by Mike Winger
I'll give you the summary in the first minute of this video and you can get the full download if you stick around for the whole talk. I'ts a lot of interesting stuff and some fun with weird comments on Twitter. We will show exactly what was forged, what it means for Christianity, what it means for the Museum of the Bible, and what it means for the Dead Sea Scrolls as a whole. I think it's important to realize that news outlets, in an effort to get more views on their articles, have given people a false impression about this discovery. Wesley Huff has his own web site here More resources if you're interested in knowing more about the Dead Sea Scrolls. Lay-Level Christian Beginnings and the Dead Sea Scrolls Intermediate: The Bible and the Dead Sea Scrolls (3 vol.) Advanced: The Encyclopedia of the Dead Sea Scrolls���DSS Translations�The Dead Sea Scrolls Study Edition Vol. 1 Vol. 2 The Dead Sea Scrolls: A New Translation

This Text has been pulled from Youtube closed captioning. It has not been proofed.

here's the short version the in a nutshell version of today's interview the Museum of the Bible does in fact have forgeries in fact all their copies of the Dead Sea Scrolls are forgeries that is very true although somewhat misleading information news outlets are going bonkers in some cases basically spreading what ends up being misconceptions in the ideas of your average normal reader of these of these articles and of the headlines in reality these are just tiny fragments of the Dead Sea Scrolls and while there are all 16 of them are forgeries it has no impact whatsoever on the authentic Dead Sea Scrolls or on how they weigh in on biblical scholarship it has no impact whatsoever it should not affect your your beliefs or your faith as a Christian in any way shape or form so what we're gonna do is we're gonna give you another full download I brought my friend on Wesley Hough who's gonna talk about the Dead Sea Scrolls the forgeries the nature of the forgeries its impact on either Christianity there is a lesson to learn here or the Museum of the Bible its potential impact on them and then we're gonna talk about some twitter posts i've pulled up to show the misinformation that this kind of reckless news writing puts out there and creates in the Twitterverse so here it comes I hope that this is a blessing to you and I just pray that God uses it to give you wisdom all right Wes thanks for joining me man I'm really grateful to have you here wes is a good friend of mine as as well as a really smart guy if you wouldn't mind tell us kind of like what your what your studies are so we understand as you're talking about this issue who are you who's the guy we're listening to yeah so I am a PhD student at the University of Toronto in the area of biblical studies I study New Testament manuscripts and particularly the transmission of the early New Testament text so we're talking about you know second century - 4th century and the the bookish writing culture that existed within the Christian communities in that area that's good man we want to talk to a bookish person that's sort of what we're looking for here with the issue of the Dead Sea Scrolls yeah this this news came out and people see the headlines and I think that they're they're shook because they realize the Dead Sea Scrolls are this this really important verification of the reliability of the scriptures at the same time they see this headline that says Dead Sea Scrolls in Museum of the Bible are all forgeries so can you give us like just a recap what what is the news what is the thing that's that's floating around that people are hearing yeah so the listeners may know or I've heard of the Dead Sea Scrolls they're a collection of Jewish literature that were discovered between the the 1940s and the 1960s and the caves in the desert region of Judea particularly in Israel and the West Bank and a large of collection of those were found in this this area there were 11 caves in an area northwest of the Dead Sea called Qumran and that's that's where the the community that developed a lot of these documents that were discovered later were discovered in the in these caves yeah and they were like a weird River people right we I mean well we probably shouldn't get into all of it but they were just kind of this weird reclusive almost like a religious cult type of group of people right yeah so you have like two main sects of Jewish groups within the New Testament the Sadducees and the Pharisees which are constantly intellectually sparring with Jesus but there was another group called the SS and they were a group of of Jews who believed that the the Temple in Jerusalem was corrupt and so they'd taken off to this region that sort of made like a mock temple out there and they they had all sorts of laws that they were keeping that that they thought would save them in in one way or another and thought that everybody back in Jerusalem was a you know corrupt and and not not doing everything the right way they were a little bit apocalyptic in in that sense if you read some of these Dead Sea Scrolls there's like the Great War scroll which talk about end of the white fish things like you'd read the book of Revelation in the Bible they sort of had their own versions of that kind of stuff so they were they were a little bit of an oddball group especially when we compare them to some of the the groups we we hear about in the Bible and so there were a lot of these other documents that were found in and around that area not just in Qumran but but sort of down the coast of the Dead Sea but Qumran is where the the