March 25, 2016

(VIDEO) Simcha Jacobovici: “Jesus discovered in Dead Sea Scrolls”

Simcha JacoboviciRebel Blogger

My investigation into The Dead Sea Scrolls has just premiered on CuriosityStream, launched by John Hendricks, founder of the Discovery Channel. I believe my investigation sheds new light on The Dead Sea Scrolls, which are arguably the most famous archaeological artifacts ever found.

The Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered between 1946 and 1956, first by Bedouin goat-herds and then by archaeologists, in caves on the shores of the Dead Sea, next to the ancient settlement of Qumran.

The find caused an immediate sensation because the scrolls are a sort of ancient library, stored in clay vessels, that include the oldest manuscripts of the Hebrew Bible ever uncovered. Scholars have dated the scrolls from approximately 200 BCE to 70 CE (the date of the destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans at the end of the Great Jewish Revolt (66-73 CE)). Meaning, some of the scrolls were written and/or copied during the lifetime of Jesus of Nazareth.

From the moment of their discovery, some scholars suggested that at least some of the scrolls may be the work of early Christians. After all, a certain “Teacher of Righteousness” is mentioned as a persecuted figure and there is also a “Wicked Priest” and other characters that seem to mirror early Christianity. Most scholars, however, have dismissed any connection between the community that hid their scroll library some 2,000 years ago in caves at Qumran and the earliest followers of Jesus. Now, I’ve made a discovery that may change all this. Put simply, I believe that one of the fragments called by scholars by the very unappealing name of “4Q541” explicitly refers to Jesus.

I was first drawn to this fragment by the authoritative translation of The Dead Sea Scrolls by Florentino Garcia Martinez (1996, Brill). In fragment 24, column 2, the scroll refers to someone called “The Dove”. The writer of the scroll asks that the dove’s followers “not mourn for him”. And he further says; “do not bring the nail near him”. Given that Jesus is often identified with a “dove” (e.g., Matthew 3:16, Luke 3:22), and the Gospels explicitly refer to the “nails” of the crucifixion (e.g., John 20:24) and also to the “mourning” of his followers after the crucifixion (e.g., Luke 24:17), it seemed reasonable to me that “4Q541” may be referring to Jesus. So I looked up Martinez’s more complete “Study Edition” of The Dead Sea Scrolls (1997, Brill), which also supplies the Aramaic original, to see what I could learn. I learned a lot.

I learned that Martinez must have been nervous about the original reference to “the nail” and changed his translation. In the new edition, Martinez translated the Aramaic “Tsatsa” i.e., “nail”, as “nighthawk”. More than this, in the same section, I discovered – untranslated! – the word “[T]alia” – “cross” or “crucifixion” in Aramaic! Granted, the letter “Taf” i.e., “T” was missing in Martinez’s version of the original, but it sure seemed coincidental that a possible reference to the crucifixion was in the same fragment that I now believed was referring to Jesus. What was this all about I asked myself? Why were words being retranslated or not translated at all? Were scholars worried about finding Jesus in any ancient texts other than the New Testament?

I got access to the original fragment in the vaults of the “Shrine of the Book”, which is part of the Israel Museum. With the naked eye, I could clearly see part of the “Taf” in Talia/crucifixion. The word “Tsatsa” was also very clear. I interviewed Dead Sea Scrolls scholar Dr. Alexey Yuditsky and he told me that even though “Tsatsa” in the Syriac Aramaic spoken in Israel at the time of Jesus meant “nail”, it did mean “a bird of prey” like a “nighthawk” in an obscure text of Persian and Aramaic. He also said that scholars prefer not to translate “Talia”/crucifixion because the first letter of the word is not clear. When I pointed out that many words in The Dead Sea Scrolls are translated even though they are missing a letter, he shrugged and said, “depends on the word.”

So now I became really suspicious.

At this point, my investigation took me to the translator of the official translation of The Dead Sea Scrolls, Professor/Father Emil Puech from the Ecole Biblique in Jerusalem. I brought up the issues concerning the words “Talia” and “Tsatsa”. Father Puech is aware of the hesitation to translate the plain meaning of the words. As far as he is concerned, he is sticking to his authoritative first translation, which I now learned refers to both the nail and a crucifixion. From Puech’s perspective, there is no need to translate “Tsatsa” by reference to Persian Aramaic and there is no need to leave the word for crucifixion out of the translation. “There is enough left of the letter Taf to make the word ‘Talia’ very clear.”

But then Professor Puech surprised me. He said that “dove” was the natural translation of the Hebrew/Aramaic word “Yonah”, which appears in the text, but he preferred to translate it as “agitator” because, after all, the “dove” in early Christianity refers to Jesus. In other words, by his own admission, Puech purposely fudged the translation so that the reference to Jesus would be lost. Why did he do this? According to Father Puech, by definition, “The Dead Sea text can’t be referring to Jesus.”

