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Empire Of Love
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« Reply #300 on: April 06, 2016, 11:48:08 AM »

So I made a boo boo.  The TR (which resembles the Majority/Byzantine Text) and Alexandrian text types are terms that apply to New Testament manuscripts and we are discussing Old Testament manuscripts.  Sorry about that.

My knowledge of the OT is far less than the NT (mostly because I have forgotten so much).  In the OT the debate is centered on the Masoretic Text versus everything else, more or less, including a Greek translation called the Septuagint (abbreviated as LXX).  The former is the text historically used by the Jews and is in Hebrew.  The latter is in Greek.  When English translations of the Old Testament differ, and the difference is not due to the method of translation employed, the difference is often due to the choice to prefer the LXX over the Hebrew/Masoretic Text.  The Catholic Bible may also contain lingering readings from the Latin Vulgate, though I am not certain about this.

With that said, I should have asked whether there is a resource that analyzes the scrolls in relation to their agreement with the Masoretic versus other texts.  However, I believe the Dead Sea Scrolls are known to support the Masoretic Text, which is even conceded on Wikipedia.  This should really come as no surprise as we are discussing a collection of Jewish books, the Jews have traditionally held to the Masoretic Text as genuine, and it is in the original language which is also the language of the Jews.

I've over simplified for the sake of brevity, and because I've forgotten more than I remember on the topic.

EoL
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« Reply #301 on: April 07, 2016, 10:31:20 AM »

Thanks, I now see what you meant. I am familiar w/ Masoretic v Septuagint. And the books here as I understand them (prior to reading, mind you--just off of what I know) isn't really quite either: Masoretic were really not formalized until substantially later, and Septuagint was of course in Greek. The scrolls are mostly in Hebrew, with some Aramaiac, Greek, and I think tiny bits of others (eg Syriac).

As I understand it, as is true between MT and LXX, the scrolls' canonical texts are generally quite close to either/both. But there are differences: based on pure memory (I'm at work), there are some differences in Daniel, some reordered psalms, etc. and presumably plenty of the "minor" (depending on who you are and why you care) differences throughout.

Then of course there are the extracanonical books, which I'm interested in. Community Rule, War Scroll, the various commentaries, etc.
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« Reply #302 on: April 07, 2016, 04:12:29 PM »

Thanks, I now see what you meant. I am familiar w/ Masoretic v Septuagint. And the books here as I understand them (prior to reading, mind you--just off of what I know) isn't really quite either: Masoretic were really not formalized until substantially later, and Septuagint was of course in Greek. The scrolls are mostly in Hebrew, with some Aramaiac, Greek, and I think tiny bits of others (eg Syriac).

As I understand it, as is true between MT and LXX, the scrolls' canonical texts are generally quite close to either/both. But there are differences: based on pure memory (I'm at work), there are some differences in Daniel, some reordered psalms, etc. and presumably plenty of the "minor" (depending on who you are and why you care) differences throughout.

Then of course there are the extracanonical books, which I'm interested in. Community Rule, War Scroll, the various commentaries, etc.

A quick survey of the information available amongst the first few Google hits indicate that where the MT and LXX disagree the DSS contain an MT reading 95% of the time and an LXX reading only 5% of the time.  I did not verify the accuracy of this claim.  However, all but one site affirmed that the DSS agree overwhelming with the MT.  I am not 100% sure what you mean when you say that the MT was formalized late, but I believe you are referring to the argument that the earliest copies of the MT are from AD 1000 (compared to the much earlier date of the LXX,  3rd century AD).  However, the scrolls have turned that idea upside down as I believe they date to the first century AD, or earlier.  So now we have a text essentially Masoretic in character that:

1. Predates the earliest LXX manuscript
2. Is in the original language and therefore does not contain the risk of translation errors
3. Has been held by the Jewish people to be the preserved text

An argument explaining the late date of the MT is the way that the Jewish scribes cared for each manuscript.  From what I have read not only was there great care taken in the copying process to ensure accuracy, but accuracy was so treasured that the physical scroll was destroyed once it began to fall apart.  If this is true, you would not expect to find a lot of early copies because they were regularly destroyed after a reliable copy had been made.  The reliability of their copying process is demonstrated by the complete Isaiah scroll found amongst the DSS.  The agreement between it and the earliest scroll prior to the DSS discovery is said to be astonishing - and they are dated 1000 years apart!

