Dead Sea Scrolls History: Looking Back on the Last 75 Years

Martin Abegg, Peter Flint and Andrew Perrin reflect on the Dead Sea Scrolls’ history

With one of its long-term codirectors continuing on at the helm (Dr. Peter Flint) and the other (Dr. Martin Abegg) passing the baton to a new faculty member (Dr. Andrew Perrin), the leadership of the Trinity Western University Dead Sea Scrolls Institute—North America’s only research center dedicated to Qumran studies—provides a snapshot of both the perspectives of different generations of Dead Sea Scroll scholars and a view of the discipline’s past, present and future. In this exclusive Bible History Daily interview, these three colleagues reflect on some major moments in recent Qumran scholarship and pressing issues that lie ahead.

Megan Sauter (BAR): Along with Martin Abegg and Ben Zion Wacholder, BAR was part of the dramatic and controversial story of releasing the Dead Sea Scrolls texts to the world in the early ’90s. Looking back, how did that moment compromise or benefit the field?

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Peter Flint, Andrew Perrin and Martin Abegg of Trinity Western University’s Dead Sea Scrolls Institute. Photo: Wendy Lees.

Martin Abegg: Of course, I am a bit biased, but I think the results of the publication of the preliminary editions were nearly all on the benefit side of the ledger. There is an undeniable visibility factor that resulted in immense press coverage and public interest that continues even to today. Equally important was the effect on official publication in the Discoveries in the Judaean Desert (DJD) series, which saw almost three-quarters of its total volumes published between 1991 and 2009. Secondary research has also increased substantially. It is almost impossible to keep up with the number of dissertations, monographs and journal articles that are churned out year after year in Dead Sea Scrolls studies and related disciplines. In one way or another, all of this activity represents the ripple effect of the unexpected but much needed publication.

Peter Flint: Marty and I came to direct the Dead Sea Scrolls Institute at a time when the events leading up to the publication of the Qumran texts were still highly controversial. More than 20 years on, I can say with some confidence that almost everyone today would be pleased with the “Scroll busters” of the early ’90s. Geza Vermes once lamented that the slow and irregular pace of official publication of these invaluable manuscript discoveries was the “academic scandal par excellence of the 20th century.” He was correct. What we needed was a catalyst to make these materials available for researchers.

Andrew Perrin: Like many scholars in the early stages of their careers today, I started serious research on the Qumran finds just prior to when the finishing touches were put on the DJD series. So in many ways I am part of a first generation of scholars who are familiar with the tale of the controversies in the early ’90s yet only know the luxury of a fully published and openly accessible corpus. This situation is hugely advantageous for research: While the Qumran evidence itself is fragmentary, at least we have a full view of what is extant. This greatly reduces the unknown variables of any research project. Without the pre-emptive strike by Abegg, Wacholder and BAR, it is entirely possible that parts of the Qumran discoveries would remain unavailable to scholars even today.

Interested in the history and meaning of the Dead Sea Scrolls? In the free eBook Dead Sea Scrolls, learn what the Dead Sea Scrolls are and why are they important. Find out what they tell us about the Bible, Christianity and Judaism.

MS: The completion of DJD signalled the full, critical publication of the Dead Sea Scrolls. Are there still new frontiers for publication that lie ahead?

1QIsaa

Investigating 1QIsaa in DJD 32 edition. Photo: Wendy Lees.

Flint: While some hoped DJD would “canonize” the texts of the scrolls for the academic guild, there are in fact a number of other editions on offer or in preparation, such as the “Princeton” editions jointly published by Mohr Siebeck and Westminster John Knox or the new Brill Dead Sea Scrolls Editions. What the editors of such series have had to reflect on is what is new, innovative or proprietary about their projects. More editions are always better, so long as they make a valid contribution to our understanding of the texts on their pages and invite the reader to think about the primary sources in a different way.

Perrin: New methods used to study texts and craft editions should also impact future publication endeavors. Already we’re seeing new technologies enhance both the quality of critical texts or re-editions as well as the way we interact with the materials. While the magnifying glass and microfiche images were standard issue tools for studying these texts mere years ago, now digital imaging software is allowing us to see more of the texts than ever before, to undertake virtual reconstructions of damaged materials, and to toy with new arrangements of scroll fragments that may require us to reassess what we thought we knew about the shape and details of some texts. Added to this, since many of our bookshelves are now housed on a hard drive, tablet technology opens up an entirely new frontier of what digital editions can achieve through dynamic and updatable interfaces.

