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Scrolls from the Dead Sea. Hark one side. Proclaims and he says What shall I proclaim. All flesh is grass. And all the goodness thereof is as the flower of the field the grass with the rose the flower faded. Because the breath of the Lord bloweth upon it. Surely the people is grass. The grass with the flower fade. But the word of our God. And Dorothy for ever. This is an excerpt from the Biblical book of Isaiah. A complete copy of this book was found together with several thousand other scrolls and fragments in caves near the Dead Sea. We're not certain who put these documents in the caves
nor what happened to their owners. But it is probable that one day in the fateful spring of 68 A.D. as the Roman legions wept down on Jerusalem the documents were placed an earthenware jars and hidden in the caves which gave them refuge for almost two thousand years. These girls all found recently comprise twentieth century scholarships. Most fascinating find. The Word of God endure it for ever. Program eight of the scrolls from the Dead Sea. A radio exploration of the most significant archaeological find of our time. These programs are produced by radio station WAGA of the University of Wisconsin under a grant from the Educational Television and Radio Center in cooperation with the National Association of educational broadcasters. Since the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls in 1947 scholars
from many fields have been hard at work. Theologians paleography archaeologists and many more are working with these documents. One of these scholars is Professor Menachem Mansoor chairman of the department of Hebrew and Semitic Studies at the University of Wisconsin. Recently Professor Mansoor traveled in Europe Israel and America collecting documentary materials for these programs. He recorded on tape interviews with over 25 leading scholars and theologians. Now back at the University of Wisconsin professor Mansoor has planned and written this series of programs exploring the meaning and content of the Dead Sea Scrolls. Professor Mansoor. In previous broadcasts I have discussed the fabulous discoveries of scrolls and fragments of all sizes in caves near the dates see in one of the programs I presented a consensus of scholarly opinion about the age of the scrolls.
I showed that almost all scholars accepted the pre-Christian date of most of the scrolls. I also spoke of the fascinating War Scroll the majestic Thanksgiving and the mysterious copper scrolls relating to a treasure trove real or unreal. Presumably worth over five hundred million dollars. Today I shall talk about the biblical scrolls and their significance to the Old Testament and their bearing upon Judaism. You may remember that I said in a previous broadcast that seven large scrolls and over 40000 fragments were discovered since 1947. About one third of these fragments are biblical. All the books of the Old Testament except the Book of Esther are represented. Some of the most important of these biblical fragments are this dark old texts of the books of Samuel comprising 47 columns some of which have been published by Professor Frank Ross in the Journal of biblical studies
and examination of the texts showed that the dates a scroll of Samuel preserves the textual version corresponding to that presented by the Greek translation of the Hebrew Old Testament during the third century B.C. this important translation is known as the Septuagint. Thus it is quite clear that the Greek translators were indeed using genuine Hebrew Biblical texts and faithfully reproducing what they had found into Greek. This fact has considerably enhanced the value of the Septuagint as an ancient witness to the traditional Hebrew text. On the question of the relation between the Old Testament and the Greek translation. Professor Hari or Linski of the Hebrew Union College in New York is one of the outstanding experts. He was a member of the 1952 Committee of the Revised Standard Version of the Bible. And
today he's the chief editor of the new translation of the Hebrew Bible for the Jewish Publication Society of America. Let us hear what he has to say. Professor Alinsky. So far is the biblical manuscripts among the dead sea scrolls are concerned none of them constitutes a Hebrew text that is older and near to the original Hebrew Scriptures than the text from which our traditional text ultimately derives. Indeed most of the Dead Sea Scroll fragments by far even though they be a thousand years older than the oldest dated manuscript of the Hebrew Bible known to us the Leningrad manuscript of I say dated 1916 a day are inferior in their text to our traditional tax they were received and copied and transmitted by far less careful and learned interested scribes. And the biblical fragments of the Dead Sea Scrolls published to date
have given the competent textual critic of the Hebrew Bible no reason to alter his methodology and his outlook. He will continue to respect the overall reliability of the traditional cirrhotic Hebrew text of the Bible and continue to look forward to the discovery of Ancient Near Eastern and biblical materials that will manifest a textual tradition that is older and more reliable than the one represented in the Dead Sea Scrolls. On the whole Professor Minsky's opinion about the superiority of the Hebrew text is generally accepted. It is perhaps relevant to note here that Professor Frank M. Krause and his report to the American school for the ental research pointed out that the most popular books among the sect of the Dead Sea Scrolls were due to Ron and me with 13 manuscripts 12 manuscripts and 10 manuscripts. This is very interesting because these very same books