I find the OT scrolls interesting, less so the others.  I did read that nearly every scrap has been translated and published.  That must have taken quite some time given the number of fragments exceeds 15,000.

EoL
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« Reply #303 on: April 07, 2016, 04:46:34 PM »

I guess what I meant--and keep in mind this education of mine is strictly individual, so there are holes I'm filling in all the time--is that as I understand it, the Masoretic texts were assembled and copied by that specific group (the Masoretes? Masorites? Something like that.) during a specific time that is later than DSS. I'm not saying the individual texts weren't around sooner, or that they weren't using those earlier texts. I'm saying that their particular group is the one that formally collected, chose from among, and maintained their canon. And yes, while their text may have many matches within DSS, let's keep in mind DSS also had other books that aren't considered canonical by modern Jews or Christians. Point not about discrediting the maintenance of the texts over time, but rather just pointing to the diversity of opinions.

My particular interest is mostly in the first century or two CE. I find it fascinating how modern Judaism and Christianity arose from what had come before, often using the same texts as previous Jews had used, but not always, and often with different theological conclusions, slants, and obviously rituals. So anyway, that's my little back story. And please excuse anything I am getting jumbled, or holes in my background: as I said, still working on it.

For those not interested in Biblical history: sorry! But I can switch quickly back to another one: I read the first story from my book of Leskov's short stories, "The Lady Macbeth of Mtensk," and loved it. Looking forward to the rest of the stories.
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« Reply #304 on: April 07, 2016, 04:55:42 PM »

I'm a bit interested in biblical history and took a history of early Christianity class at the Divinity School associated with my college, but you guys make me feel like an ignorant baby!
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« Reply #305 on: April 07, 2016, 05:20:56 PM »


2. Is in the original language and therefore does not contain the risk of translation errors
3. Has been held by the Jewish people to be the preserved text

An argument explaining the late date of the MT is the way that the Jewish scribes cared for each manuscript.  From what I have read not only was there great care taken in the copying process to ensure accuracy, but accuracy was so treasured that the physical scroll was destroyed once it began to fall apart.  If this is true, you would not expect to find a lot of early copies because they were regularly destroyed after a reliable copy had been made.  The reliability of their copying process is demonstrated by the complete Isaiah scroll found amongst the DSS.  The agreement between it and the earliest scroll prior to the DSS discovery is said to be astonishing - and they are dated 1000 years apart!


I meant to comment on this before. I think there's truth there, but also some flaws. Or if not flaws, maybe biases? I'll just say what I have to say and we can figure out the right term (I don't mean it as disparaging criticism, anyway) later. Or not.

"The original language" in your 2 above obviously is usually true. But remember there were multiple languages, including among Jews, around that turn of the era. Age. Millenium. Whatever. There were Greek-speaking Jewish communities, Aramaic, Syriac, and such, as well as Hebrew.

That leads to your 3, "held by the Jewish people..." To me, that's a bit like saying what is in the Catholic Bible has been "held by the Christian people..." It's true, of course ... but not the whole picture. What we have evidence of is that the Judaism that continued after the destruction of the temple--rabbinic Judaism, I believe, would be the best term? Forgive an ex-Lutheran's mistakes, here--had roots that went back at least to the DSS period (physical documents generally considered to be 200 BCE to somewhere pre-68 CE, I believe). But there are, as noted earlier, other docs that weren't maintained by the Masoretic traditions. There are also other Judaisms (Samaritan Judaism) that are different. There are of course also the various sects we don't know a ton about, but that are mentioned in Josephus, "church fathers," and others: Pharisees, Sadduccees, Essenes, Zealots, Sicarii, which have various descriptions here and there that sometimes overlap, sometimes conflict, etc., but mainly are mysteries. But long ramble short, what we have is evidence that this group (of many) indeed selected and carefully maintained the books it wanted to preserve with great accuracy and reverence. But that's not to say there weren't other traditions that aren't reflected.

I don't mean that in some "Da Vinci Code" conspiracy theory nonsense. I just mean it quite simply, that we know there were diverse philosophies and traditions within what we now call Judaism, but even as diverse as modern Judaism is, its evolutionary history isn't branching off from a single trunk that was set in or by the first century. It was always diverse, always changing, and then underwent dramatic trauma, especially in the late 60s through the end of the century. What came out had commonalities, but also a lot of differences, one of which of course eventually becomes what is recognizable as Christianity.