So what are we left with? We are left with a text where some scholars are leaving out the “cross/crucifixion” word altogether, while others are substituting “nighthawk” for “nail”. At least one scholar substituted “agitator” for “dove”, based on his preconceived ideas about the content of The Dead Sea Scrolls.

The final stop in my investigation was at the offices of Dr. Robert Deutsch. When it comes to ancient texts, he is considered by many the number one Aramaic and Hebrew epigrapher in the world. What does this text say, I asked? Without hesitating, Dr. Deutsch answered; “It seems that this is a text written by the followers of Jesus after the crucifixion. They are telling each other not to focus on the ‘nail’ and the ‘crucifixion’ as ‘their enemy’ does, and not to overly ‘mourn’ their loss but, rather, to focus on the ‘eternal light’,” mentioned at the end of the fragment.

It’s too early to tell who the “enemy” referred to in the text is or what the message of the text is. What is certain, however, is that if fragment “4Q541” is referring to Jesus then, maybe, some of the other fragments are also referring to him. Based on this investigation, perhaps it’s time to reexamine The Dead Sea Scrolls and their translations.

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commented 2016-03-27 11:55:49 -0400
Edwrd Jobin said, “If scientists wish to reject the existence of Jesus because of lack of the lack of physical evidence than they are required to reject all other historical figures for whom there is much less tests or writings but no physical remains.”

Yes, that is because they go out of their way to reject the existence of Jesus and His teachings. No amount of evidence is enough if they do not want recognize it as valid.
commented 2016-03-27 10:13:18 -0400
Dirty Harry commented “I don’t believe in God. I believe in nature. Shit happens. Call it Mother Nature or Climate Change”.

So you do believe in a god – but not in God [YHWH (Yahweh), Adonai (My Lord)].
You, by your own admission, are a paganist.

Pagans – see the divine as immanent in the whole of life and the universe – in every tree, plant, animal and object, man and woman and in the dark side of life as much as in the light. Pagans live their lives attuned to the cycles of nature, the seasons, life and death. (Pagan deities symbolize aspects of nature or human nature.) Nature is seen as female – the Goddess, called Mother Earth or Gaia she is seen as the creator and sustainer of life, the mother of us all which makes all the creatures on the planet our siblings. (Mother Nature by definition is the same as Mother Earth). My guess since you make reference to “Climate Change” you would probably fit under the category of Neopaganism (modern people connecting with nature, using imagery and forms from other types of pagans, but adjusting them to the needs of modern people).

“Christ may have tried to convince people that he was telling them what his “father” wanted them to do and how to live but I see him as a manipulator rather that be in a good way or a bad way.”

From that statement it would be safe to assume that you have not read the New Testament nor any gnostic texts nor studied Church History/Ancient History for if you had some actual historical gleaning from those writings and texts/courses you would not surmise that Christ was a manipulator. Only one central figure of the major religions can be categorized as “manipulative” – Muhammad was a warlord where force/intimidation/manipulation was his modus operandi. Jesus on the other hand came from humble beginnings, similar to that of a professor [of sorts] he preached/taught/healed the sick, if his words fell on deaf ears then so be it, he did not force or con or manipulate. If you want to claim Jesus was manipulative you err greatly, you can only lay that claim (thought) at the foot of the first official pontiff (see formation of the Church) after Jesus’s death [and resurrection].

Online quick info regarding the military prowess of their prophet Muhammad.
commented 2016-03-27 09:20:24 -0400
It strike my interest that Jesus and his story is still so important in our faith as Christian, hope we keep it as sacred as it is, and keep protecting that holy parchment, from you know , who .
commented 2016-03-27 02:04:42 -0400
I agree with Tom Green. Sean is an asshole. But also I agree that Christ lived. I do not think he was the “son of God” however. I don’t believe in God. I believe in nature. Shit happens. Call it Mother Nature or Climate Change. It happens naturally and without any intervention of some great being. Christ may have tried to convince people that he was telling them what his “father” wanted them to do and how to live but I see him as a manipulator rather that be in a good way or a bad way. Maybe just a crazy guy like we get here in the west. Back then there were people willing to follow him based on their own ignorance.
commented 2016-03-26 23:48:35 -0400
If memory serves the spelling of God in Judaic usage is G-d, meant to be respectful.
commented 2016-03-26 23:32:57 -0400

