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324 comments

Wow! (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24798733)


These may be the oldest fairy tales on the net when the project is complete.

Re:Wow! (5, Insightful)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 5 years ago | (#24798985)

Religious text is different from fairy tales. fairy tales could be a subset of the text where say a fictional story is used to illustrate a point. However for the most part most of the religious texts are attempts to keep historical records thousands of years ago.

A large meteor hits and destroys your city, that must be God striking down the sinners. As a guy who was just banished from the city survived and saw the destruction, he gets to make the details.

A merchant dealing with livestock builds himself a boat for easier trading with other cities. Luckally enough survived a food that covered the visible landmass. Whiping out thousands of people. It must of been God flooding the entire earth and his livestock and his wife and kids are whats left of the animal population. He survives so he can make the story.

Religious Texts do offer a good historical perspective if you read them with the fact that they have been translated many times, passed by word of mouth for a longer time. Truth = Beauty Art = Beauty so Artistic alterations have been placed it to make it easier to remember and pass on. Adding a few more lessons here and there... So when reading them many of the facts are right however the moral of the story has been changed.

Fairy tales are ficion just to prove the point. Religious Documents are the best history we have for the time.

Re:Wow! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24799445)

that big 'food' makes me hungry :)

Re:Wow! (4, Informative)

JeanPaulBob (585149) | more than 5 years ago | (#24800161)

Religious Texts do offer a good historical perspective if you read them with the fact that they have been translated many times, passed by word of mouth for a longer time.

Almost.

Religious texts have rarely been "translated many times", that I know of. That is, they haven't come down to us through a long sequence of translation from one language to another. (They may have been translated many times in the sense that Harry Potter has been translated many times, of course. The question is whether we still have manuscripts in the original language.)

The manuscripts have, however, often been copied many times, introducing textual variants. Such that if we have few manuscripts, we're less confident in the exact wording of the originals. (And if we only have a small number of manuscripts that were under the control of a central religious authority, then all bets are off.) But then if we have many manuscripts, we can become extremely confident in the original wording, through the wonderful world of textual criticism.

That does leave open the possibility of significant change during times of oral transmission. (Though there are limits there, too. Suppose that we only had orally-transmitted knowledge of the JFK assassination. We couldn't be too confident in some details of the events, but if the story is widely-disseminated & widely-known, that would tend to restrict the changes that would occur.)

Re:Wow! (3, Insightful)

ndansmith (582590) | more than 5 years ago | (#24799219)

These may be the oldest fairy tales on the net when the project is complete.

You can at least the following genres among the fragments: Poetry, wisdom, legal code, historical narrative, genealogy, myth/fable, prophetic writing, construction schematics, census, apocalypse/vision.

2 years is too long (4, Funny)

gregbot9000 (1293772) | more than 5 years ago | (#24798749)

If they were smart they would have tied this release in with the Evangelion rebuild series.

Re:2 years is too long (1)

philspear (1142299) | more than 5 years ago | (#24798889)

To be fair, 2 years is probably less time than it took them to be transcribed initially. So after however many hundreds/thousands of years, we should be grateful that technology has advanced to a point where it takes 2 years instead of 10. Maybe by 2500 it will only take 1 year to transcribe them.

Re:2 years is too long (3, Funny)

eln (21727) | more than 5 years ago | (#24798939)

Clearly if it's going to be 50% faster in a mere 492 years, our best bet is to wait until then to transcribe them rather than wasting our precious time now.

Edifying (5, Insightful)

COMON$ (806135) | more than 5 years ago | (#24798751)

So now are we going to get a bunch of jokes on how it takes 2 years to have good 'fakes' made? In my experience Sandlotters aren't typically very tolerant of Christian philosophy, or events.

As a Rational Christian, I am excited about this material being released. Debates will be much more entertaining and edifying, with some good old material to validate certain arguments and invalidate others.

Regardless of your Religious background, the dead sea scrolls are very important and to have them readily available for those who speak the language is exciting for many reasons.

