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orion Isaiah 7:11
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On Dec. 18, Greg Doudna replied to a comment of mine. I did not intend to
overlook his remarks and would like to thank him for taking the time to
answer and to apolgize for taking so long in getting back..
> I recall no one really dispensed with the "mother of God" reference we
> heathens stumbled upon at 7:11 in the Isaiah scroll, especially after the
> message from the writer ... who said two 12 year olds had easily read
> it that way. Are we stupid to ask who could possibly have been writing
> about the mother of God in 200 BCE?<
>>Not stupid to ask the question, but perhaps consider listening to an
>>answer? I looked at your reference and it is a simple, routine
>>instance of error correction. There are hundreds of others like it
>>in 1QIsa(a) and a comparable incidence in other Qumran texts. These
>>are errors and corrections of errors based on a scribe copying, word for
>>confusing a word either graphically by sight or phonologically, as in
>>this case, by sound, and then the error being caught in a
>>proofreading and corrected. If you will look at the photo of that
>>letter you can see the correction. It is legitimate to ask in
>>any individual case which way the correction went. That is a
>>text-critical issue asked of any correction or unusual reading. This
>>correction is _obviously_ in the direction of the reading attested in
>>MT, LXX, etc. etc. to the word "with" rather than "mother" of God.
>>This crackpot notion that Catholic theology was being written into this
>>text or edited in by a later correcting scribe suffers from the
>>observation that if this were the case, you would have more examples
>>of such tendentious corrections or variants in 1QIsa(a), i.e. demonstrate
>>a pattern not explicable as coincidence or scribal error, but there is no
>>such pattern. Is this helpful in what you were seeking?
Yes, 7:11 is a correction, but this is not your common scribal error.
And in light of some of the questions I think we've raised, the door is
open to a different interpretation. Obviously, this wasn't given a second
thought by anyone for 50 years.
Tov referred to the reshaping of letters in 7:11 in his work on scribal
markings, and casually dismissed the "mother" reading. But there are
problems with Tov's reading and, we believe, Doudna's.
Stephen Reynolds, PhD in Hebrew from Princeton, said in a report to
"In Isaiah 7:11, it is true that instead of a mem ayin mem, which we
would expect and which the editor claimed is there, the letter aleph is
clearly there in place of ayin."
Reynolds also says of the third letter: "If it is a bet ... Isaiah is
asking Ahaz to ask a sign of the father thy God. This would never have been
written by a Jew ..."
In an article by Altman suggesting Christian hands on the scrolls, he
quoted one of the best European trained Hebrew paleographers as saying,
"It looks like somebody wrote and corrected it. ... There is a possibility
that someone corrected it to fit his own religious beliefs. The change was
made after Christianity became prominent. We cannot think anything like
this would appear before 90 AD."
There are other examples in Isaiah where readings of the text and of the
marginalia were pushed to conventional translations and transliteration
without notation, including a few interesting ones by Tov about which we
will have more to say later.
The issue of the apparent Chinese in Isaiah and other scrolls is far
from settled says Victor Mair and other sinologists. I know Greg doesn't
like questions about dating that suggest Isaiah and other scrolls are
later, but that is the question the Chinese would raise -- if it is
Chinese, of course
More examples from Altman's article:
"Since 1950, it has been acknowledged that there are 11 X’s on the
Isaiah Scroll. The late Professor J.L. Teicher of Cambridge held that the
X was an abbreviation for "Christos." The Xs also correspond to passages
widely recognized as prophecy about the coming Messiah, lending credence to
the theory that those marks were made in the Christian era.
" ' Isaiah chapters 42:1 and 42:6 are clearly Messianic passages that
speak of Jesus, and the Xs here relating to him are an extremely important
discovery,' said Dr. Philip Comfort, former professor of Greek and New
Testament at Wheaton College and senior Bible editor at Tyndale Publishing
"This author (Altman) discovered a 12th X at the start of Isaiah 7:14
that deals with the virgin birth of Messiah."
If the presence of "mother" at 7:11 represents a crackpot Catholic
notion, then there is another three verses later at 7:14 that refers to the
son of the "alma" -- a word that clearly means "virgin" in each of the six
other times it is used in the OT.
Altman cites other examples from Isaiah:
"In Isaiah 53:1, the Hebrew word "al" was changed to "EL," which can mean
God. Could it be
that the scribe was implying the Messiah was God? In verse 9, the scribe
added a word that can be translated "awaken," which Biblical scholars say
implies resurrection. In verse 11, the word "light" was added."
Greg said if 7:11 reads "mother of God" the there would be "more examples
of such tendentious corrections or variants..."
We think there are plenty.