Abegg: It’s also not just about new tools or technology, but those old texts that are absent in the “official” publications. While DJD is formally complete, technically it is an incomplete representation of the Qumran library. Several central texts, like the War Scroll, Genesis Apocryphon and Pesher Habakkuk, were not part of that series. In addition, DJD itself is simply the beginning of the conversation. Virtually every document requires more study, and there is the need for commentary to allow scholars in related disciplines to access the scrolls and integrate the finds of our field into their own. Editors of new series should also give serious thought to settling on a consistent referencing system. This would avoid the confusion of working with some texts, like the Cave 1 Hodayot manuscript, which has differing arrangements and references in early and more recent editions.

MS: There has been a lot of press, excitement and controversy in recent years over “new” Dead Sea Scrolls discoveries or acquisitions. What is the significance of these finds, and how do they impact scholarship?

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Qumran Cave 4 viewed from the Qumran settlement. Photo: Andrew Perrin.

Abegg: I would suggest that these new discoveries are more valuable for keeping the conversation alive with the public than they are as a source of significant new information. The text of all the fragments currently in preparation for publication will likely amount to less than a single column of the Community Rule. As controversy drives interest, the suspicion that a good number of the new fragments may be forgeries (using actual uninscribed scroll fragments) is something that is sure to pique the interest of scholars and the public alike.

Flint: While the amount of text is not substantial, if we’ve learned anything from the Dead Sea Scrolls, it is that the details of texts matter. Sometimes a new or different word in the smallest of fragments can make a huge difference. For example, one interesting new fragment of Leviticus acquired by Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary includes a remarkable arrangement of text that brings together material from Leviticus 18 and 20, both of which relate abominations of the nations in the land, in a way that is similar to the paleo-Leviticus scroll of Cave 11. Here we have yet another representative of those early Pentateuchal texts that have a penchant for rearranging and harmonizing the scriptural text.

Perrin: These ongoing discoveries build into the heritage of intrigue around the Dead Sea Scrolls. However, I think a fringe benefit of these finds is that they remind us that we don’t need to wait for the next press release showcasing a new postage-stamp sized fragment that has come to light to make new discoveries. In fact, there are literally thousands of fragments at our fingertips listed as “miscellaneous” or “unidentified” in almost any volume of DJD. These are ripe for (re)discovery. For example, I have been working on a tiny Aramaic fragment from Cave 3 that is buried in the back matter of an early volume of DJD. In view of the Cave 4 materials of Tobit published in 1995, it is relatively certain that we have yet another manuscript of this apocryphal work. That is a newsworthy discovery, and it comes at a bargain price compared to what collectors are paying for yet unknown fragments!
 


 
The Dead Sea Scrolls have been called the greatest manuscript find of all time. Visit the BAS Dead Sea Scrolls Page for dozens of articles on the scrolls’ significance, discovery and scholarship.
 

 
MS: What future archaeological discoveries—textual or otherwise—would dramatically change or enrich your field?

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Stepped mikveh ritual bath at Qumran with stairs damaged by an earthquake in 31 B.C.E. Photo: Andrew Perrin.

Perrin: Many now agree that the Qumranites were an Essene or Essene-like group but were part of a broader movement in ancient Judaism. That is probably why we see some variation in descriptions of their thought and practice in the Dead Sea Scrolls and Classical sources. The discovery of another archaeological site in the Judean Desert associated with this movement (perhaps if we were lucky enough it would include a modest library of texts) would be a game changer. Then we could compare both texts and community contexts of two satellite settlements of the Essene movement in Second Temple period Judea.

Flint: That sort of archaeological discovery would be beneficial in and of itself, but would also challenge us to rethink how we map out the movement of ideas and texts in the communities we already know about. For example, we have similar copies of the Damascus Document present at Qumran and in the Cairo Genizah. This text didn’t travel hundreds of miles on its own. Perhaps additional copies of other texts known in the Qumran library, like the Hodayot or Temple Scroll, in other geographical locations or community archives would give us a host of fresh questions about the relationship between groups and the mobility of their literature.

Abegg: Since we’re dreaming big, imagine how the discovery of another trove of early Jewish texts—rivalling Caves 1, 4 and 11—would add to our discussions. I am also reminded of Frank Moore Cross’s answer to a similar question: “What I would like is a late seventh-century B.C.E. manuscript of Jeremiah.” So the earlier the better!

MS: In view of the completion of the Dead Sea Scrolls publication project and essential resources like the Concordance, what is next for the Qumran guild? What questions, texts or approaches do you expect to see more of in the years ahead?

