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DeadSea Scrolls And Mormonism — Part 5

Viewpoint on Mormonism / Bill McKeever
The Truth Network Radio
November 22, 2019 2:00 am

DeadSea Scrolls And Mormonism — Part 5

Viewpoint on Mormonism / Bill McKeever

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One examines the teachings of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints from a viewpoint when Mormonism is sponsored by Mormonism research ministry since 1979 Mormonism research ministry has been dedicated to equipping the body of Christ with answers regarding the Christian faith in a manner that expresses gentleness and respect. And now, your host for today's viewpoint on Mormonism hoping you're having a very pleasant Friday.

Welcome to this additional viewpoint on Mormonism on your host Bill McKeever Felder director Mormonism research ministry with me today is Eric Johnson. My colleague at MRM we are wrapping up our look at some books written by Mormon authors who feel that the Dead Sea Scrolls support, or at least hint to some unique Mormon teachings and unfortunately they don't give us a lot of primary sources that we can compare the wording that makes it very difficult. But you know what Eric unfortunately a lot of latter-day Saints don't even need that all they need to hear is that there is a parallel somewhere and that's good enough for them that I would caution you, if you're Mormon like that you need to look at this topic, especially much more deeply than that when a latter-day St. is talking with you and brings up the Dead Sea Scrolls and how that is evidence for Mormonism.

I think you need to ask, can you give me something specific to help you with that assertion because most latter-day Saints.

You say that have never even looked at this topic very deeply, and to the credit of the LDS general authorities, as well as most of the LDS scholars that we've researched in the past 30 years, you're not seeing them try to use this in the same way that Brown Abbott and CHF tried to do. I give them credit for that were not seen that officially, but you will hear this on the street and then be able to respond by asking further evidence and then show them that know the Dead Sea Scrolls do not support these ideas you'd mentioned the scholars and how we don't find Mormon scholars jumping on this bandwagon.

Let me read you a statement by Dr. Stephen E. Robinson professor at Brigham Young University and also the author of our Mormons Christians and believing Christ on December 7, 1991 there was an article in the Salt Lake Tribune and it was titled LDS scholars renew interest in mysterious Dead Sea Scrolls.

This is what Prof. Robinson said he said so far the plain and precious things have not been restored to us in the Dead Sea Scrolls. If Latter Day Saints would just get a good translation of the already published scrolls they would discover that the people of Qumran are not Latter Day Saints of former days know that certainly doesn't sound at all from what we are reading in books written by Eugene CH which of course is Mormonism the Dead Sea Scrolls, not body text or Dennis K. Brown in his evidences of the church, nor in Charles Abbott's book immersion in Mormonism that is a great quote and my hat goes off to a man that I don't necessarily agree with on most of what he says but I agree with them completely on this and if you go to our website MRM.org/Dead Sea Scrolls doctrine with hyphens in between the Dead Sea Scrolls doctrine you you can get to that quote and I think I would show that to any Latter Day Saints who tries to use the same arguments we've been talking about this week and show them that the people of Qumran are not Latter Day Saints of former days that not only was Stephen Robinson. Quite candid in his assessment of the Dead Sea Scrolls, but we also have Robert Millet Robert Millet is a very well-known Mormon apologist, but BYU will she made this interesting statement in an article that was titled during pure testimony was published in the religious educator number 11 number one from the year 2000 and its long so you have to pay attention, but I think it's very interesting the way that he says it so he tells a story, Millet writes, I was asked some years ago by a mission president to speak to his missionaries at a zone conference. We had a lovely gathering and a fine exchange of ideas. I was invited to stay for lunch and visit with the missionaries. I did a great deal of listening and learn much. One of the most interesting conversations revolved around a young couple who were being taught by the missionaries, but who were not progressing their golden people. One elder said ripe and ready for membership in the church. They just won't commit to be baptized. Several suggestions were made by the missionaries listening in fasting with them having the bishop meet with them intensifying the friendship and effort, etc. to all of which the first elder said.

We tried that, after a long pause, one elder spoke up. Have you given them the scrolls discussion. The first elder responded no. Do you think this would be a good time for the scrolls. Discussion sounds like the perfect time to me. The second came back now. I had never heard of the scrolls discussion. I was dying to know what it was. So I blurted out, what's the scrolls. Discussion the second elder looked quizzically at me and said Shirley brother Millet you've heard of the scrolls discussion. I indicated that I had not the scrolls discussion he said involves showing the people how the Dead Sea Scrolls proved the truthfulness of the church. I asked how do you do that well.

He replied, as you know, the Dead Sea Scrolls contain information about a group of Christians out in the deserts of Judeo. I said no they don't. The Dead Sea Scrolls were written by a group of hyper religious Jews.

He said oh I didn't know that then the elder followed up. Well, you do know that they had three presiding high priest at the head of their church. I indicated that the leaders of the group were ironic priests, not Melchizedek. He went on.

Well, there is much doctrine within the Dead Sea Scrolls that proves our church to be true. I commented that the scrolls were interesting historical documents, but did very little for us doctrinally.

The exchange went on for about 10 minutes. The elder providing what he thought to be airtight proofs and me trying to gently let him know that most of what he understood about the Dead Sea Scrolls was simply untrue.

I could see the frustration in his eyes.