Why didn’t you say ‘God’? I think we are so conditioned to being passive about our love of God that we are sometimes afraid to actually say it.
Because you are right Tony. God does exist and the sad part is that some people choose to spend their lives in the shallow end of the pool rather than venturing into the deep end; because it is just easier to do so.
commented 2016-03-26 22:56:47 -0400
God indeed does exist but that is not the end of discussion, but rather that is the beginning of all discussion, all hymns, all celebrations as well as meditative thoughts and prayers. The fact of existence is the starting point for all discussion and study.
commented 2016-03-26 22:38:23 -0400
G-d exists…end of discussion.
commented 2016-03-26 22:25:43 -0400
If you notice, in the text they refer to BCE and CE (before Common Era and Common Era), rather than BC and AD.
This is how the modern day secularism eliminates ‘Christ’ from our daily vocabulary.
That’s how it starts, with simple little changes.
commented 2016-03-26 20:21:46 -0400
Tom Green have you read the bible?
commented 2016-03-26 20:18:31 -0400
Sean …you sound a tad extreme in your views.another ranting socialist
commented 2016-03-26 19:10:00 -0400
Sean Penson commented
“Religion is a violent opiate of the masses …”

No Sean, you got it backwards yet again, no doubt intentionally to try to get a rise out of the readers. You know full well that it cannot truthfully be stated that ALL religion is a VIOLENT opiate of the masses. There is only ONE “religion” that could and is categorized under that blanket statement of yours – Islamic attacks are done in Allah’s name on a regular basis worldwide. As Chretien, a previous leader of your party and Canada stated before: “A proof is a proof. What kind of a proof? It’s a proof. A proof is a proof, and when you have a good proof, it’s because it’s proven.” And it has been proven time and again that ONLY Islam is a violent religion because they refuse to leave the 7th century mentality behind and reform.

“…. always concerned about so-called after life.”

Only partly correct there Sean. But again Islam is the only religion today concerned with the after-life infinitum (their visions of virgins dancing like sugarplums in their heads). It was the Catholic Church and the Popes of old that concerned themselves with the afterlife in the form of Indulgences which was a financial scam to bring coin in. The Protestant Reformation that followed Luther’s Disputation on the Power and Efficacy of Indulgences (The 95 Theses) back in 1517 put a stop to that. Since Luther’s time Christians do not obsess over the afterlife for we know in our hearts that through Christ we are saved. Christ did the work so there is no need for us to earn it. But the same cannot be said for Islam – the adherents must continually strive for perfection, Ayaan Hirsi Ali speaks of this in her books (there is also a portion of one of her speeches online that covers this topic).

“and time to banish such superstitious mythologies to the dust bin. This rubbish is what fuels extremism”

Sigh, once more from the top Sean, only Islam is the religion of “extremism” in today’s society globally due to the fact they refuse to leave their 7th Century mentality behind and reform. I wonder, would you have the nerve to walk into a mosque and state that sentiment loud and clear so all would hear to the attendees gathered at that mosque?
commented 2016-03-26 18:51:07 -0400
Sean you’re an asshole!
commented 2016-03-26 17:48:22 -0400
Religion is a violent opiate of the masses, and it doesn’t do anything for today; always concerned about so-called after life. It’s the 21st century, and time to banish such superstitious mythologies to the dust bin. This rubbish is what fuels extremism
commented 2016-03-26 17:04:57 -0400
Should send a copy to McLean’s
commented 2016-03-26 14:25:08 -0400
I’m an Atheist but the existence of Christianity is well evidenced but doesn’t prove anything. People believe in religions for lots of reasons and in fact Christianity had to evolve which is by man. The Bible was just as violent as Islam which hasn’t evolved. They are the result of the times and needs of the people.
commented 2016-03-26 12:16:58 -0400
Yes, Canadian Mongrel, the common charge against Jews and Christians is that we are just Bronze Age mythologists. Yet even the non-believers cannot explain why there is no evidence of, say, agriculture beyond 9-10,000 years ago, or why man is light-years ahead of all other creatures, or how there is no empirical evidence whatsoever to support Darwinism. Etc. Our belief in God and Jesus does not depend on physical evidence, even tho it is there in abundance. It depends on faith in God. God will not allow his revelations to go into corruption. Interesting, too, that very final verse in the gospel according to John. The Easter season is so important; great to see some people reading this article by Mr Jacobovici.
commented 2016-03-26 12:15:00 -0400
I,ve been watching the naked archaeologist for years and for me it doesn’t matter what the scientists THINK. Most scientist will deny the existence of Christ. They believe in the big bang theory but who put everything out there to cause the big bang to happen. Why is there male and female in every living thing..plants and animals. Can science explain that. Of course there was evolution but it is all part of Gods plan. If you believe and have faith it doesn’t really matter what the nay sayers think. I know I ALWAYS have someone I can turn to. A joyous Easter everyone
commented 2016-03-26 12:05:01 -0400
The Naked Archeologist!!
Simcha is a very knowledgeable man, seen a number of his programs.
“Based on this investigation, perhaps it’s time to reexamine The Dead Sea Scrolls and their translations.” Will be interesting to see what further investigations reveals.

