There's no way to see what's on the other side of your Mountain, until you climb it. And when you do... the view, is MAGNIFICENT!
The Spirit of Truth has been to the mountain top...
Jesus Said: A Disciples Devotion of the "Sayings of Jesus" commonly called the Sermon on the Mount. Approx 10minutes daily. Oswald Chambers, A.W. Tozer and a "few" other Classic and Modern Writers of Christianity took The Sermon on the Mount literal. ALOT of my own contemporary Jesus Generation Jesus Freaks including some famous ones do not. They "adapt it" even in some cases "watering its impact" to a mere metaphor of what Jeus changed the World with. Watch. You and God in You decide what Jesus Said.
This is the very first issue of this rare & private Live video of The Lord’s Prayer, originally composed by Albert Hay Malotte and rendered quite famous through Mario Lanza, who offered a wonderful & magic unforgettable interpretation of this aria in his movie “Because you’re mine”.
This new current version you’re listening shows an original musical arrangement for symphonic orchestra, piano, male chorus & solo voice. It was specially composed for and sung during the celebration of a marriage in Switzerland on July 31, 1999.
The Lord's Prayer, also known as the Our Father or Pater noster, is probably the best-known prayer in Christianity.
On Easter Sunday 2007 it was estimated that 2 billion Protestant, Catholic, and Eastern Orthodox Christians read, recited, or sang the short prayer in hundreds of languages in houses of worship of all shapes and sizes.
Although many theological differences and various modes and manners of worship divide Christians, according to Fuller Seminary professor Clayton Schmit "there is a sense of solidarity in knowing that Christians around the globe are praying together, and these words always unite us.
Two versions of it occur in the New Testament, one in the Gospel of Matthew 6:9–13 as part of the discourse on ostentation, a section of the Sermon on the Mount, and the other in the Gospel of Luke 11:2–4.
The prayer's absence from the Gospel of Mark (cf. the Prayer for forgiveness of 11:25–26), taken together with its presence in both Luke and Matthew, has caused many scholars who accept the Q hypothesis (as opposed to Proto-Matthean theory) to conclude that it is a quotation from the Q document, especially because of the context in Luke's presentation of the prayer, where many phrases show similarity to the Q-like Gospel of Thomas.
The context of the prayer in Matthew is as part of a discourse attacking people who pray simply for the purpose of being seen to pray. Matthew describes Jesus as instructing people to pray after the manner of this prayer. Taking into account the prayer's structure, flow of subject matter and emphases, many interpret the Lord's Prayer as a guideline on how to pray rather than something to be learned and repeated by rote. Some disagree, suggesting that the prayer was intended as a specific prayer to be used. The New Testament reports Jesus and the disciples praying on several occasions; but as it never describes them actually using this prayer, it is uncertain how important it was originally viewed as being.
There are several different translations of the Lord's Prayer. One of the first texts in English is the Northumbrian translation from around 650. The three best-known in English speaking groups are
The English translation in the 1662 Anglican Book of Common Prayer (BCP)
The translation of the English Language Liturgical Consultation (ELLC), an ecumenical body
The Latin version used in the Roman Catholic Church
In three of the texts given below, the square brackets indicate the doxology with which the prayer is often concluded. This is not included in critical editions of the New Testament, such as that of the United Bible Societies, as not belonging to the original text of Matthew 6:9–13, nor is it always part of the Book of Common Prayer text. The Roman Catholic form of the Lord's Prayer never ends with it.
Our Father, which art in Heaven,
Hallowed be thy Name.
Thy Kingdom come.
Thy will be done,
in earth as it is in Heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our trespasses,
As we forgive them that trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation;
But deliver us from evil.
For thine is the Kingdom, and The power, and the Glory,
Variants of the 1662 BCP version (first column) are also in use. In the 1928 edition of the Church of England Prayer Book, "which" was changed to "who," "in earth" to "on earth," and "them that" to "those who" and this version is widely known. The Eastern Orthodox Churches also use a modified version of this form of the Our Father in their English services. Some non-Christian groups, such as religious science sometimes use the prayer also, often with modified wording, such as replacing the word "evil" with "error."