Perrin: If a primary task of the first few generations of scroll scholars was establishing what these manuscripts say, the job from this point forward is explaining what they mean in their ancient contexts. The scrolls are just part of the literary heritage of ancient Judaism, but they do provide us with a lens into the broader cultural matrix of this world. For example, the suite of Aramaic texts among the Qumran collection is just now coming to the fore of research. Since Aramaic writings like 1 Enoch, Genesis Apocryphon and Aramaic Levi Document originated beyond Qumran, these materials provide an ideal space to explore how a given composition functioned in different ancient Jewish settings, presumably with varying social, political and religious commitments. Manuscripts are more than words on parchment or papyrus; they are artifacts produced by humans in and for communities. In general, I hope we’ll see more serious reflection on the significance these texts had for the ancient communities that either produced or received them.
 


 
What do the Dead Sea Scrolls say about Jesus? What do they say about the world in which Jesus lived? Read more in Bible History Daily >>
 

 
Flint: We will of course see a larger focus on some of those understudied texts. As we transition from a book to a digital culture, we’re also seeing students and scholars use new tools to illumine the details of individual works. We’re formulating higher-level questions because of the available data behind the texts. For example, rather than simply parse a word to understand its meaning in a given phrase or sentence, databases of the entire Qumran collection enable us to track linguistic trends across the library. Likewise, our study of textual variations in the Biblical scrolls can adopt a panoramic view. We can start with a single difference, say, between the Great Isaiah scroll and Masoretic text, and consider if it matches any other scribal approaches to copying and interpreting Scripture evident in the now-thousands of collated textual variants identified in the Qumran Biblical corpus. In short, more complete and advanced data at once makes our questions more sophisticated and more complicated.

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View of the Dead Sea from atop Masada. Photo: Andrew Perrin.

Abegg: As we envisage the future of our field, the list of potential projects is endless. Tools and resources will be created and recreated. Commentaries, re-editions, linguistic studies, theological studies—these are just a few of the things I expect we’ll see much more of as the field of Dead Sea Scrolls studies matures alongside other well-established disciplines like Hebrew Bible, New Testament and Rabbinic studies. One implication of this is that studies and resources that straddle multiple corpora will need to be revised. As I have prepared the second volume of the Dead Sea Scrolls Concordance, I am struck by the fact that the Greek documents from the Refuge Caves and other sites in the Judean Desert are not found in the most recent edition of the Liddell-Scott-Jones Greek Lexicon, which is a go-to reference for Biblical and Classical studies. The same could be said of some widely used Hebrew lexica, which need a more thorough and intentional integration of linguistic data from the Qumran texts.

MS: We’re approaching the 75th anniversary of the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls. At this point, can young scholars still make a career out of Dead Sea Scrolls scholarship, or should students wishing to study the scrolls be encouraged in other directions?

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Andrew Perrin, Peter Flint and Martin Abegg of Trinity Western University’s Dead Sea Scrolls Institute. Photo: Wendy Lees.

Abegg: Yes, scrolls scholarship remains an ideal launching point for an academic career. The broader field of Biblical studies thrives on the collective basis of vibrant focused disciplines—just look at a program book of the Society of Biblical Literature Annual Meeting. Yet it is hard to imagine that any of us—even the likes of Emanuel Tov or Eugene Ulrich— would be able to find a job teaching only the Dead Sea Scrolls. The scrolls, however, are ideally suited to serve any university’s Biblical, Jewish, theological and religious studies programs. Qumran scholarship requires Greek, Hebrew and Aramaic, the study of the foundational texts of Judaism and Christianity, knowledge of the early church and rabbinic Judaism, as well as familiarity with Israelite religion. Other such “niche studies” in the past (e.g., Ugaritic) cannot make the same claim. In fact—I might be so bold to say—it’s hard to imagine another research focus that would equip the early career Biblical studies scholar with such a broad preparation.
 

 
Freeing the Dead Sea Scrolls by BAR editor Hershel Shanks is fascinating account of an archaeology outsider and his scrapes with governments, nomads and scoundrels.
 