figure most frequently in New Testament quotations from the Old Testament. First of importance is the complete book of Isaiah. Now it is written on 17 sheets of sheepskin the sheets are sewn together with linen thread making up a manuscript twenty four feet long. It is one of the best preserved of the manuscripts. The spelling of the words is slightly different from that of the traditional Hebrew texts but in the content and order of the texts the scrolls corresponds exactly to the Hebrew Bible we use today. The importance of the scrolls to Old Testament studies is paramount. Previously the oldest known biblical manuscript is the one called the Codex Peter Paul it was dated 916 A.D. obviously our scroll will be of utmost significance. It takes us a thousand years nearer to the original copy. And because of that
agreement to a remarkable degree with our present table Bible the scrolls confirm its authenticity. Although some of the scrolls are all down on the Hebrew Bible by about one thousand years this does not mean that the new finds are likely to require any great changes in the Bible. In fact there is every reason to believe that the text of the Old Testament has been handed down century after century with amazing accuracy. As you know at the advent of Christianity the vernacular language in Palestine was chiefly Aramaic not Hebrew. So when Hebrew had ceased to be understood copyists began making errors then the rabbis in Palestine met towards the end of the first century A.D. and decided to canonize the Hebrew Bible. They finally decided which books to include in which to exclude a few centuries later
they counted the chapters in each book a number of letters in each chapter. The total words of every book and fix the Hebrew Bible as we have it today. The scholars responsible for the Revised Standard Version of the Bible published in 1952 found that the scrolls were more accurate than the Old Testament text at only 13 points. Most of them are minor ones. But we know that the Hebrew texts we have in our possession contain a number of obscure passages whose meaning translators have had to guess at. Often very unsuccessful. A comparative study of the school for instance as I shall presently show you has already clarified some points. Some of the difficulties in the traditional Hebrew text of the Bible is due to the fact that Hebrew writings until about the seventh century A.D. had not had no system of vowels. Hebrew words consisted of consonants only and it was left up to the reader
to supply the correct vowels. That's a word can have several readings. Imagine as Professor Barrows sais if in English we only had the consonants B and D then the word might be bad bad. Big B bade bide but abide or abode. This is perhaps one of the main reasons for Variant Readings in the Hebrew Bible and the corresponding passages or words in the various engine translations such as the Greek translation the Septuagint or the Latin translation of the Vulgate. I shall refer to one or two examples to show how this cross can help us to understand the Bible better in Chapter 21. For instance this sudden appearance of a lion among the domestic animals has often intrigued the readers and puzzled the scholars. Here is the
relevant passage. Thus said the Lord unto Me Go Set A Watchman let him declare what he sees. And he saw a chariot with a couple of horsemen. A chariot of asses and a chariot of camels and he hearkened diligently with much heed and a lion cried. What's the lion doing here. Bible translators found it difficult to render this passage accurately and intelligently on comparing this passage with the scroll. It turned out that the Hebrew letters translated as Lion constitute in fact a similar word a seer or he who saw which makes a perfect sense. You see in Hebrew we use almost the same consonants but in different order for both lie and see where this is no doubt a typical
illustration of a scribe error preserved in the Hebrew text for over two thousand years. Why this has not been corrected until now. You see the Hebrew text has been regarded as sacred for the last two thousand years. The Jews have always regarded the Hebrew text of the Bible to be literally the word of God and therefore no corrections in their original texts can be made. But I shall give you one more illustration to show how the scrolls can clarify a difficult passages in the Bible we read as somehow obscure passes for the benefit of those who understand Hebrew. I shall quote the passage in Hebrew as well. 16:7 will read. Last she shake her heart I said to him. According to the King James Version The translation is for the foundation of what I said. You shall mourn
the revised standard version translated for the raisin cakes of Mormon. I wonder whether it is worth while more mourning for these raisin cakes. Some of our Bible scholars especially those of 40 to 50 years ago when it was fashionable to cut asunder the Hebrew texts were most ingenious. One explanation given in this connection is that the more city of which traded in raisin cakes will now mourn for the loss of its market due to the destruction of the city. Now the Hebrew word for raisin cakes a curse and one of the scrolls but it means adult or able bodied men. That this word may mean either raisin cakes or able bodied men just like the word match may mean a game or light for your cigarette. You would agree that the message will read better Vess and for the able bodied man of good heart