Though outdated couple of books that are a decent read:
The Meaning of the Dead Sea Scrolls, James Vanderkam & Flint, 2002
The Dead Sea Scrolls Deception, Baigent & Leigh, 1991
(This book is about how the Church conspired to suppress them)

Sad to say that nowadays not that many are interested in history let alone biblical history. I guess it does not help that the educational system in Canada, all levels, try to whitewash the past and skip over details that are “uncomfortable” or in some cases totally rewrite history to a more palatable version.
commented 2016-03-26 11:41:11 -0400
Robert Raymond: Even if you totally discount the gospels there is more historical evidence for the person Jesus Christ than there is anyone else from antiquity. If scientists wish to reject the existence of Jesus because of lack of the lack of physical evidence than they are required to reject all other historical figures for whom there is much less tests or writings but no physical remains.
commented 2016-03-25 16:17:43 -0400
Christianity will prevail. Those who worship false God’s, will believe only when it is to late.
commented 2016-03-25 13:28:25 -0400
commented 2016-03-25 12:46:55 -0400
Delight to se you post here Simcha – I have followed your writing/film making with piqued curiosity – I find the pre Christian epochs of Judea fascinating.

Interesting theory about the obscure lay-rabbi from Nazareth being mentioned in the DSS. I hope there is expanded investigation of the drafters of the document and the circumstance surrounding this seminal ecumenical work.
commented 2016-03-25 12:15:57 -0400
A similar discovery of ancient manuscripts was found near Naj Hammadi in Egypt. I was a collection of Gnostic writings which may have been hidden away when the Romans took control of Christian scholarship. I contributed sponsorship of the translation project and received a first edition raw translation without paraphrasing or punctuation.

I lost interest in the project when one of the translators Elaine Pagels ….commandeered the project in feminist hegemony.
commented 2016-03-25 12:11:46 -0400
Joe Boudreault,

The other aspect of scripture the fashionable atheists of the regressive left like to denigrate is that scripture, like most bronze age and early iron age civilizations, was originally an oral tradition of relating the past. But that is only for Judaeo-Christian historical tradition they will mock the oral tradition, other groups’ oral traditions the regressive left want enshrined in the constitution.
commented 2016-03-25 12:05:33 -0400
Scientific folk tend to believe only what can be proven physically.
For example:
Scientists are convinced that a rock found in the Antarctic is actually a rock from Mars which landed on earth some 10,000 years ago. It’s true because they have a sample, the rock which was found. There was nobody around 10,000 years ago to record this historical event but, nonetheless, it is a piece of Mars. How much energy do we need to expend today to propel something the size of a walnut beyond earth’s orbit?
But, they have the rock.
Jesus was born and died and numerous eye witnesses confirmed this since they were present. But because there is no proof aside from numerous texts, anecdotal evidence and traditional teachings, scientists are reluctant to claim that Jesus / Christ existed. Scientists cannot be objective since the vast majority of them suffer from a form of mainstream tunnel vision.
commented 2016-03-25 11:52:31 -0400
I have an illustrated archaeological Bible of over 2,300 pages which I read weekly. I am amazed by the way that Scripture validates recorded history every time. While the Bible has not supported everything we know about history (how could it?), nevertheless what is revealed in every biblical dig has proven that it is a historic and valid record in itself. This fragment is valid and serves to show that the Bible has never been disproved, nor shall it ever prove otherwise. It is the greatest written record ever possessed by mankind. The story of Jesus is truer than anything else we can possibly know, considering how the modern world is trying to rewrite everything to an atheist viewpoint.
commented 2016-03-25 11:32:52 -0400
One thing that is always neglected by the regressive left and their tendency to fashionable atheism, which is actually just being anti Judaeo-Christian, but pro-Moslem; is that their preferred holy book, The Q’ran, mentions Jesus of Nazareth at least 30 times. This includes at least three full Suras. Eleven of those thirty references go to great pains in denying, not the existence of Christ, but his divinity. The religion that cannot be named also recognizes Christ as one of their great prophets who lived.

Point being, the favoured religion of the regressive left recognizes the historical existence of Christ, but is at pains to refute his divinity because that is at odds with Moe being the last prophet. Funny that the regressive left ignores this fact that Islam recognizes and respects the existence of Christ, but then the regressive left probably have never read the Q’ran because reading is hard work for illiterates.

Now if only the religion of peace paid attention to the teachings of Christ as well as recognizing his existence…
commented 2016-03-25 11:15:56 -0400
Very interesting conjecture. But after all these centuries it must remain conjecture.