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“The grass withers, the flower fades, But the word of our God stands forever”…..Along with some other people’s [OT corruption]
Left: Dead Sea Scrolls and Septuagint
Right: Masoretic Text
Flint, Peter W. The Dead Sea scrolls. Nashville: Abingdon Press, 2013. Print.
Taken from here: http://jur.byu.edu/?p=3703
Jason Olson and Dr. Donald Parry, Hebrew Language
One impressive example of a textual variation that Dr. Parry and I found was Deuteronomy 32:8-9. I will present the divergent texts and offer an explanation below. The King James (Masoretic) Version of Deuteronomy 32:8-9 reads: 8 When the most High divided to the nations their inheritance, when he separated the sons of Adam, he set the bounds of the people according to the number of the children of Israel. 9 For the Lord’s portion is his people; Jacob is the lot of his inheritance.
The Dead Sea Scrolls version reads: 8 When the most High divided to the nations their inheritance, when he separated the sons of Adam, he set the bounds of the people according to the number of the sons of God. 9 For the Lord’s portion is his people; Jacob is the lot of his inheritance. [J.A. Duncan, in Qumran Cave 4. IX: Deuteronomy, Joshua, Judges, Kings, ed. E. Ulrich and F.M. Cross, DJD XIV (Oxford: Clarendon, 1995), 90.]
The incredible significance of this variation is that God can have sons in pre-Christian era Jewish theology! Jewish tradition maintained that there were 70 nations of the world, so therefore post-Second Temple Judaism was able to make the connection that the Most High divided the nations according to the 70 sons of Israel. An even earlier Jewish theology, however, maintained that the 70 nations of the world were divided according to the 70 divine sons of the Most High God. This concept is fascinatingly preserved even in ancient Canaanite religion! A convincing conclusion to this argument is that Jewish scribes changed the scripture, after the advent of Christianity, to prevent the spread of the idea that God can have sons from public and/or Jewish knowledge. [John Wesley Etheridge, The Targums of Onkelos and Jonathan Ben Uzziel On the Pentateuch; With the Fragments Of the Jerusalem Targum; from the Chaldee (London: Longman, Green, and Roberts, 1865), 662; and Manfried Dietrich, Oswald Loretz, and Joaquín Sanmartín, eds., The Cuneiform Alphabetic Texts: From Ugarit, Ras Ibn Hani and Other Places (KTU) (Verlag: Ugarit, 1995)]
(Verses from Leningrad Codex) SUBTRACT (Verses from Dead Sea Scrolls) EQUALS “Verses of the Old Testament that come AFTER the revelation of the Qur’an”
Jews and Christians alike, make the argument that the complete Bible (as we know it today) was available before the revelation of the Qur’an. That is, the Qur’an has no choice but to SPECIFICALLY refer to their books, and no other versions of the Tawrah(Torah) or the Injeel(Gospel) existed. In essence, their books are the AUTHORITATIVE and the CORRECT ones
I find this particularly hard to believe for what they think is the “Old Testament”. Naturally, I would ask for some manuscript evidence to back up their claim?
In reality, the Oldest COMPLETE Hebrew Bible is the Leningrad Codex, which is dated to 1008 CE (or possibly 1009) . That is MORE THAN 400 years after the revelation of the Qur’an confirmed by manuscripts .And 600 years after the Christian’s “so-called” complete manuscripts in the 4th Century; so-called, because their manuscripts are not radiocarbon-dated as we have previously mentioned. (The fact that an older revelation’s manuscript tradition, seems to come after a newer revelation’s manuscript tradition, is an interesting oddity, that needs to be researched more……..)
But back to our discussion; the Counter-Argument is that the Dead Sea Scrolls(DSS) confirm the Hebrew of the Leningrad Codex. Now let’s assume for the sake of argument, that :
– Leningrad Codex’s dating based off of Paleography is correct, and we will not ask for Radiocarbon-Dating
-there are no major and/or minor variants between the two manuscripts.
-let us FURTHER ASSUME that they are exact word for word, letter for letter, dot for dot
Now based off of those assumptions, let us do some simple math:
(Verses from Leningrad Codex) SUBTRACT (Verses from DSS)
“Verses that are not accounted from the time period of ~300 BC to ~1000 CE“
Therefore the argument that THEIR version of the Old Testament was available and being referred to by the Qur’an, can not be backed up by the manuscript evidence.
Wow, well done
My apologies for the poor quality of the images taken on my iPhone earlier. These are taken from the invaluable scholarly resource A Man Attested by God: The Human Jesus of the Synoptic Gospels by Dr J.R. Daniel Kirk. Many Jewish figures are called ‘God’ in the Jewish scriptures and other non-canonical Jewish writings, disproving the often made Christian claim (by Richard Bauckham for example) that these titles (and their roles) are the exclusive preserve of God Himself. In the Bible and in the DSS they are not.