:08:30 AM »

I doubt that any Christian translation is exclusively based on the Masoretic text, otherwise we'd believe that Isaiah prophecized the Messiah to be conceived by a "young woman" rather than a "virgin." Wasn't there originally a great deal of outrage over the RSV's decision to include the former's reading?

Peace.
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« Reply #22 on: December 20, 2006, 06:20:58 AM »

I've read from certain sources that while some Hebrew manuscripts of the DSS agree with the Septuagint, others agree with the Masoretic text. Therefore, I may have made my judgement against the Masoretic as the work of antiChristian Jewish scribes a little too hastily.

In a few weeks, I plan on visiting the DSS exhibit in Seattle:

http://www.pacsci.org/dss/
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