Though Matthew 6:12 uses the term debts, the 1662 version of the Lord's Prayer uses the term trespasses, while ecumenical versions often use the term sins. The latter choice may be due to Luke 11:4, which uses the word sins, while the former may be due to Matthew 6:12 (immediately after the text of the prayer), where Jesus speaks of trespasses. As early as the third century, Origen used the word trespasses (παραπτώματα) in the prayer. Though the Latin form that was traditionally used in Western Europe has debita (debts), most English-speaking Christians (except Presbyterians and others of the Reformed tradition), use trespasses. The Established Presbyterian Church of Scotland follows the version found in Matthew 6 in the Authorized Version (known also as the King James Version), which in the prayer uses the words "debts" and "debtors."
Roman Catholics usually do not add the doxology "For Thine is the kingdom, power, and glory, forever and ever." However, this doxology, in the form "For the kingdom, the power, and the glory are yours, now and for ever," is used in the Catholic Mass, separated from the Lord's Prayer by a prayer, spoken or sung by the priest, that elaborates on the final petition, "Deliver us from evil." In the 1975 ICEL translation, this prayer reads: "Deliver us, Lord, from every evil, and grant us peace in our day. In your mercy keep us free from sin and protect us from all anxiety as we wait in joyful hope for the coming of our Savior, Jesus Christ."
All these versions are based on the text in Matthew, rather than Luke, of the prayer given by Jesus:
Matthew 6:9–13 (KJV)
After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in Heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in Heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.
Luke 11:2–4 (KJV)
And he said unto them, When ye pray, say, Our Father which art in Heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, as in Heaven, so in earth. Give us day by day our daily bread. And forgive us our sins; for we also forgive every one that is indebted to us. And lead us not into temptation; but deliver us from evil.
"Our Father, which art in Heaven"
The opening pronoun of Matthew's version of the prayer—our—is plural, which is viewed by many as a strong indication that the prayer was intended for communal, rather than private, worship. Together, the first two words—Our Father—are a title used elsewhere in the New Testament, as well as in Jewish literature, to refer to God. This is most likely the intent of the prayer.
"Hallowed be thy Name"
Having opened, the prayer begins in the same manner as the Kaddish, hallowing the name of God, and then going on to express hope that God's will and kingdom will happen. In Judaism the name of God is of extreme importance, and honouring the name central to piety. In that era names were not simply labels, but were seen as true reflections of objects' nature. Therefore, when the prayer seeks to hallow God's name, it was seen as equivalent to actually hallowing God. Hallowed is the passive voice and future tense, which to some makes it unclear how this hallowing is meant to occur. One interpretation is that this is a call for all believers to honour God's name. Those who see the prayer as primarily eschatological understand the prayer to be an expression of desire for end times when God's name, in the eyes of those carrying out the prayer, would be universally honoured.
"Thy kingdom come"
The request for God's kingdom to come is usually interpreted as a reference to the belief, common at the time, that a Messiah figure would bring about a Kingdom of God. Some scholars have argued that this prayer is pre-Christian and was not designed for specifically Christian interpretation. Many evangelicals see it as quite the opposite—a command to spread Christianity.
"Thy will be done, in earth as it is in Heaven"
The prayer follows with an expression of hope for God's will to be done. This expressing of hope can be interpreted in different ways. Some see it as an addendum to assert a request for Earth to be under direct and manifest divine command. Others see it as a call on people to submit to God and his teachings. In the Gospels, these requests have the added clarification in earth, as it is in Heaven, an ambiguous phrase in Greek which can either be a simile (i.e., make earth like Heaven), or a couple (i.e., both in Heaven and earth), though simile is the most common interpretation.
