Bible Archaeology

Dead Sea Scrolls Fragments for Sale


Parts of the Dead Sea Scrolls are up for sale—in tiny pieces. Nearly 70 years after the discovery of the world’s oldest biblical manuscripts, the Palestinian family who originally sold them to scholars and institutions is now quietly marketing the leftovers—fragments the family says it has kept in a Swiss safe deposit box all these years. Most of these scraps are barely the size of postage stamps, and some are blank. But in the last few years, evangelical Christian collectors and institutions in the US have forked over millions of dollars for a chunk of this archaeological treasure.

This angers Israel’s government antiquities authority, which holds most of the scrolls and threatens to seize any more pieces that hit the market. But William Kando, a member of the family that first sold the scrolls, isn’t worried. “If anyone is interested, we are ready to sell,” he says. Written mostly on animal skin parchment about 2,000 years ago, the manuscripts are the earliest copies of the Hebrew Bible ever found, and the oldest written evidence of the roots of Judaism and Christianity in the Holy Land.

Dead Sea Scrolls are currently located in the following collections:

— Israel Antiquities Authority (More than 10,000 scroll fragments)

— Shrine of the Book at the Israel Museum (Seven of the most complete Dead Sea Scrolls)

— France National Library (377 scroll fragments representing 18 scrolls)

— Amman Museum (fragments of 20 scrolls, including the Copper Scroll)

— Heidelberg University in Germany (four phylactery pieces)

— Franciscan private museum in Jerusalem’s Old City (two fragments)

— Terre Sainte Bible Museum in Paris (two scroll fragments)

— University of Chicago (one fragment)

— McGill University in Montreal (a few fragments)

— St. Mark’s Syrian Orthodox Cathedral in Teaneck, N.J. (fragments of three scrolls)

— Schoyen Collection in Oslo, Norway (115 fragments)

— Asuza Pacific University in Asuza, Ca. (5 fragments)

— Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Tx. (3 fragments)

— Green Collection in Oklahoma City, Ok. (12 fragments)

— Private collection of Spaer family, Jerusalem (2 fragments)

— Private collection of Kando family in Bethlehem, West Bank (the family does not reveal how many fragments remain in its collection, but estimates range between 20 and 40.)

Some fragments have gone missing, including three large fragments of the Book of Samuel and two pieces from the Book of Daniel which were stolen from the Rockefeller Archaeological Museum in 1966 during a tour of international diplomats. Their whereabouts are still unknown.

The Dead Sea Scrolls main collection is online here.



‘God Didn’t Want Me To Go Yet’

A Johannesburg Metropolitan Police Department (JMPD) officer who was shot in Wynberg during an attempted robbery told Eyewitness News on Thursday he felt lucky to be alive.

Joseph Gonani and his colleague were confronted by two men on Wednesday, who demanded the officers hand over their service pistols.

When Gonani refused he was shot twice before the men fled on foot into the Alexandra township.

Speaking from his hospital bed, Gonani recalled how he was accosted by the two men and ordered to hand over his gun.

But the JMPD officer said he was not going to let it go without a fight.

One of the suspects shot Gonani at close range, with one bullet hitting his arm and the other his chest, where he kept his ID book and badge in a pocket.

He believes his badge is what saved his life.

“All I can say is, somewhere, somehow, if God does not want you to go, you cannot go.”

Police were quick to arrest the two men in the township but were still searching for a third suspect.

Gonani thanked his colleagues for their swift reaction.



Church of England Unveils Plan for Women Bishops in 2015

Yahoo news:

The Church of England published a plan on Friday to approve the ordination of women bishops by 2015, a widely supported reform it just missed passing last November after two decades of divisive debate.

It said the new plan, outlined in a document signed by Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby and Archbishop of York John Sentamu, would be presented to the General Synod, the Church legislature, in July to begin the approval process.

The proposal would make allowances for traditionalists who oppose women clergy, a minority that blocked the reform at the last Synod meeting, but each diocese will have to have a bishop willing to ordain women to the priesthood, it said.

