An Amazing Encounter - Printable Version

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An Amazing Encounter - DeanZF - 05-15-2007

We were privileged to spend a part of Sunday afternoon at an amazing exhibition here in Kansas City. It is a great exhibition touring the US this year, telling about the Dead Sea Scrolls, and actually displaying some fragments of the actual scrolls.

The exhibit is nearly a million square feet and handled about 120 people an hour shuffling them thorugh the whole exhibit. Three of us from this forum (plus a spouse of the other forumite) spent about 90 minutes total pouring over the materials. The pictoral history was excellent. The relating of the scrolls to the cultures in the region, the sharing of the science involved dating these materials to a very expectant and exciting era of Israel's history, and of course being able to be that close to "the real thing".

One comment was heard out of many mouths: "Dating these back to the time of Christ and seeing that those psalms and other scripture quotes from then are the same as they are now certainly corrects those who say that the Bible is full of errors that came from miscopying the manuscripts." Kind of a "Guess this shows them doubters!" moment. Smile

It was interesting to listen in on observant Jews and practicing Christians all marvelling at the photos and the scroll fragments. The one portion of a psalm scroll written in Hebrew was being read by an observant Jew within inches of my ear. I could hear the excitement in his voice, and the surprise expressed by one of the staffers. "You mean that you can really read that?" "Oh yes," he responded. "The letters are still the same 2000 years later."

Most of what was shown was actually in either Aramaic or in Greek, but a few other snippets were indeed in Hebrew. One portion was particularly interesting to me. We could see where the copyists had very carefully used a different pen, a different slant, and an entirely different style to render "The Name". The Essene community at Qumran where the scrolls were found were absolutely over the top in their pursuit of physical and spiritual purity.

They had all sorts of relics from the digs at Qumran and surrounding areas, showing the pottery, stoneware, wooden implements, melted glass vessels, coins, and more. It was AMAZING to see these time capsule items giving even further credence to the things that we already know by faith to be true.

If the exhibit comes anywhere near you, I highly recommend it. This is not a particularly religious experience. I don't know that you're going to come away in tears or have a life-altering experience, but it was fascinating for me, and certainly what I'd consider to be a once in a lifetime experience.