"Give us this day our daily bread"
The more personal requests break from the similarity to the Kaddish. The first concerns daily bread. What this means is slightly obscure, since the word that is normally translated as daily—ἐπιούσιος epiousios—is almost a hapax legomenon, occurring only in Luke and Matthew's versions of the Lord's Prayer, and in an Egyptian accounting book, with no other surviving written citations. Daily bread appears to be a reference to the way God provided manna to the Israelites each day while they were in the wilderness, as in Exodus 16:15–21. Since they could not keep any manna overnight, they had to depend on God to provide anew each morning. Etymologically epiousios seems to be related to the Greek word ousia, meaning substance. Early heterodox writers connected this to Eucharistic transubstantiation. Modern scholars tend to reject this connection on the presumption that Eucharistic practise and the doctrine of transubstantiation both developed later than Matthew was written. Protestants concur since they reject belief in transubstantiation. Epiousios can also be understood as existence, i.e., bread that was fundamental to survival. In the era, bread was the most important food for survival. However, scholars of linguistics consider this rendering unlikely since it would violate standard rules of word formation. Koine Greek had several far more common terms for the same idea. The usage of epiousios in the Egyptian papyrus is in the sense of for tomorrow. That is more clearly stated in the wording used by the Gospel of the Nazoraeans for the prayer. Therefore, the common translation is daily, a translation conveniently close in meaning to the other two possibilities as well. Those Christians who read the Lord's Prayer as eschatological view epiousios as referring to the second coming—reading for tomorrow (and bread) in a metaphorical sense. Most scholars disagree, particularly since Jesus is portrayed throughout Luke and Matthew as caring for everyday needs for his followers, particularly in the bread-related miracles that are recounted.
"And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive them that trespass against us"
After the request for bread, Matthew and Luke diverge slightly. Matthew continues with a request for debts to be forgiven in the same manner as people forgive those who have debts against them. Luke, on the other hand, makes a similar request about sins being forgiven in the manner of debts being forgiven between people. According to literal translation of the Greek, the debts are financial debts. However, in Aramaic, the word for debt can also mean sin. The difference between Luke and Matthew's wording could be explained by the prayer about which they were writing was originally written in Aramaic. It is generally accepted that the request is talking about forgiveness of sin, rather than merely loans. This is the traditional interpretation, although some groups read it literally as a condemnation of all forms of lending. Asking for forgiveness from God was a staple of Jewish prayers. It was also considered proper for individuals to be forgiving of others, thus requiring the sentiment expressed in the prayer would have been a common one of the time.
"And lead us not into temptation"
Interpretations of the penultimate petition of the prayer—not to be led by God into peirasmos—vary considerably. Peirasmos can mean temptation, or just test of character. Traditionally it has been translated temptation. Since this would seem to imply that God leads people to sin, individuals uncomfortable with that implication read it as test of character. There are generally two arguments for this reading. First, it may be an eschatological appeal against unfavourable last judgement, though nowhere in literature of the time, not even in the New Testament, is the term peirasmos connected to such an event. The other argument is that it acts as a plea against hard tests described elsewhere in scripture, such as those of Job. Yet, this would depart heavily from Jewish practice of the time when pleas were typically made, during prayer, to be put through such tests.
"But deliver us from evil"
Translations and scholars are divided over whether the evil mentioned in the final petition refers to evil in general or the devil in particular. The original Greek is quite vague. In earlier parts of the Sermon on the Mount, in which Matthew's version of the prayer appears, the term is used to refer to general evil. Later parts of Matthew refer to the devil when discussing similar issues. However, the devil is never referred to as the evil in any Aramaic sources. While John Calvin accepted the vagueness of the term's meaning, he considered there to be little real difference between the two interpretations, and therefore of no real consequence.
"For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen"
The doxology of the prayer is not contained in Luke's version, nor is it present in the earliest manuscripts of Matthew. The first known use of the doxology (in a less lengthy form) as a conclusion for the Lord's Prayer is in the Didache. In it are at least ten different versions among the early manuscripts before it seems to have standardized. Jewish prayers at the time had doxological endings. The doxology may have been originally appended for use during congregational worship. If so, it could be based on 1 Chronicles 29:11. Most scholars and many modern translations do not include the doxology except in footnotes. Nevertheless, it remains in use liturgically in Eastern Christianity and among Protestants. A minority, generally fundamentalists, posit that the doxology was so important that early editions neglected it due to its obviousness, though several other quite obvious things are mentioned in the Gospels.