That was probably borderline incoherent. One last quick stab at coherence, then I'll just hope for the best: I don't think there was a single set of texts that were preserved by a single religion; rather, there were many texts and many sects, some of which were accurately compiled by what we came to know as the mainstream of a religion. The texts they chose to maintain were maintained, but there were more "texts" and more "theys."
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« Reply #306 on: April 07, 2016, 05:51:24 PM »

I guess what I meant--and keep in mind this education of mine is strictly individual, so there are holes I'm filling in all the time--is that as I understand it, the Masoretic texts were assembled and copied by that specific group (the Masoretes? Masorites? Something like that.) during a specific time that is later than DSS. I'm not saying the individual texts weren't around sooner, or that they weren't using those earlier texts. I'm saying that their particular group is the one that formally collected, chose from among, and maintained their canon. And yes, while their text may have many matches within DSS, let's keep in mind DSS also had other books that aren't considered canonical by modern Jews or Christians. Point not about discrediting the maintenance of the texts over time, but rather just pointing to the diversity of opinions.

My particular interest is mostly in the first century or two CE. I find it fascinating how modern Judaism and Christianity arose from what had come before, often using the same texts as previous Jews had used, but not always, and often with different theological conclusions, slants, and obviously rituals. So anyway, that's my little back story. And please excuse anything I am getting jumbled, or holes in my background: as I said, still working on it.

For those not interested in Biblical history: sorry! But I can switch quickly back to another one: I read the first story from my book of Leskov's short stories, "The Lady Macbeth of Mtensk," and loved it. Looking forward to the rest of the stories.

In reference to the Maserites (or however they are called), I follow you.  The area of interest for me is this: what is closest to the original document, the original Isaiah, for example.  Was the original text best preserved in the MT or the LXX?  For years scholars argued that the LXX was the best candidate.  The DSS has laid that argument to rest, largely.  Prior to the discovery of the DSS the only missing component in the pro-MT argument was the existence of an early manuscript with MT-like readings.  The DSS provided that.  In relation to those documents that wound up being called the TNKH, or as Christians refer to it, the Old Testament, the MT wins as best candidate for most likely to most accurately reflect the original documents.  The MT has always had on its side the original language in which these manuscripts were (mostly) written, least internal disagreement, as well as tradition.  With the DSS they now have antiquity as well.  To argue that a Greek translation of suspect origin with little to no tradition and greater internal disagreement (amongst the various available manuscripts) is a tough argument to make.  I understand you aren't making that argument, I point it out to show that the previously held view of the scholars is on the rocks.

EoL
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« Reply #307 on: April 07, 2016, 06:18:37 PM »


2. Is in the original language and therefore does not contain the risk of translation errors
3. Has been held by the Jewish people to be the preserved text

An argument explaining the late date of the MT is the way that the Jewish scribes cared for each manuscript.  From what I have read not only was there great care taken in the copying process to ensure accuracy, but accuracy was so treasured that the physical scroll was destroyed once it began to fall apart.  If this is true, you would not expect to find a lot of early copies because they were regularly destroyed after a reliable copy had been made.  The reliability of their copying process is demonstrated by the complete Isaiah scroll found amongst the DSS.  The agreement between it and the earliest scroll prior to the DSS discovery is said to be astonishing - and they are dated 1000 years apart!


I meant to comment on this before. I think there's truth there, but also some flaws. Or if not flaws, maybe biases? I'll just say what I have to say and we can figure out the right term (I don't mean it as disparaging criticism, anyway) later. Or not.

"The original language" in your 2 above obviously is usually true. But remember there were multiple languages, including among Jews, around that turn of the era. Age. Millenium. Whatever. There were Greek-speaking Jewish communities, Aramaic, Syriac, and such, as well as Hebrew.

That leads to your 3, "held by the Jewish people..." To me, that's a bit like saying what is in the Catholic Bible has been "held by the Christian people..." It's true, of course ... but not the whole picture. What we have evidence of is that the Judaism that continued after the destruction of the temple--rabbinic Judaism, I believe, would be the best term? Forgive an ex-Lutheran's mistakes, here--had roots that went back at least to the DSS period (physical documents generally considered to be 200 BCE to somewhere pre-68 CE, I believe). But there are, as noted earlier, other docs that weren't maintained by the Masoretic traditions. There are also other Judaisms (Samaritan Judaism) that are different. There are of course also the various sects we don't know a ton about, but that are mentioned in Josephus, "church fathers," and others: Pharisees, Sadduccees, Essenes, Zealots, Sicarii, which have various descriptions here and there that sometimes overlap, sometimes conflict, etc., but mainly are mysteries. But long ramble short, what we have is evidence that this group (of many) indeed selected and carefully maintained the books it wanted to preserve with great accuracy and reverence. But that's not to say there weren't other traditions that aren't reflected.