races you shall mourn. The reference here is to the more bites you it's and therefore it's certainly worthwhile mourning for such heroes. This is indeed one of the first spectacular results of the discovery of the scrolls. It has already brought about changes in the new 1952 edition of one of the most popular volumes of the Scriptures since King James English version of the Bible. This is the Revised Standard Version. These changes are accompanied by footnotes saying from one manuscript. This ancient manuscript is the dates. Let us now have some expert opinions on the significance of the scroll. First I went to Harvard University to interview Professor Robert Pfeiffer head of the department of Semitics at Harvard and then expert on the history of the Hebrew text. He was asked to elaborate on the significance of the scroll
to all Testament studies. Here is his reply. Dieppe recorded for me in Harvard one of the things in all of this back here you have an answer no one knows. Maybe they ask for both clothes and food. This is viable. On the one hand the food that the non-essential Thanks to both of us with dance and accuracy from ancient to modern times. On the other hand doing the centroid in which the Book of Isaiah was covered by hand not that live evolved thing to a vegan by the master to transmit. Thanks to the Bible without ever changes. After the eighth and ninth century. Copies never made mistakes and changes.
Even though it is by far the oldest manuscript of lies in existence contained actual errors. No you just lay there like a man. Oh I thought you were getting the book. Variation copying and memory. It may be said that the biblical texts that see so far in the antiquity and authenticity of the Bible that CIJ at for instance is a very valuable Old Testament studies in interest writing the type of mistakes that scribes sometimes made into the bang Bamberger manuscript and they had buzz. Some mistakes that I've kept in the Standard thanks to the evil Bible. Professor Pfeiffer is an authority on the subject and the writer of the famous textbook introduction to the Old Testament. So he believes the Hebrew Bible is superior to the text. The
superiority of the traditional Hebrew text is also stressed by Professor Miller Barrows of Yale University one of the world's authorities on the dates is called off. Here are his comments as he recorded them for me. The Isaiah Scroll or rather scrolls cannot be considered apart from all the other biblical texts found in the caves. They all show the different forms of the text were in circulation with many variations in details of language and wording but they do show that and its main substance and its essential ideas. The Hebrew text was preserved with a remarkably little change the bearing of the scrolls on Old Testament studies will be their contribution to the history of the Hebrew text and its various forms with evidence that will enable us here and there to recover a more correct text.
To sum up several years ago some writers asserted that with the discovery of the scrolls the text of the Bible would have to be revised. Now with the publication of a large number of scrolls it is clear that these assertions have all been unfounded. Moreover the archaeological discoveries of the last few decades forced some Bible critics to reverse their attitude completely towards the Hebrew Bible. Only 30 40 years ago these scholars led or rather misled by the House and his school stood ready to deny the historical foundation of practically everything related in the books of the Old Testament today especially with the phenomenal discovery of the scrolls. The entire position has undergone radical changes and various archaeological materials have established the historicity and various historic and various archaeological materials have established the historicity of
innumerable passages and statements of the Bible. The present complete reversal of attitude toward the bible is in my humble opinion responsible for the incredible public interest in any biblical or religious discovery. Now let us discuss the bearing of the discovery upon what we know about Judaism has come to us mainly through the Old Testament and through the gigantic post biblical work of the rabbis known as the Talmud. Here in the writings of the sect of the scrolls we learn about a tradition of Judaism which is outside the strict rabbinic tradition. We have a sort of a prototype of a variety of religious sects and ideas. This imagined sect for instance which flourished at the time. Dr. Goldstein is one of the Israeli scholars who has been working on the scrolls of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. I asked him to tell our
listeners about the burying of the scrolls to Jewish studies. Here is his reply as tape recorded. Well I'm afraid that this is so vast a field of Jewish studies and general that I can make only a very short remark. The most surprising fact is perhaps that all most only fields of Jewish studies have been touched by the discovery of that sea scroll. Well apart from the field of Bible studies we can mention first of all the study of the history of Bible commentaries. Well needless to mention of course the new knowledge which accrue to archaeology of Roman Palestine. I suppose there will be others who can talk about this with more authority. We have only to think of the vessels in which his clothes were preserved and its sister science of paleography about which
you're also going to hear the opinion of people concerned with this subject. Much can be said on the new knowledge of Hebrew and linguistics. Needless to at that once we shall have all the Aramaic fragments. Also our knowledge of Aramaic in Palestine in those days is bound to agree. All these are actually minor points and I'm afraid it would take us too long to mention the importance of the scrolls for the history of literature. Doctor got science remark is very apt. It will take more than a broadcast to discuss the full significance. One other interesting aspect of the importance of the scrolls for Hebrew studies has for the first time been expressed by Pastor Faye Hanson of camel through an Institute in Oslo.