A map of European languages (1741) had the first verse of the Lord's Prayer put in every language. Since the publication of the Mithridates books, translations of the prayer have often been used for a quick comparison of languages, primarily because most earlier philologists were Christians, and very often priests. Due to missionary activity, one of the first texts to be translated between many languages has historically been the Bible, and so to early scholars the most readily available text in any particular language would most likely be a partial or total translation of the Bible. For example, the only extant text in Gothic, a language crucial in the history of Indo-European languages, is Codex Argenteus, the incomplete Bible translated by Wulfila.
This tradition has been opposed recently from both the angle of religious neutrality and of practicality: the forms used in the Lord's Prayer (many commands) are not very representative of common discourse. Philologists and language enthusiasts have proposed other texts such as the Babel text (also part of the Bible) or the story of the North Wind and the Sun. In Soviet language sciences the complete works of Lenin were often used for comparison, as they were translated to most languages in the 20th century.
The Latin version of this prayer has had cultural and historical importance for most regions where English is spoken. The text used in the liturgy (Mass, Liturgy of the Hours, etc.) differs slightly from that found in the Vulgate and probably pre-dates it.
The doxology associated with the Lord's Prayer is found in four Vetus Latina manuscripts, only two of which give it in its entirety. The other surviving manuscripts of the Vetus Latina Gospels do not have the doxology. The Vulgate translation also does not include it, thus agreeing with critical editions of the Greek text.
In the Latin Rite liturgies, this doxology is never attached to the Lord's Prayer. Its only use in the Roman Rite liturgy is in the Mass as revised after the Second Vatican Council. It is there placed not immediately after the Lord's Prayer, but instead after the priest's prayer, Libera nos, quaesumus..., elaborating on the final petition, Libera nos a malo (Deliver us from evil).
Relation to Jewish prayer
There are similarities between the Lord's Prayer and both Biblical and post-Biblical material in Jewish prayer. "Hallowed be thy name" is reflected in the Kaddish. "Lead us not into sin" is echoed in the "morning blessings" of Jewish prayer. A blessing said by some Jewish communities after the evening Shema includes a phrase quite similar to the opening of the Lord's Prayer: "Our God in heaven, hallow thy name, and establish thy kingdom forever, and rule over us for ever and ever".
Malotte graduated from Tioga High School and sang at Saint James Episcopal Church in Philadelphia as a choir boy. He studied with Victor Herbert, W. S. Stansfield, and later in Paris with Gordon Jacob. His career as an organist began in Chicago where he played for silent pictures and later concertized throughout the US and Europe.
During World War II he held the rank of Captain in the Special Services for two years while he toured with the USO and entertained troops in New Guinea, Australia and Europe. At one point he sponsored his own troup of entertainers that included Judith Anderson, Ann Triola and Helen McClure Preister. Malotte was an amateur pilot, avid golfer and even boxed with Jack Dempsey in Memphis, Tennessee. He spent most of his career as a composer in Hollywood.
Malotte composed a number of film scores, including mostly uncredited music for animations from the Disney studios. Although two movies for which he composed scores won best Short Subject Academy Awards (Ferdinand the Bull in 1939 and The Ugly Duckling in 1940), he is best remembered for a setting of the Lord's Prayer. Written in 1935, it was recorded by the baritone John Charles Thomas, and remained highly popular for use as a solo in churches and at weddings in the US for some decades. He composed a number of other religious pieces, including settings of the Beatitudes and of the Twenty-third Psalm which have also remained popular as solos. His secular songs, such as "Ferdinand the bull" (from the Disney animated short of the same name), "For my mother" (a setting of a poem by 12-year-old Bobby Sutherland) and "I am proud to be an American" are less well remembered. Some of his works are collected in the library of the University of California Los Angeles and the Library of Congress.
In addition, Malotte wrote uncredited stock music for many other films in the 1930s and early 1940s, including twenty-two of the Disney Silly Symphonies and other shorts such Little Hiawatha as well as Ferdinand the Bull. He also composed cantatas, oratorios, musicals and ballets. Malotte owned Apple Valley Music.