I don't mean that in some "Da Vinci Code" conspiracy theory nonsense. I just mean it quite simply, that we know there were diverse philosophies and traditions within what we now call Judaism, but even as diverse as modern Judaism is, its evolutionary history isn't branching off from a single trunk that was set in or by the first century. It was always diverse, always changing, and then underwent dramatic trauma, especially in the late 60s through the end of the century. What came out had commonalities, but also a lot of differences, one of which of course eventually becomes what is recognizable as Christianity.

That was probably borderline incoherent. One last quick stab at coherence, then I'll just hope for the best: I don't think there was a single set of texts that were preserved by a single religion; rather, there were many texts and many sects, some of which were accurately compiled by what we came to know as the mainstream of a religion. The texts they chose to maintain were maintained, but there were more "texts" and more "theys."

I think the following will clarify where we appear to disagree.  My comments are to be taken only in reference to books now commonly known as the Old Testament (or TNKH).  These books were written, for the most part, by Hebrew people who spoke and wrote Hebrew.  I am not attempting to make an argument about any other books and where the fit in and how or when the OT/TNKH became the OT/TNKH.  Of the books I am considering I don't believe any were originally written, or even alleged to have been originally written, in Greek.  FWIW, and in regards to the TNKH I think it is worth quite a bit, it is my understanding that even the Talmud/Kaballah, which teach that what the text most plainly says is what is least means, quote a TNKH which is very much in agreement with the MT.  I have not verified this because I cannot read Hebrew (though I could ask my brother as he does).  And my recollection could also be wrong, but to the best of my recollection this is not a disputed claim, even if not true in every single instance where the Talmud cites the TNKH.  Why is this important?  Because the Talmud/Kaballah is antagonistic toward the "plain reading" of the text.  If anyone were going to change the text or use another text in order to support a reading contrary to the plain reading, it would be those who authored the Talmud (or those who wrote down the oral tradition).  But instead they used a text that agrees with the MT and found ways to have the words mean the opposite of what common sense would dictate.  I cannot give examples at present because it has simply been too long since I have considered these things.  This may also mean my entire recollection is faulty.  If so, I apologize to those who have been following along, you really should double-check for yourself.

Regarding #3, the same can be said.  In relation to the books of the TNKH, the Jewish people have, with near unanimity, held to the MT as opposed to the LXX.  Have some also chosen to accept other documents, the Talmud for example, as authoritative?  Of course.  But as noted above, even the Talmud agrees that in relation to the TNKH the MT is the superior text.

So if my comments are taken to refer only to the TNKH, then I believe the apparent flaws/bias disappears.

With that said, I do not agree that the waters are as muddy as you have implied as to when and how the books of the OT came to be accepted as "canon", but that is for another discussion.

EoL
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« Reply #308 on: April 17, 2016, 09:31:34 AM »

I ordered both A Man Called Destruction: The Life and Music of Alex Chilton and Trouble Boys: The Story of The Replacements. The latter arrived before the former, so I've been reading that and really enjoying it. The story is so well-told and interesting; it's one of those books I have trouble putting down once I start reading. A Man Called Destruction just arrived last night, and I skipped to and read a bit about his friendship with Teenage Fanclub. I'm curious as to how these books will intersect.
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« Reply #309 on: April 17, 2016, 09:37:20 AM »

I'm curious as to how these books will intersect.

Presumably somewhere shortly before Pleased to Meet Me, at least!

And now all of a sudden I remembered how much I loved Westerberg's NYT memorial to Chilton. I searched for it and read it again, laughing at the story of their last meeting. And at Westerberg's last few lines here. Heh.

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/03/21/opinion/21westerberg.html?scp=1&sq=westerberg&st=cse
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« Reply #310 on: April 17, 2016, 10:56:03 AM »

I have Pleased to Meet Me signed by all the Replacements. Paul Westerberg wrote, "Don't be so polite." One of my most treasured material possessions.
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« Reply #311 on: April 17, 2016, 11:10:07 AM »

That's great. He's among our state treasures.
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« Reply #312 on: April 17, 2016, 02:40:41 PM »

I ordered both A Man Called Destruction: The Life and Music of Alex Chilton and Trouble Boys: The Story of The Replacements. The latter arrived before the former, so I've been reading that and really enjoying it. The story is so well-told and interesting; it's one of those books I have trouble putting down once I start reading. A Man Called Destruction just arrived last night, and I skipped to and read a bit about his friendship with Teenage Fanclub. I'm curious as to how these books will intersect.

