Question about the qumran scrolls and the book of Titus

Discussion in 'Other Christian Denominations' started by xdisciplex, Jun 1, 2006.

  1. xdisciplex

    xdisciplex
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    I heard that among the team which examined the qumran scrolls back then there was also an atheist who came to different conclusions that the rest of the team and then he was booted out of the team because the church did not allow anything to be published which would not benefit the christian faith and that in these qumran scrolls there shall have been hints that Jesus was indeed involved with the Essenes and that he got his message from them. Has anybody ever heard this? I heard that the atheist scientist and the rest of the team later on argued over different newspapers which each other.

    And I also have a question about the book of Titus. I read that they want to have found out that Titus was written long after Paul had already died and that this means Paul cannot have written it and that back then it was not uncommon that a writer would simply attribute his stuff to a famous person in order to get recognition. But if this is true then you cannot even know if paulinian letters were even written by Paul or not. :(
    How do you do deal with all this stuff? Does this not shake your faith in the bible at least temporarily? There are so many accusations out there it's impossible to have answers to all of them.
     
  2. genesis12

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  3. Scarlett O.

    Scarlett O.
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    Here's my answer to you, xdisciplex...

    Yes, there are accusations "out there" and yes, peoples' faith can be shaken.

    You see, part of the daily existence of human beings is trying to separate "truth" from lies, mistakes, sincere ignorance, sheer stupidity, deceit, and false teachings about everything.

    The answer to your question is found in the person of Pontius Pilate. His problem is the same problem of all of mankind.

    His problem is found in John 18:37-38.

    Like so many people today, Pontius Pilate was trying to found out the truth of who Jesus really was. So....he asked him....to his face and point blank.

    Pilate: "So...are you really a king, then?"

    Jesus: "You have said it. And this is why I was born and this is why I came into the world...that I should bear witness to the truth...Everyone that is of the truth hears my voice."

    Pilate: "What is truth?"


    xdisciplex, people struggle with accusations about God and accusations about the bible and accusations about Jesus, because they are ignorant of the truth.

    Jesus said that He was to "bear witness" to the truth. Jesus IS truth. God's Holy Word IS truth.

    Jesus also said in John that, "I AM the way, the truth, and the life."

    David said in Psalm 119 (which, by the way it all about the truth of God's Word) that he has chosen the way of "truth".

    Yes, there are accusations by the bucketfuls in this world trying to discredit God, discredit the bible, and discredit Jesus.

    But you cannot discredit "truth". No matter how hard you try.

    You can only accept it and embrace it or deny it.

    You can only trust it with all of your heart even when the whole world is telling you otherwise or you can have your belief system blown by the wind chasing whichever human philosophies catch your eye.

    Nonbelievers' attacks may flourish. Believers may quiver with shaken faith.

    None of that really matters.

    What matters is that Jesus is truth. God's Word is truth.

    Pontius Pilate did not know the truth and could not receive it when face to face with Him.

    How sad for the rest of the world that many are following in his path. Asking the question, "What is truth?", but never looking for the answer in plain sight of God's Word and His Son.

    And how sad that many believers chase the deceptions of the world trying to find the truth mixed in with the lies, and their bibles sit collecting dust on their nightstands.
     
  4. xdisciplex

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    But if I can't believe in the truth anymore then it also doesn't help me if Jesus is the truth.
    I mean the thing is simply this. When I hear all this stuff then I get scared and think what if we christians are simply naive and do not even know the latest research and everything and what if the bible which we accept as infallible not infallible and has been doctored or whatever and we simply sit there and accept it with "blind faith" and it's simply not the case? Isn't it the same with the KJVOists? They also believe that their bible is infallible and 100% correct while others say that the KJV has mistakes, too. So who is right? Being able to simply have blind faith in the bible makes life easier but what if you're wrong and simply don't know it?
    What if not all of these accusations are lies from the enemy but what if some of them are based on real research and facts? What if Titus really wasn't written by Paul and we christians simply deny all of this saying that this is a lie from Satan but what if it's not a lie from Satan?
    I mean isn't simply denying everything and not even wanting to hear it also "close-minded"? :confused:
     
  5. genesis12

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    Read 1 Corinthians 2:9-14. All scripture is spiritually discerned. You can flounder about asking endless questions or you can receive Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord AND THEN your eyes will be opened to the proper interpretation and understanding of scripture. OR you can stay scared to death all your life.

    It must be 2a.m. where you are............ is school out over there?
     
  6. Scarlett O.

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    You have way over-simplified my point.

    For example, I am not closed-minded. I am a science teacher who asks "why" way too much. I am a liberal thinker compared to most here on this board. I am a feminist who is constantly challenging the norms and established traditions. I question life. I do not blindly believe anything. I'm very skeptical about people and things.

    I've even been a little skeptical about you, by the way...

    But I am convicted that Jesus was telling the truth when He said that He is the Son of God and that He is truth. I am convicted that God is telling the truth when He says that his Word is to be trusted. My daily convictions lie in trusting the Holy Spirit when He is trying to teach me something about God's Word or convict me about my life.

    It isn't about building a fence around yourself and living life like a yoked mule with blinders on.....that isn't faith.

    It's about holding everything that you encounter and learn and investigate and inspect and reveal against the standard...THE standard of "truth".....and that's God, His Word, His Son, His love.