majority are those 11 caves so there are about a hundred thousand of these manuscripts that were were discovered the vast majority of those are housed in the Israel Museum in Jerusalem at the shrine of the book which is a display area there and they're not all I think we think of them all as biblical documents about 25 percent of the manuscripts found in the Qumran caves were biblical in nature and then there's a host of other written books but I think it is it is pertinent to point out that all of the Old Testament books apart from Esther are found in in the Dead Sea Scrolls with the Dead Sea Scrolls just in if you could summarize for us what impact has the Dead Sea Scrolls had overall as far as Christians in the Bible are concerned what is what does this told us you know how is it informed as this discovery yeah they were super interesting because up until a certain point we really didn't have that much super super early stuff for the biblical Old Testament in fact for a long time we had far earlier evidence for the New Testament in terms of like the the manuscripts the artifacts then we did for the the Old Testament what we were relying on for a long time for the translation of our Old Testaments was what's referred to as the Masoretic text so they're a group of a group of Jewish scribes it kind of starts somewhere in the 9th century and go on to the approximately the the 13th century and they were very diligent very pious Jewish scribes who who copied the text very very carefully and that text the Masoretic text ended up being our like the for Old Testament we didn't have too much before that until we discovered the Dead Sea Scrolls and then all of a sudden we had this really early evidence that that started in in the first century and when went back for a couple hundred years into the time before Jesus and shed some light on the the Hebrew text light and potentially what Jesus would have been seeing and the Jews in that area and it gave us a bigger picture in terms of that so it made a tremendous impact on the our understanding of the text in one way in another way it didn't really blow up anything that we knew about the Old Testaments I mean there were no revelations that you know completely revolutionized the way we read our old our Old Testament or changed radically what we were looking at but he intellectually it did shed some light on on a few key areas now would you say that the Dead Sea Scrolls served in some way to confirm things that we already thought like confirm the Christian view of Scripture or of the Bible in any way yeah and it also helps these documents that especially the ones that weren't biblical documents to shed light on some of the messianic expectations and the idea is that you know we see in the New Testament mentioned about this sort of expectation that the Messiah was going to show up sometime around then and in fact there are allusions there echoes within some of the Dead Sea scroll documents that actually indicate that the Messiah or Messiah is because there was a belief that there would be two Messiah the son of David and a messiah the son of Aaron that these would be almost divine like figures and so some of the language that we see in the New Testament that's portrayed on Jesus that you know in centuries past German redaction scholars who said you know this this language this high Christology that that obviously came later because I mean no Jew would have been thinking like this they obviously ran into some Greeks and they're Greeks were like we don't care if the guy you're following is the Jewish Messiah we care if he's a son of God and so then you know the idea was that the Christians Rock o son of God maybe if we you know slide that into the way we're describing things then maybe that'll that'll make some impact but if we look at the the Qumran documents if we look at the Dead Sea Scrolls they actually have a lot of descriptions of the Jewish Messiah coming and being described in divine categories and being described particularly as the the son of God in a very unique way so in that sense it broadens our picture in how we understand you know some of the the ideas and expectations and categories for first century Judaism of Jesus day and in that way shed some light on how we read the New Testament okay and then the the discovery the Dead Sea Scrolls did it have any impact on say the reliability of the transmission of the text over time for people who think the Bible's been changed or that the Old Testament itself you know you know the Masoretic text from 900 AD didn't represent what was originally you know read by say the people in Jesus's day what would you say about that in some ways it did and in some ways it didn't I mean the the major points that you'll hear when you hear discussions of this is that the great Isaiah scroll which was easily the most well preserved one if you go into the the shrine of the book in Israel um you'll see the great Isaiah scroll it's sort of displayed all out around the outside of the wall and it's it's the entire book of what we would now consider the Book of Isaiah and that's unusual a lot of these are just fragmentary scraps but in in one of the caves we found this whole scroll and it is word-for-word exact to the Hebrew Masoretic text of Isaiah so that spoke a lot to the transmission and to the copying process how exact and diligent the Jews in particular were of doing that now you can make a lot of that there are other documents like the Jeremiah scroll which are not word-for-word exact so I think you can overplay your hands a little bit there but in the grand