 
Perrin: In view of my own experience in this field, the answer is absolutely yes. The strongest position from which to embark on a career in Biblical studies is with a profile of truly original research, not a thesis or dissertation that makes a minor tweak to a centuries-old academic debate over a single Biblical passage. While the Qumran materials come from a world two millennia ago, they have been fully available for scholarly research for around 25 years and the complete corpus of critical editions for less than a decade. Few fields, if any, in ancient studies boast this much potential for fresh research at a very early stage in one’s educational journey. There is so much uncharted territory: Almost every text needs deeper study, and endless topics await exploration. Additionally, as that nearly cliché buzzword “interdisciplinary” crops up in more job descriptions, I think upcoming scholars would be well-served to think about how their topics and interests dovetail with other fields of study. Fortunately, for those working on the Dead Sea Scrolls, there are natural points of contact with countless cognate disciplines and corpora that fall under the umbrellas of research on Christianity and Judaism in antiquity.

Flint: Of course I agree with my colleagues on this point. The value of the scrolls, however, extends beyond academia. My work in this field rests on the unshakable conviction that the Dead Sea Scrolls are foundational to understanding the origins of Judaism and Christianity and are, therefore, part of the underlying fabric of contemporary Western Culture. The Qumran finds provide exhilarating views of the past—an essential quality for academic posts in any sub-discipline of Biblical studies—as well as plug us into larger questions of relevance to theological and religious studies. Questions about wealth, poverty, ethics, identity formation, community dynamics and gender, to name a few, are only recently being asked of the Dead Sea Scrolls. We started by talking over the significance of a fully published Qumran library. To be honest, I think we have yet to realize the full significance of these finds. It will be up to our current colleagues and the next generation of scholars to continue to read, research and write about what the eminent scholar William Foxwell Albright famously called “the greatest archaeological find of the 20th century.”


For more information on events, projects, and research opportunities at the Trinity Western University Dead Sea Scrolls Institute, follow @twudssi on Twitter and check out www.facebook.com/twudssi.
 


 

More on the Dead Sea Scrolls in Bible History Daily:

Dead Sea Scrolls Online: IAA Expands Digital Library

Qumran Phylacteries Reveal Nine New Dead Sea Scrolls

Ten Commandments Dead Sea Scroll to Be Displayed in Israel

The Curse of Ham—A New Reading in the Dead Sea Scrolls

 


 

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16 Responses

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  1. Arnold says

    Bottom line, are the Dead Sea Scrolls important, if so why? What does it really hold for those who already study the Torah/New Testament manuscripts?

  2. BHD says

    This is the best [and longest] article I have seen in the column. Thank you gentlemen for your efforts over the years. We have seen many errors and omissions sneak in across the centuries and the Dead Sea Scrolls, by their age, are clearing out a batch of them.. Keep up the excellent work.

  3. Bruce says

    ” Many now agree that the Qumranites were an Essene or Essene-like group”

    Sorry, what? Where do they “agree” about this? Why didn’t they “agree” before? In fact as you know that was the standard working theory at the discovery of the Scrolls, based on very cursory observations, and greater study can only render that theory dubious: That such a vast collection of writings is the product of a single small group? Incredible. Obviously unlikely. Which is why the attempt above, it seems, to make the Essenes and their “like” more mainstream now (“broader movement” implying above an acceptance of doubts about Qumran and its “Essenes” with concessions to critics. Shall we push harder and see what crumbles?). Perhaps nearly all Jews were actually “Essenes”, is that where this is heading? Can you not see where that will end? Reductio ad absurdum, in a lost cause.

    That Qumran was related in any way to “essenes” has never been shown, nor probably can it be. That remains a “just so” story. You don’t need it, to study the Scrolls, or Qumran. You just need to separate the two studies, which should have happened at the outset. Otherwise the madness continues.

  4. Edgar says

    Good to see Dr. Peter Flint my once Hebrew Professor!

  5. Alan says

    What is amazing to me is that no one has put two and two together… Yochanan (John) lived in the desert wilderness (Luke 1:80) to “make ready THE WAY of the Lord, make His paths straight” (Luke 3:4). Then, there is the sect called The Way (Heb. HaDerech) who Sha’ul (Saul) was persecuting under orders from the Sanhedrin (Acts 9:1-2) juxtaposed with the Congregation of men and women of The Way in the Damascus Document. Yochanan was performing a tevilah for these Jewish converts in the “living waters” of the Jordan River; it qualified as a miqveh as it had a natural spring as its source. He wasn’t doing anything new (i.e., the Christian concept of “baptism”).