It occurred to me that if an archaeological discovery in the reign of King Josiah in the seventh century B.C. made by the High Priest healthcare could stalk a real spiritual formation in Israel led by the king himself why should not the scrolls revealed by a goat at the very foundation of the Jewish state in our time by the grace of God promote a spiritual revival in Israel following political restoration. And you have it effect the Jews today. Study more accurately than ever before being confronted with him in a wonderful way through the brown scroll. Rouse the Dead Sea Scrolls have already and named Jewish scholars to arrange the most important conclusions and
contributed a lot to make the Bible alive and combine them and the paper and the book. This is indeed a new theme associated with the study of the scrolls and it certainly has its message. Here is now professor Fisher chairman of the department of Near Eastern Studies at the University of California to tell us his views on the significance of the scrolls to Judaism. So evaluation of this little material alone it's in the petition and it's placing into its proper historical perspective. We are shaped entirely new light on the literal and religious creativity of Judaism of the pre-Christian centuries. When we get to these little equations it's a purely archaeological findings saturates spottily textiles coins parchments and the famous people inscription on the two copper slips. It becomes even more obvious. Why is this
entire discovery. He is an archaeological revelation of the first magnitude and by all of this we have a tremendous bearing on the history of Judaism and why all this will be of most relevance for the understanding of the religious and and intellectual activities within Judaism of the period. You have heard the views of some of the leading biblical scholars. In conclusion let me summarize the biblical scrolls are about 1000 years older than any other clearly dated manuscript of the Old Testament. On the whole the scrolls confirm their authenticity and trustworthiness of the traditional Hebrew text. Just as the discovery of the Greek proprietary have confirmed the general trustworthiness of both the Old and the New Testaments indeed the grass withers the flower faded by the words of our God and Europe for ever. Next time I
shall discuss the most controversial scroll in the manual of discipline. It contains the rules and regulations by which the sect was governed. Scrolls from the Dead Sea. A radio exploration of the most significant archaeological find of the century. These programs are produced by radio station WAGA of the University of Wisconsin under a grant from the Educational Television and Radio Center. Professor Menachem Mansoor chairman of the department of Hebrew and Semitic Studies at the University of Wisconsin is the author already and narrator for the series. The programs are distributed by the National Association of educational broadcasters. This is the Radio Network.
Scrolls from the Dead Sea
The word of God shall live together
Producing Organization
University of Wisconsin
WHA (Radio station : Madison, Wis.)
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University of Maryland (College Park, Maryland)
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Episode Description
The significance of the Scrolls to the study of the Old Testament and to Judaism.
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The story of the Dead Sea Scrolls, featuring interviews with 30 leading scholars, scientists, archeologists and theologians.
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Composer: Voegeli, Don
Producing Organization: University of Wisconsin
Producing Organization: WHA (Radio station : Madison, Wis.)
Production Manager: Schmidt, Karl
Speaker: Stribling, Don
Speaker: Burrows, Millar, 1889-1980
Speaker: Orlinsky, Harry M., 1908-1992
Speaker: Pfeiffer, Robert H. (Robert Henry), 1892-1958
Speaker: Fischel, Walter Joseph, 1902-1973
Writer: Mansoor, Menahem
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University of Maryland
Identifier: 57-21-8 (National Association of Educational Broadcasters)
Format: 1/4 inch audio tape
Duration: 00:29:06
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Chicago: “Scrolls from the Dead Sea; The word of God shall live together,” 1957-01-01, University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed May 29, 2024,
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APA: Scrolls from the Dead Sea; The word of God shall live together. Boston, MA: University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from