Before we get too excited over this “find,” a few sobering thoughts come to mind.
· That’s 1155-1225 AD, not BC: it is a “modern” document.
· Carbon dating is a tricky and notoriously unreliable method.
· Maimonides (1135-1204), the great eagle would not have approved this scroll. How did it get past him? Because it is older? Unlikely.
· Maimonides is not the first and only guardian of Hebrew text transmission. If Maimonides were the first and only guardian of Hebrew text transmission, the entire Hebrew Scripture would be cast in doubt.
· The Masoretes published as early as the seventh century, six hundred years after the Crucifixion of Christ, to create and maintain the standardized Hebrew text, which Maimonides later protects.
· Both Latin and Greek translations preserve an older, better Hebrew prototype.
· The Dead Sea Scrolls, which contain both Greek and Hebrew manuscripts, also provide better data.
· This “find” needs to be confirmed by the firsthand examination of equally competent Hebrew text experts.
· Even if confirmed, we have found nothing more than a beautiful relic, a piece of Bible art; nothing is changed concerning Old Testament textual criticism. Not a single letter of the Hebrew text is improved.
This discussion confuses the issue. The question is and ought to be, “What Bible was in the hands of Jesus and His Apostles when they preached?” The emphatic answer to that question is, a Greek Bible: there is little evidence for anything else. Paul was a learned Jew: why didn’t he write in Hebrew? Peter was a Jew: why didn’t he write in Hebrew, especially in his letters to primarily Jewish congregations?
We add to this information the fact that during this period Christians and Jews were bitter adversaries. No less than four hundred men vowed to abstain from food until they had killed Paul. I guess they all starved to death.
Another question arises. Why should we give more credibility to that which is handed down within Judaism, than to that which is handed down within The Church? The Church is the guardian of God’s truth, not Judaism.