    Yehoshu’a (Joshua — NOT Jesus! — the latter which is simply a transliteration of Latin into English) blinded Sha’ul while traveling to Damascus and was converted to The Way (Acts 9; Acts 24:14-15). The chaste, Jewish priests of Qumran — in their nearly 300 years of existence with the last traces at Masada — are the 144,000 of Revelation. These were the firstborn sons of the Congegation at Damascus who were dedicated to the Lord. Josephus even documented that the “wise men” at Qumran interpreted dreams in the time of Herod the Great; they were certainly held in high esteem. “King” Herod (a dynastic title like Pharaoh and Caesar) Archelaus would have certainly received them the night of Yehoshu’a’s birth on Shavuot in 6 CE; see http://www.haderech.info/DSS/Calendar/QumranCalendar.pdf. If you want to know what the star of Bethlehem was, look to the eastern night skies of Jerusalem on 30 May 6 CE; I verified this with our local planetarium. This conjunction of two “wandering stars” in Pisces along with the Most High and “the virgin” in close proximity. It rose due east and was due south towards Bethlehem a few hours later — just as the Scriptures state.

    Unfortunately, Josephus was a self-described Pharisee (Matthew 23 concentrating on vv13-36) who coined the term “Essenes,” which DEROGATORILY means “pious ones.” The Way separated themselves from the corruption in Jerusalem, which continues to this day. That is why this “great city” is referred to as Sodom, Egypt, and Mystery Babylon in Revelation (Revelation 11:3-13 concentrating on v8). Why Mystery Babylon? The Masoretic calendar is from Babylon even naming the fourth month for the deity Tammuz (see https://www.mail-archive.com/orion@panda.mscc.huji.ac.il/msg00674.html); the Talmud Bavli (Babylonian Talmud) carrying the same “force” as the TaNaKh; and reciting “Adonai” for the Tetragrammaton, which is a reference to Tammuz. All are abominations! Israel rejected her Messiah and remains blinded by rabbinic Judaism (Matthew 23:8; 15:1-14).

    The truth will not be withheld forever. Enoch and Elijah, the two witnesses, will set the record straight before Yehoshu’a returns at the end of the Great Tribulation. The Lamb of God will judge ALL on a future Yom Kippur, and only those who believe in the firstborn of creation — the Light of the world who holds all thing together — will receive Grace (i.e., a judicial pardon.) Shema Yisrael!

  6. Alan says

    “Who controls the past controls the future; who controls the present controls the past.” — George Orwell’s “Nineteen Eighty-Four”

  7. Alan says

    Why has no one considered John Hyrcanus as the Wicked Priest and Malachi the Teacher of Righteousness? The former proselytized by the sword in Idumea (Edom) — later giving rise to the Herodians, looted the tomb of David at least twice, likely had his father and two brothers killed so that he could rise to power, and whose Maccabean/Hasmonean dynasty had usurped the office of high priest from the Zakodites.

    Malachi speaks of the sins of the priests — just as Christ (Yehoshu’a) did (Malachi 1:6-14, 2:1-9); the sins of Israel (Malachi 2:10-17, 3:5-15); the future messenger (Yochanan) as “the purifier” clearing the way (Malachi 3:1-4); and the same prophecies of the end times (Malachi 4). Clues in Malachi 2:8 and 3:1 speak of THE WAY! Yes, this is the beginning of the sect called The Way in Acts. What is interesting is that no one knows with certainty when this book was written; therefore, no one can say that it wasn’t written at the time when the Teacher of Righteousness appeared after 20 years of groping for THE WAY!

    The truth is being revealed! Shema Yisrael!

  8. Alan says

    **Zadokites

  9. Alan says

    To understand when the equinoxes and solstices occur, look no further than 1 Enoch; see http://www.haderech.info/DSS/1Enoch/1Enoch-Sun.pdf. Hint: It doesn’t align with the pagan Gregorian calendar, either. We have been deceived!

  10. Alan says

    One cannot reconcile the Gregorian calendar with the one discovered among the Dead Sea Scrolls (DSS). Here’s why…

    The Gregorian calendar has a 365.2425 day year (see https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Year) versus the DSS calendar with 364 days; the fractional year leads to the fairly complex leap day algorithm. The former is based on the erroneous assumption that the Earth orbits the sun (from the Big Bang theory); the Genesis account clearly states the Earth was created on the first day with the sun, moon, and stars for signs, seasons, days, and years on the fourth day. Note that the DSS calendar commences on the FOURTH day of the week in perpetuity!

