Posts Tagged ‘Jew’

I am slammed at work today with an issue that has come up; so today’s Tough Questions will come directly from GotQuestions.org:

got-questions.jpg The first of the Dead Sea Scroll discoveries occurred in 1947 in Qumran, a village situated about twenty miles east of Jerusalem on the northwest shore of the Dead Sea. A young Bedouin shepherd, following a goat that had gone astray, tossed a rock into one of the caves along the seacliffs and heard a cracking sound: the rock had hit a ceramic pot containing leather and papyrus scrolls that were later determined to be nearly twenty centuries old. Ten years and many searches later, eleven caves around the Dead Sea were found to contain tens of thousands of scroll fragments dating from the third century B.C. to A.D. 68 and representing an estimated eight hundred separate works.

The Dead Sea Scrolls comprise a vast collection of Jewish documents written in Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek, and encompassing many subjects and literary styles. They include manuscripts or fragments of every book in the Hebrew Bible except the Book of Esther, all of them created nearly one thousand years earlier than any previously known biblical manuscripts. The scrolls also contain the earliest existing biblical commentary, on the Book of Habakkuk, and many other writings, among them religious works pertaining to Jewish sects of the time

The legends of what was contained in the Dead Sea Scrolls are far beyond what was actually there. There were no lost books of the Bible or other literature that there was not already other copies of. The vast majority of the Dead Sea Scrolls were simply copies of books of the Old Testament from 250-150 B.C. A copy or portion of nearly every Old Testament book was found in Qumran. There were extra-biblical and apocryphal books found as well, but again, the vast majority of the scrolls were copies of the Hebrew Old Testament. The Dead Sea Scrolls were such an amazing discovery in that the scrolls were in excellent condition and had remained hidden for so long (over 2000 years). The Dead Sea Scrolls can also give us confidence in the reliability of the Old Testament manuscripts since there were minimal differences between the manuscripts that had previously been discovered and those that were found in Qumran. Clearly this is a testament to the way God has preserved His Word down through the centuries, protecting it from extinction and guarding it against significant error.

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bible3.jpg            True is, all we have is an educated guess at when the four gospels were written. None of the manuscripts that have ever been found have “March 13, 0043” on them or any other date that can be placed as when they were written. That opens up a lot of debate as to when they were written and how reliable they could be if they were written much later than expected.

             The Gospel of Matthew, for instance, is argued to have been written as early as 40 A.D., a mere handful of years after Jesus’ death, all the way to 140 A.D.  This fact alone shows that there are some differences in opinion in the entire dating process. And your point of view on the dating process and who you talk to will greatly influence your take on when you accept the gospels were written. Many try to push the dates back simply because they want to try to discredit Christianity. This is neither correct nor even sound science.


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key.jpg            Last time in Leading Others, we looked at being sincere and caring for those people that you want to bring home to the Lord. That is a huge step in the right direction! But that is by far not all to the process. Soon after you have established this type of report, your person will start to ask honest questions that have concerned them. It is imperative to give honest answers!

             The subject of the Christian faith is a huge one, making it very hard for you to know everything. There are things that you may have never questioned since you were brought up within the faith and just never considered it a question. All of that is OK.  Simply tell them the truth. Tell them that you have never asked that question yourself, or that you simply do not know. However, do not leave it there! Find the answer for him. Do not leave his question out in the cold. Use your resources to find the answer the best you can. Remember that there are sites like GotQuestions.com that specialize in answering questions about the faith. You can also approach your clergy to ask them. I know my pastors are very open to discussions and answering questions. (more…)

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