scheme of things I think what it did tell us is that it any speculation in that giant gap between you know the mazarites and the Qumran community any speculation as to what was going on there was complete completely evaporated because of what we found all it did was confirm what the texts look like in Jesus's day and prior mm-hmm yeah okay so what is what is the news here and let me see if I can summarize correct me if you feel like I'm getting this wrong but basically the Museum of the Bible is this really popular really well-known relatively new Museum where you can find all this wonderful information about the Bible and the history of it that sort of thing and what they've had is they've actually had some of the Dead Sea Scrolls that's the term that's used they've had it housed there that people could look at and it's just popped into the news into popular awareness at least that these are forgeries they're all forgeries they're all wrong am i summarizing that news correctly you think yeah essentially the the Museum of the Bible had in their possession 16 fragments of what they believed were Dead Sea Scrolls and it it turned out that they were fake now this in one way is not hugely new news in 2018 they had like a scholarly audit and five of the 16 were discovered to be fake and so they removed those from their display and so that was news at that point and there was actually suspicion that others were forgeries in fact a number of of key scholars going back I I think at least to 2017 if not before that were speculating guys like IRA Steen Justin s Brett Nong brie you can go back and look there were articles written academic articles end just like blog posts on their on their websites saying you know maybe we should take a second look at these they don't really look up to snuff yeah but it's just been recently that that they've announced that not only those other five out of the sixteen were fake but that all of the sixteen are are forgeries mm-hmm so it makes the headlines it certainly makes a good headline yeah especially because the Dead Sea Scrolls are so well known and the headlines the way they read I can't help but note the way they read right Dead Sea Scrolls in Museum of the Bible are all forgeries to a normal person to a normal person they're thinking that means that there are false full-length Scrolls from the Dead Sea in the Museum of the Bible sounds like they probably have some pretty good copies of it the other Museum of the Bible and they're all forgeries which which then you go but I know the Dead Sea scrolls are connected to some important you know apologetics issues related to the Bible so what does this mean what does this mean and what you're telling me and you use the word fragments described to us real quick what exactly was in the Museum of the Bible that was found to be forgeries like how much content was actually there very little to no content so there was barely any writing on them and eaten the writing that was on them didn't necessarily have any sort of variation from the text that we knew before so in terms of the grand scheme of things these were these were pretty these are pretty insignificant and them being legitimate or fake really doesn't do anything to how we how we understand the text that they were pretty pretty small and like I said you know we have the example of the great Isaiah scroll but the vast majority of these are so fragmented that I mean it took decades to put them together and actually piece together what I mean the text even said a lot of these were preserved in things like cigar boxes because they were just like so so affected by weather and by bugs and I mean it's 2,000 year old paper so I wouldn't look that good at 2,000 years old and that's that big for you're doing pretty well yeah so uh well what I think the normal Christian the first question they have is how does this affect my Bible right and it's true that the Dead Sea Scrolls are used as I understand it in in some decisions translators make in some places or in textual criticisms they're weighing information from the Dead Sea scrolls are these fragments these sixteen fragments are they part of this weighing you know are people looking at these little fragments making decisions about what they think the Bible really says based upon these no that's that's the short answer the short answer is no yeah I mean when I first read the article or the headline I thought wait whoa this is really interesting and as I read more of it I realized this is more headlined than article in my opinion so in short what what are the implications for the Bible or for Christianity from the discovery of the forgeries of these these fragments I think if anything the implication is that we we should be more cautious in general of claims claims of new discoveries or claims of forgeries no matter what they are well what comes to mind is you know the first century mark fragment that was big news a few years ago I mean 2009 there was this announcement that there was this manuscript of Mark that was discovered and it was dated to the first century and that was it that was a big deal because not only would it be our earliest manuscript of any of the Bible it would be our earliest manuscript of Mark by like two hundred years yeah I remember where it was announced and everybody was like what yeah and then a lot of us were just following like waiting for more information waiting for and it took years before they were like yeah oh well whatever it's not really yeah and it actually came out in in in twenty twenty nineteen last year that not only was this not a new