    The concept of a 24-hour day is likewise erroneous. “Hours” came from the Egyptians while “minutes” and “seconds” originated from the Babylonians. For example, the TRUE vernal equinox occurs when the sun first sets at 270 degrees and rises at 90 degrees in March in Jerusalem. In 2016, that is the “evening” of March 18th and the “morning” of the 19th; see http://www.timeanddate.com/sun/israel/jerusalem?month=3&year=2016. Note there is a difference of approximately five (5) minutes between sunset (5:49pm) and sunrise (5:44am). The difference between a 364 day year and a 365.2425 day year is 4 minutes, 53.92 seconds per day. I propose that our concept of a day is short by 4:53.92, which is approximately the five (5) minutes that is observed.

    Side note: The actual day commences when the sun’s orb sits just atop the horizon per the DSS. At that time, the sun has actually set below the horizon, but our eyes still perceive the solar disc due to atmospheric refraction. So, all modern definitions of sunset, twilight, and dusk are inconsistent with the DSS.

    Bottom line: It’s difficult at best to determine which Gregorian day of the week coincides with the TRUE weekly sabbath. We do know that every three years we would expect a full moon on the first day of the year (the day after the true vernal equinox) of the DSS calendar. I also know that Yehoshu’a HaMashiach was born on 30 May 6 CE in accordance with the Gregorian calendar due to the conjunction of Uranus and Mars in Pisces with Venus and Jupiter nearby. But, even that is unreliable due to calendar “recalibration;” see https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adoption_of_the_Gregorian_calendar and http://www.timeanddate.com/calendar/gregorian-calendar.html. At a minimum, there is a three day differential as ten days were dropped in October 1582 per the latter article (i.e., 10 mod 7 = 3) — not to mention all the adoption issues in the former.

    So, in 6 CE (when the Julian calendar was in effect and adds another level of complexity), 30 May was supposedly the first day of the week.

  11. Alan says

    Not only can we know EXACTLY when Christ (Yehoshu’a) was born, but we can know when he was conceived! All that is needed is the DSS calendar and the Book of Luke; the latter is often dismissed by Biblical “scholars” because it doesn’t fit traditional (yet erroneous!), “religious” narratives. The key facts are as follows:

    1. The Book of Luke is the only one explicitly written in chronological order; see Luke 1:3.
    2. Zacharias served in the division/course of Abijah; see Luke 1:5.
    3. Zacharias and Elizabeth BOTH were Torah observant; see Luke 1:6.
    4. The archangel Gabriel visited Mary (Miriam) in the sixth month; Luke 1:26-27.
    5. Elizabeth was six months pregnant with John (Yochanan) in the sixth month; see Luke 1:36.
    6. Mary (Miriam) arose quickly and visited her relative Elizabeth; see Luke 1:39.
    7. Mary (Miriam) conceived by the Holy Spirit as she entered the house of Zacharias; see Luke 1:41-45.
    8. Christ was born during the first census of Quirinius when he was governor of Syria; see Luke 2:2.

    WARNING! Matthew 12:31 “Therefore I say to you, any sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven people, but blasphemy against the Spirit shall not be forgiven. 32 Whoever speaks a word against the Son of Man, it shall be forgiven him; but whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit, it shall not be forgiven him, either in this age or in the age to come. (NASB)

    Now, let’s take these facts and arrive at the only logical conclusion. For Elizabeth to be six months pregnant in the sixth month just after Zacharias had completed his course, that would place his course ending on the 20th day of the 12th month; see Course Year 3 of 6 on p.4 of http://www.haderech.info/DSS/Calendar/QumranCalendar.pdf. As he was Torah observant, he would have remained in Jerusalem and not traveled on the weekly Sabbath (i.e., 21st day of the 12th month). Yes, the first day that he would have returned home was on the 22nd day of the 12th month on the first day of the week; see p.1 Ibid. This was the day that Yochanan was conceived. When Miriam arrived at Zacharias’ house in the sixth month of the year and in the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy, she conceived via the Holy Spirit on the 22nd day — on the FEAST OF NEW OIL!

    WARNING REPEATED! Matthew 12:31 “Therefore I say to you, any sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven people, but blasphemy against the Spirit shall not be forgiven. 32 Whoever speaks a word against the Son of Man, it shall be forgiven him; but whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit, it shall not be forgiven him, either in this age or in the age to come. (NASB)

    EXACTLY 38 weeks later — on Shavuot/Feast of Weeks/Pentecost — Yehoshu’a HaMashiach was born incarnate (made lower than the angels) on the 15th day of the third month on the first day of the week! See http://www.livescience.com/38713-pregnancy-length-variable.html.