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TV ad features Barack Obama mocking Bible
Candidate's 'Fight the Smears' site tries to bury video documentation
By Drew Zahn WorldNetDaily
A television commercial showing clips of Sen. Barack Obama mocking the Bible has prompted backlash from the candidate's "Fight the Smears" website, which falsely accuses the ad's creator of trying to scam Christians out of their money by promising to air a spot that will never be broadcast.
Under the heading "Scamming the faithful," Obama's official website says of the man who made the commercial, "The trickster's claims about Barack's faith are every bit as false as his claims that this amateurish video is really a TV ad."
WND has confirmed, however, that – true to his word – the ad's creator purchased air time for the commercial on television stations in the battleground state of Pennsylvania. Sources at WTAE-TV in Pittsburgh and a cable company servicing Erie told WND that the ad had been aired on several occasions.
Nonetheless, in an Oct. 3 update to "Scamming the Faithful," the Obama website maintains its attack of the commercial's creator, Stephen Marks of the organization pH for America.
"Nothing has changed here," reads the Oct. 3 update, "The scammer is still untrustworthy. … Making scams seem plausible is what tricksters like him are known for. In the end, he's even less credible now than he was when he first started taking people's money."
"It is ironic indeed," responded Marks in a statement, "that this so-called 'Fight the Smears' website (is) not fighting smears but creating them."
Marks insists that every dollar he has raised through his website and the appeal for support at the end of the ad "has gone to pay for the media buys and minimal production costs." Marks also claims that that pH for America purchased a television as a gift for the Obama campaign "so they can watch the TV and see the ads airing for themselves."
Marks told WND, "If this ad is seen by all the swing voters in all the key swing states, it would not only anger anyone who reads the Bible, but will make anyone who sees the ad re-think the Jeremiah Wright fiasco as well as Obama's remarks in April that 'small town America' is so bitter that they have to 'cling to their guns and religion.'
"Most Americans have thus far given Obama a pass on those two issues, but after seeing our ad, it will make many, if not most folks think, 'Now I finally understand why Obama would belong to such a radical church,' and 'Now I finally understand Obama's true contempt for people of faith regarding his 'cling to their guns and religion' remark," Marks said.
Obama's website claims that Marks deliberately edited clips of the candidate to make Obama look bad and that the commercials don't reflect the nature of the speech from which they were taken.
"With such a deceptive person behind this video, it's not surprising that everything he says about Barack is deeply dishonest and wrong, too," says the "Fight the Smears" website. "The video takes 5 sentences out of a 4,500-word speech Barack gave in 2006 completely out of context to stoke division and hatred."
The commercial features edited clips from a speech Sen. Obama made before a conference in Washington, D.C., June 28, 2006. The entire transcript of the speech can be seen here, but the immediate context is as follows:
Whatever we once were, we are no longer just a Christian nation; we are also a Jewish nation, a Muslim nation, a Buddhist nation, a Hindu nation, and a nation of nonbelievers.
And even if we did have only Christians in our midst, if we expelled every non-Christian from the United States of America, whose Christianity would we teach in the schools? Would we go with James Dobson's, or Al Sharpton's? Which passages of Scripture should guide our public policy? Should we go with Leviticus, which suggests slavery is ok and that eating shellfish is abomination? How about Deuteronomy, which suggests stoning your child if he strays from the faith? Or should we just stick to the Sermon on the Mount - a passage that is so radical that it's doubtful that our own Defense Department would survive its application? So before we get carried away, let's read our Bibles. Folks haven't been reading their Bibles.
The group pH for America is a 527 organization – so named for the IRS designation for such groups – created by Marks, a Republican political consultant who also created advertisements criticizing 2004 Democrat candidate John Kerry. The group's website boasts it "is hoping to become the 'Swiftboat' 527 organization of 2008," referencing the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, a 527 organization that created commercials widely credited with contributing to Kerry's defeat.
Evan Tracey, chief operating officer of Campaign Media Analysis Group, told CNN the appeal for money at the end of the pH for America advertisement, rather than an indication of "scamming" or "tricking" people, is common for 527 organizations trying to impress donors.