discovery it was actually from a collection of manuscripts that we knew about before the Augsburg his papyri from Egypt but that it wasn't first century and although they did date it earlier it was still like late 3rd early 4th century but a lot of the evangelical community a lot of the apologetics community they jumped on this Conoco discovery and made a lot of it and it was like in the ether and it was like this this urban myth mm-hmm you know evangelical apologetic type hey I remember it because I ideal father like oh great I can I can share that we have a first century fragment of mark which puts the dating of mark you know back I mean we already know it's first century but it's just it's a good thing the earlier the better and I thought about it I looked into a little bit and I thought I'm gonna wait till I have more information I don't feel like I've really got solid ground yet and I'd rather not use it then use it and find out it's wrong some say a lot of guys got burned a lot of guys got burned a lot of big names in the Christian academic world got burned because they they made more of it than they should have and yeah I remember thinking I wasn't really in the trenches of my academic work at that point but when I did start to get really into the world of academia in biblical studies thinking back on that an unpublished manuscript might as well be a non-existent manuscript I mean if you can't publish it and open it up to scrutiny to the academic community I mean might as well not exist so talking about it makes absolutely no it benefits no one and it actually just creates almost like a mythology that that is largely unhelpful in terms of what this means for how we understand discoveries or forgeries I think we can we can take this as a cautious warning to say you know let's wait for thing the dust to settle on everything and what the actual implications are because like you said I mean even would that mark fragment if it was if it did turn out to be first century what were the implications I mean in one sense it would have been cool but wouldn't have read ated mark wouldn't really have changed anything we know about the text but it would have been anecdotally nice to share in conversation ya know to be nice so yeah definitely but but in that sense one of the things we can take away is to be more cautious than not and the other thing to take away is just to ask yeah how does this like you you've asked Mike how does this impacts what I believe and in the grand scheme of things although the headlines you know when we use words like forgeries those are big that get a lot of clickbait but in reality the the the implications of this are are minimal to zero yeah so it doesn't protect biblical scholarship it doesn't affect the readings of the text we have variant readings we're trying to figure out what the proper reading of the original text was it doesn't affect yes like you're not looking at a translation going was this translated based on those forgeries the answer is gonna be no what it really affects is just a wise word about general caution that we don't jump the gun when we're making claims about things and maybe you can speak to that briefly and say like what do you think the implications of this are for the Museum of the Bible because to me that's probably where the biggest implications are it seems like it's dragging their reputation into the mud yeah and and that's where that's where it does have some some pretty big ripple effects unfortunately the Museum of the Bible hasn't had a super great track record since they opened so they're associated with the the backers are the green family which are the owners I don't know what the right term is of Hobby Lobby I'll be alone yeah so they're associated with that and so they're you know millionaires if not billionaire they had this incredible Bible history collection because they are evangelical Christians and they had the money to sort of finance thing and as that grew they had this plan to open this musi and make it available to the public which i think is a very good idea is if the intention was good when they decided to increase their collection they started to look to other collections and other sellers in order to grow that and that's where things started to go awry yeah so in in 2018 as a result of their efforts to expand their collection they ended up paying three million dollars in fines because almost thousands well not almost thousands of artifacts were seized that ended up being black market purchased from countries like Iraq and so there was there was some dealing there that was underhanded and then they actually got caught up in the whole first century mark debacle because they were named as a potential buyer somehow there's a lot of confusion there as to what exactly was going on but it sounds to be as nice as possible it sounds like they were just in too big of a hurry to accomplish their goals and they were cutting some corners and it has caused their reputation to suffer as a result you know but they've been honest about making these fragments though right because I as I understand it what I've read was that they actually hired an independent person to examine the fragments and then they CH and you know they hired they could have just hid them away right they could have let no one touch them but they hired that person and they were allowed the results to be published publicly I mean that's why the articles out there now is that right yeah and we can give credit where credit is due they I think they did go to the efforts they should have to a you know make sure that