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Isaiah Prophecies
June 2, 2017
Relevance: Chapter 6, Restored by Grace


Great Isaiah Scroll


Some people believed that biblical prophecies were written after the events, until the Dead Sea Isaiah Scroll confirms prophecies written before the birth of Jesus.

A succession of scholars through the centuries were entrusted with preserving the biblical text. They devised an intricate system of safeguards to ensure the highest possible accuracy in transcribing the scrolls. They counted, for example, the number of times each letter of the alphabet occurs in each book of the Old Testament or Hebrew Bible. The scribes were so convinced they had an exact duplicate after they finished, that they would accept the new manuscript as authentic and give it equal authority.

Since a manuscript was liable to become defaced or damaged in the lapse of time, old imperfect copies were deemed unfit for use and laid aside to naturally perish or to be burned when storage receptacles became overcrowded. This may explain the absence of very old copies of the Hebrew Bible.

The Masoretes gave us the Old Testament text today, and the earliest Masoretic manuscripts were dated to about AD 1000. They awaited confirmation of their textual accuracy.

The astounding discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls, beginning in 1947, was crucial. These ancient scrolls were hidden in pots in cliff-top caves on the northwest side of the Dead Sea. The manuscripts provide significant portions of Old Testament books. One of the scrolls is a complete manuscript of the Hebrew text of the book of Isaiah. It's dated to around 125 BC, over a thousand years older than any manuscript existing before the discovery.

There is a detailed correspondence between this Isaiah scroll (125 BC) and the Masoretic text of Isaiah (AD 916) that the modern Hebrew Bible is based on. It demonstrates that the biblical text was transmitted with incredible accuracy over a thousand-year period. It's reasonable to expect that this accuracy in textual transmission applies to the entire Old Testament text.

It's also plain that passages in the Isaiah Scroll about the Messiah are real prophecies because the scroll is a manuscript written at least 120 years before the birth of Jesus.

It says in Isaiah 7:14 that "The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel," where "Immanuel" means "God with us."

Isaiah chapter 53 is more descriptive. It says, "He was despised and rejected--a man of sorrows, acquainted with deepest grief. We turned our backs on him and looked the other way. He was despised, and we did not care. Yet it was our weaknesses he carried; it was our sorrows that weighed him down. And we thought his troubles were a punishment from God, a punishment for his own sins! But he was pierced for our rebellion, crushed for our sins. He was beaten so we could be whole. He was whipped so we could be healed. All of us, like sheep, have strayed away. We have left God’s paths to follow our own. Yet the Lord laid on him the sins of us all." (53:3-6)


Notes:


From Darkness to Light
170504, Ch.1, What is Heaven?
170512, Ch.5, Good and Evil
170519, Ch.5, Image of God
170526, Ch.6, All Have Sinned
170602, Ch.6, Isaiah Prophecies
170609, Ch.6, Lamb of God
170616, Ch.6, Decision Prayer

New Life in Christ
170623, Ch.7, Fruit of the Spirit
170630, Ch.7, Time with God
170707, Ch.7, Life Together
170714, Ch.7, Messiah's Return
170728, Ch.7, Audacious Faith
171006, Ch.7, Mark of the Christian
171027, Ch.7, Christian Identities

Growing in Christ
171110, Know the Bible
171210, Christ is Central
180302, Satan Exposed

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