Friday, May 28, 2010

Beck calls to "put a time capsule ... in our children" like the Dead Sea Scrolls

when constantine decided that he was going to cobble together an army, he did the council of nicaea, right, pat? council of nicaea, and what they did is brought all of the religious figures together, all the christians, and they said, “ok, let’s put together the apostles’ creed, let’s, you know, you guys do it. and so they brought all their religious scripture together, that’s when the bible was first bound and everything else. and then they said, “anybody who disagrees with this is a heretic and off with their head!”

well that’s what the dead sea scrolls are. dead sea scrolls are those scriptures that people had at the time that, they said, “they are destroying all of this truth.” whether it’s truth or not is up to the individual, but that, at that time those people thought that this was something that needed to be preserved. and so they rolled up the scrolls and put them in clay pots and they, they put them in the back of caves. no one could find them. they were hidden scripture because everything was being destroyed that disagreed with the council of nicaea and constantine.

that’s what those things are.

first, i think glenn was meaning to say the nicene creed, not the apostles’ creed. the apostles’ creed, or at least a part of it referred to by a letter from the council of milan to pope siricius in 390 CE, is older than the nicene creed. not only that, but it does not share the same concerns as those addressed in the nicene creed (christology, pneumatology, etc.).

second, beck probably could not be more wrong about what the dead sea scrolls actually are. they are not various scriptures that were rejected by the council of nicaea and then hidden in caves. in fact, part of every book of the hebrew bible, except esther, has been found within the corpus of the dead sea scrolls. rather, the dead sea scrolls are a collection of texts with a jewish origin that were collected (and perhaps even written) by a particular group of jewish people who (may have) lived at the qumran settlement from around 150 BCE to around 67 CE .

third, it was not constantine from whom the scrolls were hidden. rather, it was most likely the roman empire of the mid-first century CE, hundreds of years before constantine, from whom the scrolls were hidden.

fourth, there is absolutely zero evidence that anyone at the council of nicaea was even aware of the texts that were found in and around qumran. for instance, there is no mention of sectarian texts, like peshar habakkuk or 4qmmt, at the council of nicaea. these and other types of texts (apocalypses, psalms, “re-written” bible, etc.) are all part of the qumran library and were not an area of contention at the council of nicaea.

to put it succinctly, glenn beck has no idea what he is talking about. he is simply making up history and pretending that it is the truth. if his recent infatuation with books romanticizing the assumed christianity of george washington wasn’t enough to convince you he was off his rocker, this type of non-sensical (and simply false) history lesson should do the trick.

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