    Jeremiah 31:31 “Behold, days are coming,” declares the Lord, “when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah, 32 not like the covenant which I made with their fathers in the day I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt, My covenant which they broke, although I was a husband to them,” declares the Lord. 33 “But this is the covenant which I will make with the house of Israel after those days,” declares the Lord, “I will put My law within them and on their heart I will write it; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people. 34 They will not teach again, each man his neighbor and each man his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ for they will all know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them,” declares the Lord, “for I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin I will remember no more.” (NASB)

    When does it state that NEW COVENANTS are made in the Damascus Document et al.?

    SHEMA YISRAEL!!! Turn from the iniquity in your hearts and hear the words of your Messiah — the firstborn of creation — the Light of the world that darkness cannot understand — who holds all things together — and will judge all on the GREAT AND TERRIBLE DAY OF THE LORD on a future Yom Kippur! Even Reuben Alcalay, the famous Hebrew lexicographer, stated that Yehoshu’a is closely related to “Let there be…”! HIS VERY NAME IS THE (CREATIVE) WORD!

    Since Yehoshu’a was born in 6 CE (https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Census_of_Quirinius), that means He was conceived in 5 CE — all in accordance with the calendar of the Most High discovered among the DSS and the Scriptures.

    “Scholars” know that Dionysius Exiguus, a 4th century Scythian monk (and very poor mathematician!), proclaimed December 25th as Christ’s birthdate, and that was readily adopted by the early church “fathers” (Matthew 23:9) of the RCC. Of course, it did not hurt that the Mithraic mysteries were assimilated into it; see https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mithraic_mysteries. See how that cult worship ended in 4 CE? Also, see http://youtu.be/XSQYX-OB1Rs. We have all been deceived by the machinations of men!

    I am thankful to be in the minority noting that the accounts in Luke and Acts were being written to then high priest Mattathias ben Theophilus, a Sadducee; see https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mattathias_ben_Theophilus.

    Yehoshu’a’s earthly family returned from Egypt when He was 12 years old to settle in Nazareth of Galilee. When was Herod Archelaus deposed? 6 CE. When did he die in exile? 18 CE! IT ALL FITS — except for Matthew 2:22 which first appeared in the spurious late 3rd/early 4th century manuscript Papyrus 70 (P. Oxy. 2384); see https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Papyrus_70.

    SHEMA YISRAEL!

  12. Alan says

    More on Christ’s Name and the Tetragrammaton; see https://www.mail-archive.com/orion@panda.mscc.huji.ac.il/msg00676.html.

  13. Alan says

    Most “scholars” believe that Christ’s ministry lasted three years as three Passovers are mentioned in the Gospels. What they fail to grasp is that there is a SECOND Passover on the 14th day of the second month; see http://www.haderech.info/DSS/Calendar/QumranCalendar.pdf. Is this not in Torah? See Numbers 9:10-14. In fact, His ministry lasted little more than a year.

    Yehoshu’a, the Lamb of God, was crucified on Passover (14 Abib) in 36 CE before His 30th birthday — just as the Scriptures state. In fact, His ministry commenced when He was 28 (about thirty years of age); see Luke 3:23. Regardless, let’s examine the major players: Tiberius Caesar reigned from 14-37 CE; Pontius Pilate from 26-36 CE; Joseph CAIAPHAS (compare usage with THEOPHILUS above!) from 18-36 CE; and Herod Antipas 6-39 CE. Antipas claimed the dynastic title of “Herod” (and “king” of the Jews — although a tetrarch in the eyes of the Romans; see Mark 6:14-29) after Herod Archelaus was deposed shortly after Christ’s birth in 6 CE. I’ll address the errors in Luke 3:1 below, but it is similar to the error (intentional deception!) in Matthew 2:22. Bottom line: God used these leaders for a purpose! When that purpose was completed, they were removed from power shortly afterwards.

    Let’s examine the events in the first month of Abib in 36 CE. The Last Supper was held on the evening of the TRUE Passover on 14 Abib. The followers of the corrupt Pharisees called that the Preparation Day as they incorrectly commenced the Passover early on the first day of Hag HaMatzah (Unleavened Bread) on 15 Nisan of the Babylonian calendar employed to this day! Even modern Biblical translators mistranslate these events based on incorrect rabbinic practices. Enoch and Elijah, the two witnesses of Revelation, will set this straight again!