    It isn't about being Baptist or which version of the bible that you read or what kind of music does your church sing or any of the mundane ridiculousness that is debated on the board ad nauseum day in and day out....

    It's about trusting God....trusting His words to you.....trusting His love for you.

    Trust isn't blind. Faith isn't blind.

    They aren't emotions. They aren't belief systems.

    They are spiritual "muscles" that require exercise, proper feeding, and rest.
     
    #6 Scarlett O., Jun 1, 2006
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2006
  7. xdisciplex

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    What is this good for? Are you trying to scare me that I'm not saved because I don't understand the bible? Oh boy....

    @ scarlett

    Are you saying if you "train the muscle" enough you never get doubts anymore? I don't think this is possible. And after all how do you exercise faith?
     
  8. BobRyan

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    And in truth - you have a zillion things like this. It is as if you have said to yourself "I want to visit every lie and half-truth Satan can think of first - then if I can out think him on every issue - only then will I accept eternal life and flee the second death -- until then the jury is out".

    I am not sure you want to go one-on-one with the him "first".

    For me the "first step" is to go "one-on-one" with the Savior for a few years and "build a foundation that is informed, mature in Christ and can not be shaken".

    In the case of the premise of this thread "I do not think it is true" that honest true Christian believers in the first century "published under the name of John or of Paul" thus deceiving some into thinking Paul had written and were then "approved" for doing that by the saints and the Apostles.

    I think the falsehood of claiming that John or Paul was writing while in fact another person in another age is writing - came about in later centuries.

    The OT and NT books are all legit!

    In Christ,

    Bob
     
  9. Deacon

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    Questions about Qumran...

    The scrolls found at qumram were "Old Testament" stuff. Most of the team that has been studying them are Jewish, ...and its not unusual that a Jewish person might be an athiest (strange as that may seem).

    There is so many myths and deceptions surrounding the dead sea scrolls, I would be skeptical about much that you hear.

    The same goes for charges regarding dating of books.

    If there is one thing good that came out of the OJ Simpson debackle it is that we can demonstrate that information can be twisted in such a way as to confuse masses of people.

    ... and people who have a reason to believe something, probably will.

    Rob
     
  10. xdisciplex

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    Hi Bob,
    but how do you imagine this? Shall I lock myself in my room for a few years to protect myself from every lie out there? This is not possible. You are confronted with such things everywhere. Either on TV, the newspaper, the internet or even at the university. There is no way to escape it and the other question is is being totally sheltered really good? There are christians which are totally sheltered until they go to college and then they are confronted with all this stuff and it totally blows them away. When I imagine what would have happened to me if I, as a new christian, had been confronted with all this stuff which I have been confronted in all these years then most likely it would have totally blown me away.. :(

    @ Rob

    Yes, this is indeed true, there are lots of lies out there but the problem is that it always sucks when you are confronted with something and you cannot defend your faith. When somebody comes along and claims Titus was written by someone else and you cannot really say anything against it.
     
  11. Charles Meadows

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    There have been a number of theories advanced regarding the Qumran community and the scrolls. The prevailing one is that this was a secatrian, likely Essene, community. This view is held even by most liberal scholars. Other views include a Sadducean community (Lawrence Schiffman), a military outpost (Norman Golb), or even a storage/hiding place.

    There have been some wacky views like those of Robert Eisenman or Michael Baigent. But these have garnered almost no scholarly support. This was basically a Jewish community having nothing at all to do with Christians - especially since the scrolls likely date to about 100 BC.

    Regarding Paul's letters...

    Most liberals agree that Paul wrote Romans, 1&2 Corinthians, Galatians, 1 Thessalonians, Philemon, and Philippians. They would say that the others are all NOT of Pauline authorship, with the Timothy letters and Titus being written near the end of the first century.

    Many of these assumptions are based on vocabulary and style. It is true that it would not have likely been considered deceitful to pen a letter in the name of another if the circumstances were right. Paul (given his poor eyesight) may well have used different scribes to take dictation. This may be the case for several of the letters.

    But there is no proof either way really. It DOES come down to faith.

    Remember that most of the liberals and atheist/agnostic folks start with a presupposition that miraclulous things do not happen and that all religious phenomena have very natural nonmiraculous explanations. Of course they are going to doubt the Bible!
     
    #11 Charles Meadows, Jun 4, 2006
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 4, 2006
  12. Joseph M. Smith

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    As one who did campus ministry for 23 years, I know it is true that there are young people who are shaken when they go to college and hear ideas that are different from what they heard in church. But the answer is not to deny the ideas or to shut folks off from hearing them, but to expose the people of our churches, from high school age upward, to critical Bible study and to the fruits of modern scholarship. You do not have to agree with everything that is out there, but you can at least let people in on the fact that there are a variety of critical theories about various Biblical materials. I have done this for years, as a campus minister, then as a pastor, and now as an "ordinary" church member, and it really does help people when they see that they can consider issues objectively.

    Incidentally, it seems to me to be of relatively little importance who the author of a section of Scripture was. There is still truth in it. Titus, as well as I and II Timothy, have been challenged as not being Pauline because the language is different from the acknowledge Pauline material and because they seem to point to a church organization that is more advanced than what Paul's time would have had in it. But I have a friend who started his PhD work on the pastoral epistles in order to prove non-Pauline authorship, and in the process became persuaded that they were indeed Pauline!

    But, again, so what? Truth is truth no matter who utters it.
     

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