"Even though an ad buy might be small now, remember, these groups are auditioning right now for late donations to take these ads to a larger scope," Tracey said. "Remember, the Swift Boat original ad buy was less than $1 million and ran in only a handful of small media markets."
Marks echoed that strategy in a release announcing the successful purchase of air time for his group's commercial.
"Unlike other 527 groups who are funded by millionaires, ours has been funded by grass-roots blue-collar voters offended by the side of Barack Obama they see in our ad," Marks said. "We hope that as more folks see the ad, that we will eventually get help from more affluent contributors."
SAY THIS PRAYER: Dear Jesus, I am a sinner and am headed to eternal hell because of my sins. I believe you died on the cross to take away my sins and to take me to heaven. Jesus, I ask you now to come into my heart and take away my sins and give me eternal life. *******www.armyofgod****
In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus calls us to be the salt and light of the earth. It is only when Jesus is the Lord of our life that we become illumination and preservation in a dark and decaying world.
Sermon based on Matt 5:13-16.
Recorded Sunday, January 4, 2009, 11 a.m.
The New Testament is supported by more outside documentation than any other ancient writing. Regardless of your beliefs or experience there is a system for living and the example for perfection in the New Testament that is crucial to having an abundant and blessed life. Christians and non-Christians alike can only benefit from looking at what the Bible teaches. Join us as we continue a life changing, life altering and life giving, verse by verse study of the New Testament
THIS WEEK WE ARE CONTINUING TO EXAMINE THE GALILEAN MINISTRY OF CHRIST. THIS WEEK WE ARE LOOKING AT PARABLE OF THE DISCIPLES, JESUS HEALING THE LAME AT PASSOVER AND OTHER CONTROVERSY LEADING UP TO THE SERMON ON THE MOUNT. JOIN US WEDNESDAY OR FRIDAY NIGHT AT 7PM (GMT) at
In the Gospel of St. Matthew, the Sermon on the Mount is a compilation of Jesus' sayings, epitomizing his moral teaching. According to chapters 5-7, Jesus of Nazareth gave this sermon (estimated around AD 30) on a mountainside to his disciples and a large crowd. Matthew groups Jesus' teachings into five discourses, of which the Sermon on the Mount is the first.
That's the Bible in Bulgarian this time!
In the Gospel of St. Matthew, the Sermon on the Mount is a compilation of Jesus' sayings, epitomizing his moral teaching. According to chapters 5-7, Jesus of Nazareth gave this sermon (estimated around AD 30) on a mountainside to his disciples and a large crowd. Matthew groups Jesus' teachings into five discourses, of which the Sermon on the Mount is the first.
The Book Of Matthew Ebook.*******www.meadowssalesandmarketing****/matthew.htmlpromo 2The Sermon on the Mount, The lord prayer, text and high lighs of the book.
This DVD - Total Onslaught by Walter Veith - Part 2, takes a visual journey through ancient Palestine retracing the steps of the Master and highlighting His great teachings such as the Sermon on the Mount. The life and ministry of Christ, His birth, and death on the cross are portrayed in multimedia format in a thought-provoking study. You will enjoy this look in to the life of Christ.
*******SupremeMasterTV**** – Unlocking the Dead Sea Scrolls - P2/2. Episode: 1753, Air Date: 3 July 2011.
Welcome, cherished viewers, to the 2nd and final part of our program on the Dead Sea Scrolls, a famous collection of documents that were discovered in the 20th century.
We will continue our visit at the Dead Sea Scrolls Foundation in Jerusalem which takes care of the preservation, exhibition and publishing of the Dead Sea Scrolls. Also called the Qumran Scrolls for the name of the site near where they were found, these precious documents have even been regarded as the most important archeological finding of the 20th century.
They are by far the oldest existing scrolls of biblical scriptures studied in three of the world’s major religions: Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. Professor Emanuel Tov is a professor emeritus of the Bible at Hebrew University of Jerusalem and former editor-in-chief of the international Dead Sea Scrolls Publication Project.
