Monday, May 13, 2013

Something You Don't Want to Miss From The Dead Sea Scrolls

I heard someone speaking about this on a podcast and thought I would look it up for myself. At one point in Church History, before the Dead Sea Scrolls were found beginning in 1947 and subsequently translated, it was thought that Gabriel's description to Mary of Jesus (Luke 1:32) was not an Aramaic phrase but was rather Graeco-Roman.
He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. And the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David, (Luke 1:32, ESV)
Before the Scrolls, there was not much evidence to refute this claim. The "problem", as detractors would state, was either that Luke was inserting language into what the angel would have said to Mary or that the Gospel was simply written at a much later date and the later language was used.

However, in manuscript # 246 found in Cave 4 at Qumran (known as 4Q246), we read this, according to the translation I have at home:
"[Also his son] will be called The Great, and be designated by his name. He will be called the Son of God, they will call him the son of the Most High." (1)
First of all, this would have been written by the Jewish sect sometime before 150 B.C. This would definitely not be Graeco-Roman language. This is yet another reason the Scrolls have proven beneficial to Christianity in relation to historical and textual "issues." Secondly, this is NOT a Qumran text that is about their expected Messiah, or Man of Righteousness. It is actually more likely a text about some type of coming Anti-christ who would not be a religious figure but rather from a conquering army.


(1) The Dead Sea Scrolls, A New Translation by Wise, Abegg, and Cook. 1996, page 269