Accuracies and Inaccuracies of Glenn Beck’s Comments on the Dead Sea Scrolls

What he got wrong

What he got right

How is that for fair and balanced?

About mattdabbs
I am a minister, husband, and father. My wife and I live and minister in Saint Petersburg, Florida. My primary ministry responsibilities include: small groups, 20s and 30s, involvement, and adult education.

12 Responses to Accuracies and Inaccuracies of Glenn Beck’s Comments on the Dead Sea Scrolls

  1. Jerry Starling says:

    I didn’t hear Glen Beck’s comments, but they are ludicrous. But, what can you expect from a guy who believes Joseph Smith actually translated Golden Plates with aid of a stone through which he read the absolutely correct translation of Scriptures from ancient America in the exact words (much of it) of the King James Version.

    Jerry, CommittedToTruth.WordPress.com

  2. David says:

    You miscounted (or the other guy did). There are 72 books in the complete Bible.

  3. David says:

    Yeah, I think you’re missing Baruch, Wisdom, Sirach, 1 and 2 Maccabees, Tobit, parts of Esther, Judith, and parts of Daniel. They were part of the original canon, what made you folks remove them?

  4. David says:

    I have read at least some of all of them. Shepherd of Hermas, also. The difference, when considering New Testament Canon, was that Shepherd of Hermas was not written by one of the Apostles, or a direct representative of the Apostles, since the indwelling of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost. That was the test of those chosing the canon of Scripture. When it came to the Old Testament, it was the Septuagint. You may say that the Jews didn’t consider the Septuagint canonical, but I say very true! They didn’t have a canon either until at least AD100, and that after they knew what Christians were using.

    • mattdabbs says:

      Actually it was AD 90 at Jamnia when the OT canon was finalized. It is true that some manuscripts of the LXX included some of the books you are talking about, so one could argue they were part of the OT in the Bible’s 1st century Christians had at their disposal. By 100 AD are you referring to Judas and Josephus’ recording of 24 & 22 books in the OT?

      • David says:

        According to the Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church, the “council” in Jabneh in 90 was not even an “official” council with binding authority to make such a decision:

        “After the fall of Jerusalem (A.D.70), an assembly of religious teachers was established at Jabneh; this body was regarded as to some extent replacing the Sanhedrin, though it did not possess the same representative character or national authority. It appears that one of the subjects discussed among the rabbis was the status of certain biblical books (e.g. Eccles. and Song of Solomon) whose canonicity was still open to question in the 1st century A.D. The suggestion that a particular synod of Jabneh, held c. 100 A.D., finally settling the limits of the Old Testament canon, was made by H. E. Ryle; though it has had a wide currency, there is no evidence to substantiate it” (ed. by F. L. Cross and E. A. Livingston [Oxford Univ. Press, 861], emphasis added).

        Isn’t it interesting that the Jews did not have a “closed canon” of Scripture during the time of Christ, before 100, or even after Jabneh? Even during the time of Christ there were competing opinions on what books actually belonged in the Jewish Bible. There were various collections in existence. Sadducees and Samaritans accepted only the Pentateuch, the first five books, whereas the Pharisees accepted a fuller canon including Psalms and the prophets. The Masoretic text did not contain the deuterocanonicals, whereas the widely used Greek Septuagint did.

        This uncertainty continued well into the second century. The discussion over the books of the canon of the Old Testament continued among the Jews long after Jabneh, which demonstrates that the canon was still under discussion in the third century—well beyond the apostolic period. The challenges to canonicity at Jabneh involved only Ecclesiastes and the Song of Solomon, but the debate over the canon continued past Jabneh, even into the second and third centuries. Even the Hebrew canon accepted by Protestants today was disputed by the Jews for two hundred years after Christ.

        So, although Christian authors seem to think in terms of a formal council at Jabneh, there was no such thing. There was a school for studying the Law at Jabneh, and the rabbis there exercised legal functions in the Jewish community.

        -Not only was there no formal council, there is no evidence that any list of books was drawn up at Jabneh.

        – A specific discussion of acceptance at Jabneh is attested only for the books of Ecclesiastes and the Song of Solomon. Even so, arguments regarding these books persisted in Judaism centuries after the Jabneh period. There were also subsequent debates about Esther.

        – We know of no books that were excluded at Jabneh. In fact, Sirach, which was read and copied by Jews after the Jabneh period, did not eventually become part of the standard Hebrew Bible (cf. Raymond Edward Brown, Joseph A. Fitzmyer, and Roland Edmund Murphy, The Jerome Biblical Commentary [Prentice-Hall, 1996, c. 1968], vol. 2, 522).

        You can read this entire article at http://www.catholic.com/thisrock/2004/0409fea4.asp

  5. David says:

    I’m sorry I took this off on a tangent, so I won’t go on with it. The topic was Glenn Beck, not the books of the Bible.

  6. K. Rex Butts says:

    I did not hear Glenn Beck’s comments on the Dead Sea Scrolls because I don’t listen to him (or anyone who resembles a noisy gong) and I don’t understand why other Christians listen to him and these other so-called political experts.

    Stop listening to the Glenn Beck’s of our culture and start listening to God.

    Grace and peace,

    Rex

  7. WesWoodell says:

    Nearly every time this fellow touches anything near the realm of biblical studies he proves himself foolish.

    I’m with Rex and don’t pay attention to him.

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