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orion re: Altman & Crowder

I snipped the following from the article we were recently directed to, in
order to pose a question.

"At the start of their relationship, Altman told Crowder the scrolls might
not be ancient. Crowder asked: "What does it matter to Joe Six Pack? Why is
anybody really going to care?"  Altman answered: People should care because
the scrolls are changing the Bible itself."

My question- how exactly are the scrolls changing the Bible?  They are, in
my estimation, shedding very useful light on a segment of Judaism in the
first c. CE; and they do give us very ancient evidence of the text of the
Bible as it existed in one small corner of Palestine. But to suggest that
they are changing the Bible does not, to me, make any sense.
Further, Altman's dating of the scrolls is perfectly impossible.
Paleographically, and textually, there is no basis at all for his suggestions.
Small wonder that the Medieval Church discussed issues in Latin so that the
common folk would not be carried away by ludicrous and dangerous ideas
gained from a snippet here and a sample there.  Perhaps a return to latin as
the language of scholarly dialogue today would be most helpful to the very
lay folks who are affected by press releases.


Jim West
Adjunct Professor of Bible
Quartz Hill School of Theology