DVC: The Dead Sea Scrolls were found in the 1950s hidden in a cave near Qumran in the Judean desert. And, of course, the Coptic Scrolls in 1945 at Nag Hammadi. In addition to telling the true Grail story, these documents speak of Christ’s ministry in very human terms. Of course, the Vatican, in keeping with their tradition of misinformation, tried very hard to suppress the release of these scrolls. The scrolls highlight glaring historical discrepancies and fabrications, clearly confirming that the modern Bible was compiled and edited by men who possessed a political agenda–to promote the divinity of the man Jesus and use His influence to solidify their own power base.” (p. 234).

Response: One should wonder why such verifiable evidence against the Bible was not spread abroad before, after all, the Bible certainly has more enemies than Brown. The reason is, that contrary to Brown's wishful thinking the the Dead Sea Scrolls do not show as Brown imagines. Like most of Brown's work his lies are based (or stolen) from others, such as the wholly discredited Dead Sea Scrolls Deception, which ignore and suppress the overwhelming judgment of scholars who actually study the evidence, and which serves to affirm the Bible.

Ancient artifacts (such as coinage in the first stratum from the early 2nd century B.C. reign of Antiochus VII Sidetes), textual examination, handwriting analysis and carbon dating dates most of the Dead Sea Scroll (DSS) documents from 1st and 2nd century BC., although the entire find dates from as early as the 3rd century B.C. to the 2nd century A.D. 1,100 ancient documents were discovered in 11 caves and which included several scrolls and over 100,000 fragments. About 30% are fragments from the Old Testament Scriptures (Hebrew canon), with all the books being represented, except the Book of Esther and the Book of Nehemiah. (See here for a more complete sumary: http://www.apologeticspress.org/articles/266) or or http://www.sundayschoolcourses.com/deadsea/deadmain.htm.

The DSS were the work of devout 1st century B.C. and earlier Jews, not Christians as Brown erroneously asserts, and this tremendous discovery represented the oldest principal find of Biblical texts. This brought great interest from both Bible believers and enemies alike, with the former expecting to find confirmation of careful transmission of the Biblical text, and the former expecting great discrepancies. After all, up until that time the oldest copes of the Hebrew Scripture was from the Masoretic text, which dated from about A.D. 980. Of particular interest was the Isaiah Scroll, which was as 1000 years older than any previously known copy of Isaiah, and was one the few (approx. 12) more intact scrolls. Upon comparing the two scholars were astounded that the texts from Qumran proved to be approx 95 percent word-for-word identical to the Masoretic Hebrew Bible (from which the King James is translated). The small 5 percent of variation were primarily obvious slips of the pen or spelling changes, none of which would change any doctrine (Archer, 1974, p. 25).

For instance, see the comparison here of a most critical text, the Messianic prophecy of Christ found in Isaiah 53:1-3

Masoretic (KJV translation):

Great Scroll of Isaiah (Jeff A. Benner translator)

Who hath believed our report? and to whom is the arm of the LORD revealed?

2 For he shall grow up before him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground: he hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him.

3 He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not.

1] Who hath believed our report? and to whom is the arm of the LORD revealed?

[2] For he shall grow up before him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground: he hath no form nor he hath comeliness; and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire ourselves.

[3] He is despised and rejected of men and man of sorrows, and he knows grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; and despised him, and we esteemed him not.

Copyright © 2006 Ancient Hebrew Research Center

Examination of the Book of Daniel also seems to confirm the Masoretic Text against prior disputes about it.

On the subject of vairations as a whole, Geza Vermes, author of “The Complete Dead Sea Scrolls in English (doctorate in theology with a dissertation on the historical framework of the Dead Sea Scrolls, director of the Oxford Forum for Qumran Research at the Oxford Centre for Hebrew and Jewish Studies) comments, "On the whole, they represent the traditional text of the Septuagint with minor variations such as a word being replaced by its synonym... Since the translation scarcely differs from the original, there is no purpose in reproducing it." (P. 440)

As for the Nag Hammadi Library, “on pages 234 and 245 of his novel, Brown lumps together the Dead Sea Scrolls and the Nag Hammadi Library as if they were intrinsically connected and implies that they are both Christian documents. They are neither. They were written one to two hundred years apart, and hidden and discovered hundreds of miles apart.” www.sermoncentral.com/sermon.asp?SermonID=71065&

Unlike the Biblical gospels, which are dated to have been written before the end of the 1st centiry, “most credible scholars date the writing of the non-canonical gospels in the second or third century A.D. These texts are, at any rate, later than the biblical gospels by a long shot (with the possible exception of the Gospel of Thomas, which may have been written in the first century, though this is not at all certain).” They not oly have no manuscripts as old as the first New Testament manuscripts, but as said before, they are radically different form all the Biblical manuscripts, including the even more ancient Dead Sea Scrolls! In addition, they say nothing about Jesus and Mary Magdalene having children, and Brown's extrapolating wife out of “companion” in the spurious gospel of Phillip can not makr a married Jesus where all the other, and far more substantiated - and earlier - evidence reveals Him as celibate!

And rather than the Bible being rewritten, it is some Gnostic texts that were rewritten to appear Christian. The translator of the texts, James Robinson, in his book, The Nag Hammadi Library, states, “

"The Nag Hammadi library even presents one instance of the Christianizing process taking place almost before one's eyes. The non-Christian philosophic treatise Eugnostos the Blessed is cut up somewhat arbitrarily into separate speeches, which are then put on Jesus' tongue, in answer to questions (which sometimes do not quite fit the answers) that the disciples address to him during a resurrection appearance. The result is a separate tractate entitled The Sophia of Jesus Christ. Both forms of the text appear side by side in Codex III." (p. 8-9) This indicates Gnostic thought attempting to infiltrate Christianity, rather than Christianity being wrestled away from Gnostic origins.” http://www.cs.unc.edu/~taylorr/davincicode.html

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