The issue pits reformers, keen to project a more modern and egalitarian image of the church as it struggles with falling congregations in many increasingly secular countries, against a minority of conservatives who see the change as contradicting the Bible.

“We are perhaps at a moment when the only way forward is one which makes it difficult for anyone to claim outright victory,” said Bishop Nigel Stock, chairman of the working group drawing up new proposals after the reform’s defeat last November.

“The Church of England should retain its defining characteristic of being a broad Church, capable of accommodating a wide range of theological conviction,” he said in a statement.

The mother church to the world’s 80 million Anglicans was thrown into turmoil when the reform won 73 percent support but failed because it fell four votes short in the House of Laity.

Legislation needs a two-thirds majority in the Synod’s houses of bishops, clergy and laity to pass. Because of the legislative process, Synod members had said it would take five years before the reform could come up for another vote…

Women already serve as Anglican bishops in Australia, New Zealand, Canada and the United States, but Anglican churches in many developing countries oppose any female clergy and are working together to shield themselves against such reforms.

Several Protestant denominations allow women clergy, including bishops, but the largest Christian churches – the Roman Catholics and the Orthodox – do not. The Church of England decided to allow celibate gay bishops in January, earning stinging criticism from traditionalist African Anglican leaders.

The new plan would allow conservative bishops to continue in office while opposing women’s ordination, but said “there should no longer be any dioceses where none of the serving bishops ordains women as priests.”

It also suggested that future appointments might be influenced by a bishop’s views on women clergy, saying that “many dioceses will want to insist that their diocesan bishop should be someone who ordains women”.

Well there you have it…



Faith Helped Woman Confront Woolwich Attackers

The woman who confronted the men who beheaded a British soldier in London this week credits her faith with giving her courage:

A mother of two who calmly confronted the Woolwich attackers on Wednesday has attributed her courage to her Catholic faith.

Ingrid Loyau-Kennet, a practising Catholic, told the Daily Telegraph: “I live my life as a Christian. I believe in thinking about others and loving thy neighbour. We all have a duty to look after each other. A whole group of people walking towards those guys would have found it easy to take those weapons out of their hands. But me, on my own, I couldn’t.”

Mrs Loyau-Kennet was travelling on the Number 53 bus through Woolwich in south east London on Wednesday afternoon when she saw a man lying in the road. She immediately got out to help him.

She said: “I took his arm to feel his pulse. There was blood on the pavement where he had been dragged and blood was pouring out of him. Suddenly this excited black man came up to me and said: ‘Get away from the body; don’t touch it.’ I looked up and I could see red hands, a bloodied revolver, bloodied meat cleaver and a butcher’s knife. OK, I thought, this is bad.”

After speaking to the first suspect, Mrs Loyau-Kennett asked the second suspect “if he wanted to sit down and give me what he had in his hands”.

Mrs Loyau-Kennet remained with the soldier, identified yesterday as Drummer Lee Rigby, despite an onlooker advising her to move away. She said: “I told her I wasn’t leaving; as long as I don’t see professionals here, I’m staying. He knows me; he knows I’m calm. I’m not afraid whatsoever. I’ll stay until something happens”…



Masonic Priest Removed

Good! This is the way you protect your Church from error. The BBC reports:

A Roman Catholic parish priest at an elite French ski resort has been stripped of his Church functions for refusing to renounce Freemasonry.

Father Pascal Vesin was ordered by his bishop to cease his work in the Alpine resort of Megeve, the parish said.

Bishop Yves Boivineau had warned Fr Vesin about his “active membership” of the Grand Orient de France lodge.

Freemasonry has been condemned as anti-Christian and anti-clerical by various popes through history.

Bishop Boivineau ordered the priest to cease his functions…

The principles of Freemasonry are simply irreconcilable with the doctrine of the Church and the Gospel of Christ, teaching a false plan of salvation.

I have posted on this dark esoteric cult before:

You cannot be a Mason and a Christian.