I want to read "A Man Called Destruction". I've read the Big Star biography already. It's kinda disappointing because their career as a band was so short, there isn't a lot to write about. I'd like to know more about Bell and Chilton's relationship though. I know they weren't the best of friends, but Alex did support Bell getting his record out, even though they had fallen out a bit.
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« Reply #313 on: April 17, 2016, 04:25:15 PM »

I have Pleased to Meet Me signed by all the Replacements. Paul Westerberg wrote, "Don't be so polite." One of my most treasured material possessions.

That is quite the item!!!
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« Reply #314 on: April 18, 2016, 05:11:55 AM »

I just starting reading John Fogerty's autobiography.
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« Reply #315 on: April 18, 2016, 12:33:10 PM »

Reading, with uncontrolled spasms of delight, the latest news on the " Welcome to the Smiley Smile Board" site.  Happy Dance
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« Reply #316 on: April 18, 2016, 12:39:10 PM »

I know you two didn't get along and he was as rude to you as you to him, but that's still a shitty thing to say.
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« Reply #317 on: April 18, 2016, 12:45:32 PM »

Why?  Huh
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« Reply #318 on: April 18, 2016, 01:10:52 PM »

I am finding myself relating to both Chilton and Westerberg to a surprising degree.
I can easily see why there were friends.
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« Reply #319 on: April 18, 2016, 01:28:10 PM »

Reading, with uncontrolled spasms of delight, the latest news on the " Welcome to the Smiley Smile Board" site.  Happy Dance

When are you gonna go back to being banned?
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« Reply #320 on: April 18, 2016, 03:16:09 PM »

Reading, with uncontrolled spasms of delight, the latest news on the " Welcome to the Smiley Smile Board" site.  Happy Dance

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The Million dollar question.
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« Reply #321 on: April 18, 2016, 03:41:15 PM »

At long last--nine months or so (?) of on-and-off reading--I have finished Robert Eisenman's "James the Brother of Jesus." Absolutely fascinating book, and absolutely HORRIBLY written. It's something of a scholarly book, but that's not the problem. The problem is Eisenman's writing. He is the king of unnecessarily complicated (and confusing) phrases that make reading tedious. Whether double negatives, unnecessary repetition of certain phrases and ideas, the "overuse" of "quotation marks" as one might see "on this very board" making it confusing considering the number of actual quotes throughout the book ... on and on. Just terribly written.

That said, for those into this kind of thing (i.e., EoL and probably nobody else!), it's fascinating. (And EoL, I'm quite certain you'd dismiss it.) Basically, Eisenman is saying that James or someone like him / of his community is the leader of the Qumran community, which practiced the Jerusalem brand of pre-Christianity/Judaism described in the Bible. He claims James to be Jesus' natural, full brother, and says in short that he and the other named brothers Jude and Simon are then multiplied into numerous characters to flesh out the list of the 12 and others. He also has Paul as "the Liar" found in various Dead Sea Scrolls, painting him as a very anti-Jamesian force (which isn't hard to imagine considering canonical text) who is aligned with (and possibly related to) corrupt Herodian/Roman establishment. Obviously there's a lot more going on, but those are some of the keys.

My recently purchased DSS book was purchased so I would have a reference I could read on my own. (Haven't yet.)

But that's 1,000 content-rich, poorly written pages DONE. Finally. Now it can sit on my bookshelf and make me look smart  Grin
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« Reply #322 on: April 18, 2016, 08:45:42 PM »

Picked up Gravity's Rainbow recently after having put it off for a while. At this rate I should finish it by the next millennium.
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« Reply #323 on: April 19, 2016, 04:02:20 AM »

Reading, with uncontrolled spasms of delight, the latest news on the " Welcome to the Smiley Smile Board" site.  Happy Dance

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« Reply #324 on: April 19, 2016, 04:49:18 AM »

Picked up Gravity's Rainbow recently after having put it off for a while. At this rate I should finish it by the next millennium.

I first read the extraordinary Gravity's Rainbow in late '77, which is when I bought David Bowie's album Heroes. Those two are inextricably linked in my mind.
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