Skip to comments.Scholars seek to correct 'mistakes' in Bible (seems above-board & sincere)
Posted on 08/12/2011 9:04:39 AM PDT by flowerplough
A dull-looking chart projected on the wall of a university office in Jerusalem displayed a revelation that would startle many readers of the Old Testament: The sacred text that people revered in the past was not the same one we study today.
An ancient version of one book has an extra phrase. Another appears to have been revised to retroactively insert a prophecy after the events happened.
Scholars in this out-of-the-way corner of the Hebrew University campus have been quietly at work for 53 years on one of the most ambitious projects attempted in biblical studies publishing the authoritative edition of the Old Testament, also known as the Hebrew Bible, and tracking every single evolution of the text over centuries and millennia.
And it has evolved, despite deeply held beliefs to the contrary.
For many Jews and Christians, religion dictates that the words of the Bible in the original Hebrew are divine, unaltered and unalterable.
For Orthodox Jews, the accuracy is considered so inviolable that if a synagogue's Torah scroll is found to have a minute error in a single letter, the entire scroll is unusable.
But the ongoing work of the academic detectives of the Bible Project, as their undertaking is known, shows that this text at the root of Judaism, Christianity and Islam was somewhat fluid for long periods of its history, and that its transmission through the ages was messier and more human than most of us imagine.
(Excerpt) Read more at msnbc.msn.com ...
Another effort, another argument focusing on man’s fallibility, and completely ignoring one very important Person in the process . . . God.
Granted, some Scripture verses that are believed to be Messianic prophecies may also have other meanings, but I don't see how this verse Isaiah 7:14 could possibly be speaking of a human king. Let's look at it:
Isaiah 7:14 New International Version (NIV)
Therefore the Lord himself will give you[a] a sign: The virgin[b] will conceive and give birth to a son, and[c] will call him Immanuel.[d]
a.Isaiah 7:14 The Hebrew is plural.
b.Isaiah 7:14 Or young woman
c.Isaiah 7:14 Masoretic Text; Dead Sea Scrolls son, and he or son, and they
d.Isaiah 7:14 Immanuel means God with us.
So, I hope you see that King Ahaz was NEVER thought to be "God with us".
I know that the Torah is the first five books of the Bible. They were written by Moses, but the entire Hebrew Bible is called the Tanakh which includes the book of Isaiah - one of the Major Prophets. Are you saying that only the Torah (first 5 books) is contained in the ark of the synagogues? What about the other books in the Tanakh? I think that the same care was given to them as was the Torah in ensuring its faithfulness to the original.
I agree with you that those who try to cast doubt upon God's word do not have good intentions. I have full trust in the Bible we have because I know that it has been God all along that has ensured its reliability.
This is my final communication with you:
#1 It means “G-d is with us” Completely different meaning.
When Isaiah 7:14 is read in context, we see that the sign is specifically for King Ahaz, the King of Judah. During his reign, King Ahaz was under attack from both Assyria and Israel, the Northern Jewish kingdom (The land of Israel split into two separate countries soon after the death of King Solomon). The sign for King Ahaz is that prior to the boy of verse 14 learning the difference between good and evil, the Kingdom of Judah will no longer be attacked by Assyria and Israel. In fact, we read that the kings of these two hostile kingdoms were killed, in 2 Kings 15:29-30 and 2 Kings 16:9, bringing peace to the Kingdom of Judah. So, the prophecy was fulfilled just as predicted. Overall, this verse has nothing to do with the Messiah. It was a prophecy that was fulfilled for King Ahaz.
Fascinating article and well worth reading in its entirety.
LOL! I’d forgotten about that episode! Now I’ll just have to go back and watch the entire series, dang it! ;o)
|GGG managers are SunkenCiv, StayAt HomeMother & Ernest_at_the_Beach|
First of all, no. Almah means simply "young woman." An unmarried, virginal state is implied (of the seven times almah appears in the Tanakh (OT) it is never used of a non-virgin), but not required. In fact, there is no single word in Hebrew that means "virgin" in the modern sense. (No, "betulah" didn't originally mean "virgin" either; the word changed in meaning later.)
By the way, the Greek "parthenos" may not have originally meant "virgo intacta" either; that's why Luke records Mary saying, "I am a parthenos, who has never known a man." The last clause would be utterly superfluous if parthenos always and only meant "virgin" in the modern sense--and the Spirit never wastes words.
Secondly, the DSS don't rescue you there, since they also have "almah" in this passage.
Thirdly, there is not a single Jewish source that I have ever heard of that uses this passage to "prove" that the Messiah would be born out of wedlock. There are passages in the Talmud that accuse Yeshua of being born such, but they don't use Isaiah 7 in reference to Him.
Matthew did not find Isa. 7:14 and say, "Oh look, it says the Messiah would be born of a virgin!" Rather, he said, "Hey, we know that the Messiah was born of a virgin; are there any passages in the Tanakh that refer to this?" From there, he found a string of prophecy that runs from chapter 7 through chapter 12 of Isaiah about the Messiah which says that He would a) be born of an almah, and b) this would be a miraculous sign, and c) this child would be called "God With Us."
There are certainly variants in the Masoretic Text (heck, the text records quite a number of spelling variants in what are known as qere-ketiv notations). There are also a handful of places where these variants impact messianic passages--but not in Isaiah 7.
Not exactly true, since they also engaged in their own bit of textual criticism to try to reconcile variants in the text. For example, they chose "sons of Israel" over "sons of God" in Deu. 32:8, though the latter reading is favored by the DSS, the Targums, and the LXX. They also noted what they considered spelling errors in the text as they received it with qere-ketiv notations (which just shows their honesty, since it would have been far easier to just "fix" the "errors.")
However, such variants are extremely few and far between and I don't believe any of them actually impact any text of the Tanakh quoted in the NT. (Feel free to correct me if I'm wrong.) I don't know of any that impact any point of halakha either--though of course the sages debated on which vowels to use for different words and even where the spaces between words should go in the Talmud.
Good analogy! I like that.
I don’t think we’re disagreeing as much as your tone suggests. You acknowledge, “In fact, there is no single word in Hebrew that means “virgin” in the modern sense.” Yet, “parthenos” is used several times in the New Testament; so when Jesus spoke “virgin,” he was speaking whatever Hebrew word would have connoted “virgin.” And the word which connoted “marriageable” (if not strictly denoting it) was “almah.” So we find a fairly strong suggestion for making the association that “almah” = “parthenos,” in the dialect of Christ.
Yes, “parthenos” did not mean “virgin,” either. Temple “virgins” knew man, but Mary was no “temple virgin.”
I did err on the DSS. They show that the LXX was accurately based on a different set Hebrew scriptures, rather than being, as was believed for 1600 years, strangely inaccurate translations of the same Hebrew scriptures which the MT was based on. But as you correctly note, they did use the word, “Almah.” I think my point still stands, however: Since the LXX is proven not to be an inferior translation, it’s pre-Christian translation of “Virgin” to “Parthenos” established a prophetic precedent that Christ would be born of a virgin; any translation which fails to reflect this is at odds with the meaning of the prophets as known to those with the apostolic authority to write the New Testament.
Yep, and those "spelling errors" are still there . . . probably because they're supposed to be.