Modern scholarship thinks that certain scrolls were written at Qumran and others were not written at Qumran but were imported to Qumran. I think we can know which, more or less, not exactly, which scrolls were written by the Qumran scribes. I think there was a Qumran scribal school.
So the people who lived at Qumran, the so-called group or sect, they wrote all the sectarian writings as I described a little while ago, sectarian writings that depict the life of the community. But many other writings were brought to Qumran.
What I depict in my mind is that the scrolls were brought there by the Qumran people as they moved out from the centers of society, say Jerusalem, and they went to the desert to live a spiritual life. So they took with them everything they owned, including scrolls.
Some believe that the people who wrote the scrolls belonged to the spiritual order of the Essenes. Could this be true? Professor Tov has concluded that it is. But Ms. Pnina Shor, the curator of the Dead Sea Scrolls Project of the Israel Antiquities Authority, has a different view.
In general, I can tell you that this group was ascetic. You know, they were very, very religious, and the idea of purification was very central to their way of life. Many scholars say that this group is not necessarily the Essenes, because nowhere in the scrolls is the name of the Essenes mentioned.
The only name we can give this group is what they called themselves. They called themselves in the scrolls the “Community,” they called themselves the Yachad. The Yachad means the community. And this is why it’s called the Community Rule.
In the caves at Qumran, ten fragmentary copies and one complete copy of the Community Rule of the Yachad group were found. The following is an excerpt from it in its English translation:
“No man shall argue or quarrel with the men of perdition. He shall keep his council in secrecy in the midst of the men of deceit and admonish with knowledge, truth and righteous commandment those of chosen conduct, each according to his spiritual quality and according to the norm of time.
He shall guide them with knowledge and instruct them in the mysteries of wonder and truth in the midst of the members of the community… He shall perform the will [of God] in all his deeds and in all strength as He has commanded. He shall freely delight in all that befalls him, and shall desire nothing except God's will...”
The writings of the New Testament, which comprise the last part of the Christian Bible, were written at the same time that some of the Dead Sea Scrolls were written. However, the Dead Sea Scrolls do not contain any of the gospels of the New Testament and do not mention the name of Jesus Christ.
Therefore, it cannot be assumed that the people who wrote the scrolls were early Christians. However, the spiritual group at Qumran and the early Christians shared some similarities. For example, one parallel to the Early Christians is that the scrolls of Qumran speak about the “Teacher of Righteousness,” a wise Master who was persecuted without real justification.
They have in common that they both call their new religion “The New Covenant,” or as we say now, “The New Testament.” The New Testament is a new covenant with God that replaces the old contract with God. And also, the Qumran people, Essenes, speak about the New Covenant. They share all kinds of ideas. They share the idea of immersion in water to clean the body and the spirit, named baptism in the New Testament with a Greek word.
They share the idea of common meals. They share the serving of God with prayer. They share the seeking for justice, the love for God. And we see very often the same types of phrases used in both places. The Sermon on the Mount has “the meek of spirit will come to me,” etc. There’s a section in one of the Qumran scrolls, co-called 4 Qumran 525 that is similar to the Sermon on the Mount.
In Judaism, it is not allowed to erase or damage the name of God in Hebrew. Jewish people also refrain from pronouncing God’s name in Hebrew. It is treated with great reverence. Ms. Elena Libman, head of the Dead Sea Scrolls laboratory, showed us a scroll where the scribe had accidently written it.
This is one part of a long scroll, psalm scroll, which is very interesting. There are two types of script here. A square type of script of the whole text, and sometimes you may see such a sort of another script, 4 letters actually. This one and this one. This is the name of God; four letters, Tetragrammaton in Greek, Yodh – He – Waw – He, four letters.
It was forbidden, and it is forbidden, to pronounce the name of God, and only these four letters are Hashem (reference to God) in Hebrew. They are written in this script which is actually the script of the First Temple [period].
