New Dead Sea Scroll fragments found

Recently discovered fragments of Dead Sea Scrolls have been found (article here). Last found was over fifty years. Some date back to the third century B.C. to the second century C.E. These were found just 40 miles south of Jerusalem.

Amongst this find was even a single large scroll that included all the minor prophets. The largest scroll was of the Greek Bible called the Septuagint. A fragment was from Jeremiah 8:17.

This is a very significant find because it was spur on more biblical research for many years. However, it will likely not cause any major changes to any of our modern translations. Nevertheless, scholars of textual criticism will still be interested in finding if any textual variants exists.

What destroyed the dinosaurs?

Our family went to the science center last month. We saw dinosaurs and stuff. She asked me when they existed. Some say millions of years ago. How many millions? Not sure.

Some also say thousands of years ago (recent findings of dinosaurs with skin, red blood cells and soft tissues still intact–not fossilized) (one site here). This makes the much-more-recent Great Flood theory of destruction of dinosaurs very possible.

Given the possibilities of science and biotechnology we have, or will have in the very near future, this also makes another scary scenario possible–a real-life Jurassic Park.

After this archaeological finding by Dr. Mary Schweitzer (link here), many evolutionists are steering away from a pure Darwinistic evolution. Creationism may suddenly become a possibility in the eyes of the scientific community. However, there also is a violent cover-up by the hardcore pro-Darwinistic evolutionist scientific community

One theory says they were destroyed by either a giant asteroid that landed in the Gulf of Mexico. Another theory, they were wiped out by the Great Flood. No theory makes complete sense to me yet. I don’t think we have an absolute answer at this point. Can both theories co-exist and be true? Could there have been multiple points in time when dinosaurs were endangered and destroyed? If the earth is millions or billions of years old, then why could the earth not have experienced multiple points of destruction? There might be many possibilities.

Either way, the destruction of dinosaurs was good for us as humans. We humans are no longer prey for dino-food. I just hope to God that we don’t resurrect a real-life Jurassic Park scenario, which would endanger the future safety of human beings on earth.

Another global destruction possible?

Will there be another great flood? According to Genesis 8:21-22, God said to Noah:

The Lord smelled the pleasing aroma and said in his heart: “Never again will I curse the ground because of humans, even though every inclination of the human heart is evil from childhood. And never again will I destroy all living creatures, as I have done.

As long as the earth endures,
seedtime and harvest,
cold and heat,
summer and winter,
day and night
will never cease.

At this point in our human history, the ones who can destroy the earth is a wreckless humanity. Let’s just hope and pray no one provokes a nuclear war or disasters.

Oldest book in Europe (St. Cuthbert’s gospel) found in a coffin

[from UK’s Daily Mail ]

Europe’s oldest book: St Cuthbert’s gospel which survived pillaging Vikings and lay in his coffin for centuries is sold for £9m

The St Cuthbert Gospel (formerly known as the Stonyhurst Gospel) is the oldest intact European book. Made in the late-7th century, the manuscript contains a copy of the Gospel of St John, and was apparently placed in the coffin of St Cuthbert (c. 635–687)

  • The seventh century St Cuthbert Gospel is on show at the London library
  • Book is a copy of the Gospel of St John
  • It was buried alongside St Cuthbert, an early English Christian leader, on the island of Lindisfarne off the coast of Northumberland in around AD698
  • Coffin was moved off island to escape Viking raiders and taken to Durham
  • Book was found when the coffin was opened at Durham Cathedral in 1104
  • Its original red leather binding survives today
  • Now bought by the British Library for £9million

The digitized manuscripts can be found here.

Archaeological find: the priestly blessing of Numbers 6:24-26

The LORD spoke to Moses to instruct to Aaron and his priestly sons to bless the people of Israel with this blessing:

The LORD bless you and keep you;
The LORD make his face to shine on you and be gracious to you;
The LORD turn his face toward you and give you peace.

Num. 6:24-26

After my family’s nightly bedtime prayer, this is the blessing I give my daughter each time, as I lay my hands on, or over, her head.  And of course, this is the very familiar blessing we receive at the end of our worship services.  I am blown away that these are very similar words spoken by the priests from the 7th century BCE.

Unknown to many people, is an archaeological discovery made in 1979 at Ketef Hinnom, just southwest of the old city wall of Jerusalem.  A team, led by Gabriel Barkay, found two miniature silver scrolls (or amulets) rolled up  inside a burial complex that had been used by the Turkish army to store rifles during the Ottoman Empire.   Etched in ancient Hebrew upon two silver scrolls was the inscription of the Aaronic blessing/priestly benediction from Numbers 6:24-26. These scrolls had remained rolled up for three  years before they attempted to unroll them.  They were cracked and corroded.

It is the oldest extra-biblical reference to YHWH.  These silver scrolls date  back to 7th century BCE; furthermore, the Hebrew writing style is distinct to 7th c. BCE.  This dating means that these scrolls are 500 years older than the Dead Sea scrolls, and the oldest extra-biblical verses from the First Temple period (or when Solomon’s temple still stood on the Jerusalem mountain). Scholars say that this archaeological discovery was extremely significant because it proved that the Penteteuch, or at least some parts of it, were written before the Babylonian exile–not after, as some had previously claimed. Previously, some had claimed that the early parts of the bible was merely a fictional invention by some new rulers who took control of Judea in late 4th c. BCE and wanted to give them a place in history, and therefore, a claim to the land of Palestine. This theory has now been debunked, and its coffin has been nailed shut forever. (See details in Biblical Archaeology Review)

Scroll 1: contains a variation of Deuteronomy 7:9, and traces of the first two blessings of this tripartite Biblical text:
[…]YHW…the grea[t…who keeps] the covenant and [G]raciousness toward those who love [Him] and those who keep [His commandments…]. The Eternal? […]. [the?] blessing more than any [sna]re and more than Evil. For redemption is in Him. For YHWH  is our restorer [and] rock. May YHWH bles[s] you and keep you. [May] YHWH make [His face] shine…”

Scroll 2: has traces of an abridged version of all three blessings:
[First line is illegible.] May h[e]/sh[e] be blessed by Yahweh, the warrior [or “helper”] and the rebuker of [E]vil: May Yahweh bless you, keep you. May Yahweh make His face shine upon you and grant you p[ea]ce”