    Returning to the story… Yehoshu’a was betrayed by Judas and arrested by temple guards in the Garden of Gethsemane in the evening of 14 Abib. Later that morning, He was brought before the Sanhedrin, who incorrectly accused their Messiah of blasphemy. Next, He was brought before Pilate, who found no guilt in Him. But, because Yehoshu’a was from Galilee (not in Pilate’s jurisdiction), He was brought before Herod Antipas, who likewise found no guilt, then back to Pilate, who attempted to have Him released. Bottom line: It was the Jewish crowd in Jerusalem — under incitement from the chief priests and scribes — who wanted Him crucified! See Luke 23:24-25. This same Sanhedrin directed Sha’ul (Saul) to persecute the men and women of the sect called THE WAY in Damascus as is detailed in the Book of Acts. Where else is it documented that there is “street called Straight?” See Acts 9:11.

    Continuing… Yehoshu’a was crucified that same afternoon and was quickly buried before the ANNUAL Sabbath commenced — the first day of Unleavened Bread! He was dead and buried for three FULL days and nights (per the prophesy of Jonah) on 15-17 Abib, was resurrected as Lord of the (weekly) Sabbath on 18 Abib, and His empty tomb was discovered early on the first day of the week (19 Abib) — JUST AS THE SCRIPTURES STATE! Shema Yisrael!!!

    Although Yehoshu’a is of the order of Malki-tsedeq (Melchizedek), isn’t it interesting that the date of His resurrection coincided with Aaron’s first weekly Sabbath after the original Passover in Egypt and the first lot being selected for Jehoiarib? BTW, the 24 elders of Revelation are the 24 selected by lot in 1 Chronicles 24:7-18! Shema Yisrael!

    Circling back to Luke 3:1… We know that this passage must have been inserted later as Lysanias reigned from 40-36 BCE; see https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lysanias. The second clue is that the fifteenth year of Tiberias’ reign would have been in 29 CE, which does not mesh up with even the traditional narrative! Sure enough the earliest manuscript containing this verse is the Syriac Sinaitic from the late 4th century; see https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Syriac_Sinaiticus and http://bibletranslation.ws/manu.html. Bottom line: Someone (or some institution) was intentionally trying to hide the truth by supplying misinformation.

  14. Alan says

    As the Most High is omniscient and had foreknowledge of the machinations of men, the following was written:

    Deuteronomy 4:2 You shall not add to the word which I am commanding you, nor take away from it, that you may keep the commandments of the Lord your God which I command you. (NASB)

    Deuteronomy 12:32 “Whatever I command you, you shall be careful to do; you shall not add to nor take away from it. (NASB)

    Proverbs 30:5 Every word of God is tested; He is a shield to those who take refuge in Him. 6 Do not add to His words Or He will reprove you, and you will be proved a liar. (NASB)

    The most dire warnings apply specifically of the prophecies in the Book of Revelation…

    Revelation 22:18 I testify to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: if anyone adds to them, God will add to him the plagues which are written in this book; 19 and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God will take away his part from the tree of life and from the holy city, which are written in this book. (NASB)

    Does not the Talmud ADD to the commandments of the Most High? Do not denominational doctrines and indoctrination into a faith (e.g., catechism) do the same? Show me in the Scriptures where Mary provides grace or is the queen of heaven. The latter designation has pagan origins and is an abomination! Miriam was blessed among women; see Luke 1:42. Mary hears no prayers and intercedes for no one. End of story! Show me where the pope is given the title Vicarius Christi — yet another abomination! Or, that Peter ever stepped foot in Rome… he did not. Although Paul, a Roman citizen, certainly did. Even Protestant denominations carried over the assimilated paganism of Christmas, Easter, et al. after the Reformation. They even pledge allegiance to the Catholic church when reciting the Nicene Creed.

    The Dead Sea Scrolls are important because it leads us to THE WAY!

    John 14:6 [Joshua] said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me. (NASB)

    Truer words were never spoken!
    ———-
    2 Timothy 2:15 Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth. (NASB)

  15. Alan says

    Correction: Dionysius Exiguus was from the 6th century — NOT the 4th; see https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dionysius_Exiguus. Regardless, he was a poor mathematician and set the date of December 25th for Christ’s birth, which still worked well in assimilating the Mythraic mysteries cited above — not to mention Saturnalia leading up to it. He also invented the A.D. system; see https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anno_Domini. Even one “infallible” pope agreed; see http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/the-pope/9693576/Jesus-was-born-years-earlier-than-thought-claims-Pope.html. Where Pope Benedict went awry is that Yehoshu’a was born LATER in 6 CE per the Book of Luke — not earlier than most “scholars” think — the ones who believe that Herod the Great was involved in the birth narrative instead of Herod Archelaus.

  16. mark says

    Please, Alan, say no more.


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