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Dead Sea Scrolls Prove Authenticity Of The Gospels


StewartP
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The Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered between 1947 and 1956 in eleven caves in and around the Wadi Qumran. They are made of roughly 825-872 documents, including texts from the Hebrew Bible. The texts are of great religious and historical significance, as they are practically the only known surviving Biblical documents written before AD 100.

 

Spanish Jesuit José O'Callaghan has argued that one fragment (7Q5) is a New Testament text from the Gospel of Mark, chapter 6, verses 52–53. In recent years this controversial assertion has been taken up again by German scholar Carsten Peter Thiede. A successful identification of this fragment as a passage from Mark would make it the earliest extant New Testament document, dating somewhere between AD 30 and 60.

 

So far so scary.

 

Here's the good news:

Opponents consider that the fragment is tiny and requires so much reconstruction (the only complete word in Greek is "και" = "and") that it could have come from a text other than Mark.

 

So: lots of cut and paste can produce the "and" therefore, logically, it is from the Gospel of Mark.

 

 

Mwa ha ha ha ha!

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A successful identification of this fragment as a passage from Mark would make it the earliest extant New Testament document, dating somewhere between AD 30 and 60.
So? They were obviously written by someone, and when they were written doesn't really have to do much with how valid what is written actually is. It also wouldn't solve the problem of contradictions between gospels or the contradictions with reality.
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G.Mark most certainly wasn't written by an Essene or anyone from that area. He makes too many mistakes about the region. This whole thing is just grasping at straws.

 

Additionally, according to legend, Mark wrote the text when translating for Peter (in Rome I believe) who was then executed around 62AD. This text would have had to had been written between 62 and 68AD but Mark supposedly went from Rome down to Egypt to start the church there. So how did his completed book end up in an Essene library or part of the remnant library of the Jewish temple (which is the other hypothesis for these texts) in such a short time? He wrote the book for others so he didn't write it then carry it with him (again according to the tradition) so the text he wrote stayed with the people he wrote it for...which would be back in Rome.

 

For this to be the earliest copy of G.Mark they not only need to prove that this is from G.Mark but they also need to address the oral tradition of its authorship. Somehow the book traveled from its original audience (and also, according to tradition he did not write the events in any order but yet the version we have today is in order) and somehow ended up in the Dead Sea Scrolls. If this is not the original autographed G.Mark then copies would have had to made the journey and the story structure would have had to had be re-ordered to their current, and final, positions in a very short amount of time by scribes (who probably knew nothing of the story themselves).

 

Since I'm pulling all this from memory I could be getting the authorship all wrong on this and G.Mark could have a local authorship but I'm fairly confident that I am right on this. Since the whole thing is anonymous it really comes down to everyone is just guessing but if we go with tradition these people are just grasping at straws because a 1st century gospel fragment would be an amazing find.

 

mwc

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A new monk arrives at the monastery. He is assigned to help the other monks in copying the old texts by hand. He notices, however, that they are copying copies, and not the original books.

 

So, the new monk goes to the head monk to ask him about this. He points out that if there was an error in the first copy, that error would be continued in all of the other copies. The head monk says, "We have been copying from the copies for centuries, but you make a good point, my son."

 

So, he goes down into the cellar with one of the copies to check it against the original. Hours later, nobody has seen him. So, one of the monks goes downstairs to look for him. He hears sobbing coming from the back of the cellar and finds the old monk leaning over one of the original books crying. He asks what's wrong.

 

"The word is celebrate not celibate," says the old monk with tears in his eyes.

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I've read about this fragment, and most opinions are that it isn't from GMark.

 

Carston Fiede published a book a few years ago named Eyewitness to Jesus. In this book he claimed that the dating for the Magdalen Papyrus was wrong. Instead of second century, he believed them to be within a decade or two of "jesus' death". And, of course, this would also have made them original autographs from eyewitnesses.

 

Thiede's contentions about Qumran Mark and also about the dating of the Magdalen Papyrus have both been refuted by other scholars.

 

Burton Mack, John Wesley Professor of New Testament at the School of Theology at Claremont had this to say about Thiede:

 

Thiede's Dead Sea Scroll's scenario is preposterous; his theory about the Markan fragment among the Dead Sea Scrolls has been discredited;...

 

 

I do find it humorous when the results of paleography dating turn up a date like 30-50 C.E. First thing, handwriting analysis can in no way be that precise. Second thing, you just know when the first date is 30 C.E., the whole thought process began something like this:

 

"Let's see now. Jesus was crucified in 30 C.E., so.. "

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I do find it humorous when the results of paleography dating turn up a date like 30-50 C.E. First thing, handwriting analysis can in no way be that precise. Second thing, you just know when the first date is 30 C.E., the whole thought process began something like this:

 

"Let's see now. Jesus was crucified in 30 C.E., so.. "

 

I would love, just LOVE, for them to find an indisputable piece from a known gospel text like G.Mark that dates PRIOR to 26CE (or Pilate). Perhaps from the unopened tomb of someone that was buried before that date? Something like the passion play in all its glory (minus the time specific details of course). Then just watch as they try to push the date forward as hard as possible to meet their time line.

 

I find it doubtful this would ever happen but it would be that little bit of evidence that just lays waste to the uniqueness of the most important part of their sacred story. Dare to dream. :)

 

mwc

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