these things were verified and B make it public because it was made public very quickly after the discovery of them being fake so we can ever give them the benefit of the doubt there that their their intentions weren't nefarious although it certainly doesn't cast a very good light on the whole sort of collection and and what's going on there but I I think while they're well while their intention was correct their their method of you know acquiring things and going about the expansion of the actual museum was maybe a little bit misguided mmm-hmm yeah its I do think it's coming it's almost like a parable in apologetics stuff that we both care about which is that you know don't be reckless in your apologetic approach in your defenses of the Christian faith because the fall out of cutting your corners it will it will disparage Christianity in the eyes of many people even though it's really only you and your methods that are the problem it's not the truth of Christianity and this is a perfect parable of that because it's like the this stuff affects the Bible in no way shape or form no measurable sense or the truth of Christianity in no measurable sense but it but it feels that way to many people right they they their their gut goes oh like this is somehow a strike against the trustworthiness of the scripture the Museum of the Bible has some sort of issues you know that not pervasive not everything there is now should be thrown out or something but there are some issues that that translates to them into meaning something more than it means and so we want to be careful that we don't do that and we try to refine I trying to refine my own apologetic approaches all the time find things that I can say better or things I shouldn't say because I want to try to present my best foot forward and presenting the truth of Christianity but the thing I want to talk to about now is some stuff I've seen just just like we see hey you know shame on you guys cuz you cut some corners and you didn't do your homework and now it's being shown that we need to get get rid of these fragments there are those who are not cutting their corners or who are cutting corners in response to this and their responses the dusty scroll fragments are false and then their head Dead Sea Scrolls unreliable Bible and reliable Christianity not true so I want to read to you a couple Twitter posts these are tweets real tweets from real people in response to the news that these are forgeries so one says we can stop pretending that a deity exists yes what's your response to that Wes well I mean even if even if all the authentic Dead Sea scrolls were turned out to be forgeries I mean what does that have to do with the D of the existing I mean it certainly doesn't change the Kalam cosmological argument or anything like that you know so and and like I said before for a long time who are the undergirding texts that we translated what we get the English Old Testament from was done without the Dead Sea Scrolls so I mean it doesn't even affect the the text in one way it adds to our knowledge of the text but it doesn't break apart in the text and it certainly doesn't disprove a deity that's a that's a pretty big stretch yeah it is and I would say it that is a bigger mistake than any mistake that the green family has made so far that I'm aware of to say these 16 fragments are forgeries therefore atheism like that that is a pretty big worldview error to make obviously he wouldn't defend that he just I don't think he would he just throws it out there because that's just where some people are yeah it's kind of like me walking to my mother-in-law's house and seeing you know there's plastic apples on on the counter a plastic fruit me picking up an apple and going well the an apple isn't real I guess I guess no apples are real we just stop pretending that apple pie exists there's no such thing as proof I think so yeah okay here's another one this this is from Jay Jordan who commented on this article that's the same article I'm quoting here the Dead Sea Scrolls in the Museum of the Bible are all forgeries which is a somewhat misleading title to be honest to a normal person not not to someone like you but to a layperson it is j-jordan says quote matches the Bible perfectly oh because they're fakes so that you get it you get it and I interact a lot with atheists online so you you start you you almost start reading this kind of sarcasm and implications in everybody's comments because they do it so much and I'm talking about every atheist I'm talking about the atheists online who comment atheist comments all the time that that is it's pervasively mocking and ridiculing and implying things and so anyway yeah matches the Bible perfectly as the statement here any response to that I mean sure if you throw out you know hundreds of thousands of arguments for the reliability of the Scriptures both externally and internally all of archaeology that we have to back it up you know internal coherence and undesigned coincidences and any number of lines of reasoning for the reliability of the scriptures and it's it's it's reductionist stick to a point where it's just like you know it's a talking point that's all it is it it doesn't go farther than Twitter and we never stand up any level of I mean it wouldn't even stand up a Google search alright last one and this one I think this one might have been that sort of tongue-in-cheek a lot of atheists will will I've experienced will ask leading questions that are just or statements they'll make that are meant to like plant an idea in your head I'm sorry but there is a growing movement