He breathed a sigh and then concluded the conversation with well I'll just say this, the scrolls discussion has always worked perfectly for me.

I thought then and have sense about all the people who may have come into the church as a result of what they learned in the famous scrolls discussion I shuttered it makes you wonder this stuff gets around in the local word and unfortunately if you don't have a bishop that can curb the enthusiasm of some of these the full members in this congregation you can see why this could go all over the place and that's a great point and that's why on Monday what we talked about was we don't normally go after books like ones written by laypeople that were talking about here, but we thought it was important to maybe talk about this because, while the church isn't officially talking about the Dead Sea Scrolls and while they might not be talking that much about them as support for Mormonism at BYU.

It is what probably many Latter Day Saints are going to tell their Christian friends and others of how this support from Qumran is going to be a reason why they are to join the Mormon church and is totally false, though, even though the Dead Sea Scrolls would not really come to the aid of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.

As Christians we would say it certainly has come to our aid when we are trying to convince Mormons that our Bibles are worth trusting, that's one thing that we do fine. Our Bible from before the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls. We had the Masoretic text then we get the Dead Sea Scrolls and that takes us back about a thousand years, and what we discover in looking at that text and comparing the older Dead Sea Scrolls with the Masoretic text you're going to find that there is great accuracy in that thousand year period and that thousand year period could have been right for corrupt priests or transcribers or whatever, whoever were involved in transmitting that tax to be able to put their own thoughts into a race whatever they wanted to be able to make a whole new theology.

But what it did show the Qumran discovery. The Dead Sea Scrolls have helped us to say no. We have great authenticity with the Masoretic text from the 10th and 11th centuries. The earliest text we had before and we go before the time of Christ. Even the entire book of Isaiah and be able to show how accurate this is and even the prophecies. For instance, found in Isaiah written at least 125 years before Christ was even born to be able to have the verses that we have.

For instance, in Isaiah 53 the suffering servant. So many things that we have in Isaiah.

In fact, our friend Joe Kramer like to say if you're gonna find one book and complete form and Isaiah was the only book that was found in complete form. Then find the book of Isaiah. You'd mentioned earlier, the expression corrupt priests and that's a phrase that Mormon leaders have used in the past that somehow the established religion.

The Roman Catholic Church in the eyes of many. Latter Day Saints was somehow able to gather all the very many manuscripts in and make alterations and take out plain and precious truth. That's a phrase that Mormons often used that to me is one of the greatest conspiracy theories that could ever be concocted upon the earth. There is no possible way that they could have ever happened if your Latter Day Saints listening to us.

Please think through some of the things that you've probably heard in the local ward. If you think them through. Hopefully you will see there is no possible way that those conclusions can be true reject them reject any of this nonsense that there is somehow a comparison between the Dead Sea Scrolls and the Qumran community and Mormonism as it's understood today. There just is not that kind of a parallel, but if there's anything we learn from the scrolls. Our Bibles are worth trusting. Article 8 you believe the Bible to be the word of God as far as it's translated correctly will if you really believe that, then you should be trusting the Bible. I think what the Dead Sea Scrolls does along with the New Testament scholarship that we have, and especially in recent years, how much more has been found, but it shows that the Mormon leadership. Starting with Joseph Smith and right on through did not have any clue as to how accurate our Bibles are not in this series we been citing a note a couple of scholars one Jody Magnus, but another Dr. Randall, price, and I think we should in the show Eric with what Dr. Price has to say about the accuracy of the Old Testament text because I think it puts everything in perspective. He said every person with a cursory knowledge of the Dead Sea Scrolls has been told they are significant because they confirm for us the accuracy of the Old Testament text.

This is true, and it was one of the most obvious benefits derived from discovering the scrolls. I pray Latter Day Saints could understand clearly what Dr. Price is saying in that small little paragraph because it really shows that we do have a Bible that is worth trusting in again as we mentioned earlier, the Dead Sea Scrolls could not have been written any later than A.D. 68. That's when the Romans came in on the scene. Though many scholars feel that the scrolls were probably finished around A.D. 50, but there's no way you can date them any later than 8068 that we know Price also says this on page 126 of his book secrets of the Dead Sea Scrolls before the Dead Sea Scrolls were found.

The biblical text of the Old Testament was known only from a text dating to the middle ages. The earliest known complete Hebrew manuscript of the Old Testament was the Ben Asher codecs in the public library of Leningrad. This was our oldest copy of the Bible, dating to about 81,008 because of the vast amount of time that passed between the writing of the originals in the 10th century copy.

It was assumed that generations of scribes had entered mistakes of transmissions into the Bible text. These doubts were settled forever with one of the first scrolls discovered which was a copy of the entire book of Isaiah. Thank you for listening you would like more information regarding his research ministry. We encourage you to visit our website at www.mrm.org you can request a free newsletter Mormonism research. We hope you will join us again as we look at another viewpoint is did you know that this year marks the 40th anniversary of Mormonism research ministry. All of us and MRM want to thank those of you who have faithfully supported our efforts to educate the body of Christ about the differences between Mormonism and Christianity as well as sharing God's grace with the Mormon people. If you would like to give a special anniversary gift to further our reference herein. MRM simply click the donate button on our homepage and MRM.org your support. As always, is greatly appreciated


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