And this is very touching. When the man who wrote the scroll made a mistake, he simply erased it, like this one or this one, or the letter or even the whole word. But in this case, the name of God was written here by mistake but it was forbidden for him to simply remove it. That’s why he put dots above, above the letters and on the bottom. That means for us, for you and me, don’t read it. It’s a mistake. It’s very touching, isn’t it?
We found in Qumran various commentaries on the books of the Bible. A special commentary is the one called Sharim Pesher [Pesharim]. And a Pesher is what we call a sectarian writing, namely, the so-called Pesher literature shows us the way the Hebrew Bible was viewed by the members of the Essene group.
And they wanted to show us that basically, the Hebrew Bible shows that the views of the Essenes are correct, and that they are themselves already mentioned in the Bible, because every time the Bible speaks about the good men, it speaks about them, for example. And if the Bible speaks about the bad men, then it speaks about their enemies.
The Dead Sea Scrolls give a clear picture of the spiritual values the people who wrote them, as well as their daily life and religious rituals.
The group that lived at Qumran talk a lot about their cleansing themselves, their body. And it’s true that on the spot, we found an enormous water system. This is a very dry area. And the water fell only in the winter and when it fell, it fell with an enormous speed and they collected the water in several water basins. The texts speak about it, that the people who lived on the spot had to clean themselves several times a day.
Really, the main things they talk about is learning the Bible, cleaning themselves and working and worshipping God. And the fact that they entered the water is not only a cleansing their body but also purifying their mind, and they appear more clean before their God. And this should be seen parallel to the baptism in the New Testament.
They lived a life of austerity and poorness, and for them, to be poor was a virtue. Like in the Book of Psalms, they said the poor people are the ones who can serve the Lord. So, they had a very intellectual life of working and learning and all this is reflected in the writings that have been found near the Dead Sea.
Next, Ms. Pnina Shor spoke to us about the digitalization of the Dead Sea Scrolls and the collaboration with Internet company Google to publish them online.
It was suggested to us by a professor for the Weizmann Institute to use spectral imaging to monitor the well-being of the scrolls. Now, spectral imaging was first developed for NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration), and one of their senior physicists, whose name is Craig Berman, is our consultant today for this whole project.
Once we decided to do that, we said, “Wow, if we’re going to image these scrolls, why don’t we do an overall project, whereby we’ll image all of the scrolls in the best possible resolution? In color and infrared and everything beyond infrared, which will then give us the best possible infrared images and those spectral images that we need for the monitoring?”
And then we said, “Okay, why don’t we add all the transcriptions, the translations, the bibliography, everything that we know about the scrolls? And since it is all published, and since this is mutual cultural heritage, why don’t we share it with the world?”
Soon, thanks to the meticulous expert endeavors, everyone will be able to view the Dead Sea Scrolls at home from one’s computer. They combine the millions of fragments to do the “ultimate puzzle” themselves!
The idea is that once we complete the imaging, you’ll have everything online. As I always picture it, it's like you can sit back in your couch at home and google any Dead Sea Scroll that you would like to see.
You'll be able to do the ultimate puzzle by taking the different fragments and trying to see if you don't like the reconstruction of the scholars, you can try and do it yourself.
Ms. Pnina Shor shared with us one of her favorite quotes from the Dead Sea Scrolls.
There's the famous Psalm, which says in Hebrew, “Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity.” In free translation, it says, “Behold, how good it is for brethren to sit together.”
With these uplifting words, we conclude our program on the Dead Sea Scrolls. Our sincere thanks and best wishes, Professor Emanuel Tov, Ms. Pnina Shor and Ms. Elena Libman for introducing the work of the Dead Sea Scrolls Foundation in preserving, deciphering and publishing these illuminating ancient documents.
Thank you, goodhearted viewers, for joining us today on A Journey through Aesthetic Realms. Up next is Our Noble Lineage, right after Noteworthy News. Please stay tuned to Supreme Master Television. May peace, love and wisdom be ever present in your life.
To find out more about the Dead Sea Scrolls, please visit: Dead Sea Scrolls Foundation: www.DeadSeaScrollsFoundation**** Israel Antiquities Authority: www.Antiquities****.il Prof. Emanuel Tov’s website: www.EmanuelTov.info