of atheists online that literally are just trying to manipulate people even emotionally manipulate people it's called Street epistemology and it's not about thinking clearly it's it's about manipulating people at any rate but let's answer this as though it's a very sincere statement from a sincere believer and the statement she says is what else is fake that we've grown to believe what else is fake that we've grown to believe in response to this discovery what's your what would your counsel be for that person I mean it's it's reasoning on what we don't know not on what we do know so I mean we know a lot we know a lot about the Bible in particular I mean we we arguably have 2000 years of scholarship going back to the earliest Christians articulating the truthfulness of the Christian worldview going back to the gospel authors themselves going to painstaking lengths to name places and rulers and locations and names of individuals who are alive at those time so that the the readers who were alive during the lifetime of the writing could you know go back and cross-reference them I mean so to start reasoning on what we don't know I mean that's just that history for lack of a better way of putting it you don't do that with anything else mhm we we have a lot to go on with the Bible we have a phenomenal amount we certainly have more than other stories and narratives and individuals within history so it's no more logical than you know holding a standard that's unrealistic to say Alexander the Great and saying well you know I know we we know virtually all of his life you know his story what he did but what don't we know mm-hmm do we really know Alexander the Great what don't we know about Alexander the Great I mean it's funny line of reasoning yeah what it's an argument for Sal yeah yeah what else is I make it's like saying that you have to it's creating an unnecessary burden of proof for the things you currently believe okay I know I have good reason to believe that but what if it's fake yeah yeah well and you can always say that about anything this this creates a great degree of paranoia and unjustified different beliefs you might hold I believe that's a forgery why because it might be yeah an absence of evidence isn't evidence of absence and so you can't reason that way arguments from silence range from poor to terrible that's the range and they they very rarely ever make any impact on a definitive statement about a belief system yeah yeah I mean it just as good to say in response to this to yourself even if you feel what else is fake that I've grown to believe is you just say what else is true that I've grown to believe but let me add one more thought to it which is this you're believing that these Dead Sea scroll fragments are forgeries and for the same reasons we believe those are forgeries we believe the other ones are authentic right because we're running the same kinds of tests or taking the same kinds of measures to verify and we go hey we have a hundred thousand something authentic ones and we've got these sixteen forgeries over here that don't affect our scholarship in any significant fashion I think that you can say because we can discover forgeries like this we can have even more confidence that the other ones are legitimate and then we can sort of set that issue aside yeah the same method of reasoning that that forces us to say that these are forgeries forces us to say that like you said the others are authentic and not only the others but you know the the underlying manuscript tradition of both the old and the New Testaments that we have that make up our modern English translations that those are reliably transmitted and accurate for the process of rendering the modern texts that we now know as the old and new Testament it's the exact same standard that we're implying so it's it's a it's a silly argument to make yeah yeah it's just good to know good to know so um I guess that's about it I just I just wanted to put this out there cuz I had a lot of people asking me questions about this topic and I thought I want to bring someone on who has more education and expertise in this area than I certainly do because I just wanted to give them that sense of getting on the inside of this issue because when you read the headlines and you read the articles it doesn't feel like it informs the layperson very well and so that's what this video is meant to do is inform the layperson well answer a few questions that do come up deal honestly with the data and thanks Wes for coming on I'm actually gonna have Wes on my channel again real soon here I think it's like next week right like that I think I think next Tuesday if I'm not mistaken we're gonna be doing this we're gonna do a a stream on the topic of what gosh what was the topic we were doing we're gonna talk about Mary Mary that's right Mary and yeah anyway we'll get more into that so we're some more kind of theology in apologetics issues related to Mary and modern not Catholicism it's not the issue here but modern weird probably weird ideas that are propagated in popular culture on the topic of Mary Magdalene Jesus's wife supposedly things like that and so wes is gonna help us weigh in on those types of things so so thanks Wes for joining me um god bless you man I put some links from from Wes suggested by him if you want more information on the Dead Sea Scrolls it should be in the video description you can click those links and study up on it there's a lot of interesting neat stuff that'll keep you going for hours while you're quarantined so yeah thanks Wes you betcha

Powered by: Preachitsuite