2 Years though, at least this shows you how seriously people take preserving historical documents like this.

My big concern is over the principle that once these are made publicly digitally available, they will be easily tampered with. How are we going to be able to validate the good copies from the publicly tampered ones? From a technical standpoint is there anyway to protect things like this so the average Jo knows which is real and which is not?

Re:Edifying (0, Troll)

grub (11606) | more than 5 years ago | (#24798769)


As a Rational Christian

Where's the -1, Oxymoron mod when you need it?

Re:Edifying (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24798875)

Oh gnoes! U insulted Teh Jezuz!!! Now his worshippers will have to mod you down.
Judgmental cunts.. Oh wait, they aren't supposed to judge.
 
  fuck jesus [fuckjesus.net]

Re:Edifying (4, Insightful)

BobMcD (601576) | more than 5 years ago | (#24799409)

The most amusing part of this, to me at least, is that YOU are also not supposed to judge. No one is, because it isn't a smart thing to do.

Say what you want, but Christ was a pretty bright guy. It is really pretty hard to find fault in the basic tenants of his message. Certainly there are numerous examples of humans behaving as humans do and labeling it with a religion named after him, but this has little impact on the actual message itself.

I can see why you might resent Christians. I resent a handful myself. I cannot, however, understand how you would bear such ill will towards the epitome of a good person.

Oh wait, you're trolling. Oh, well never mind then. Sorry about that...

Re:Edifying (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24799091)

How is that an oxymoron? If he can be expressed as a ratio of two integers, then so be it.

Ass.

Re:Edifying (1, Insightful)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 5 years ago | (#24799151)

Yea just like moral atheist... (Hey you started it)

Re:Edifying (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24799307)

Interesting...a retaliation. How does that match up with your "morality"?

Re:Edifying (1)

Maxo-Texas (864189) | more than 5 years ago | (#24799411)

There is supernatural being to forgive a non-believer for bad things they do.

In the spirit of Obama, let's agree that there are extremists in every group but most of us are in the reasonable middle. A reasonable (rational) christian can have faith but not feel obliged to impose it on everyone else. Atheists can be moral, amoral, and immoral-- and so can christians (and anyone of any faith). The point being that HUMANS are moral, amoral, and immoral.

In fact, the same human can be amoral (very young), moral (young and idealistic), amoral/immoral (now young and hedonistic), and then return to being moral (mature), and then fall into immorality (corrupted by money or fail to deal with the wounds of childhood), and go back to being moral.

And.. it is really the extremely rare human who starts off moral, remains moral, and lives a long life without being immoral or amoral at some point.

Re:Edifying (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24799389)

Military intelligence is working on it.

Re:Edifying (4, Insightful)

Kjella (173770) | more than 5 years ago | (#24798809)

My big concern is over the principle that once these are made publicly digitally available, they will be easily tampered with. How are we going to be able to validate the good copies from the publicly tampered ones? From a technical standpoint is there anyway to protect things like this so the average Jo knows which is real and which is not?

Ummm... as if it was more difficult when they were *not* on the net? Now you can just claim it says something else, in the future you have to do a pretty good photoshop job on it. And in any case, maybe like with all other information getting it from a source you trust?

Re:Edifying (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 5 years ago | (#24798881)

Yeah, his concern is pretty lame.
There will still have the originals.

Re:Edifying (1)

Adriax (746043) | more than 5 years ago | (#24799263)

Actually no, they're digitizing the originals using the same technique predicted by the movie tron. That's why it's taking 2 years, they've not quite perfected the technology.

Re:Edifying (1)

COMON$ (806135) | more than 5 years ago | (#24798837)

Oops Slashdotters got switched to sandlotters by my spell check, I guess that is what I get for using a different dictionary than my usual custom one...oh well enjoy.

Re:Edifying (0, Flamebait)

DogDude (805747) | more than 5 years ago | (#24798843)

My big concern is over the principle that once these are made publicly digitally available, they will be easily tampered with. How are we going to be able to validate the good copies from the publicly tampered ones?

So what? You're talking about a religion that has had its primary texts re-written countless times over the centuries, already. Nobody today can point at any kind of original "Bible". Whether or not these are "accurate" is pretty irrelevant, even if you're somebody who is Christian/Jewish.

Re:Edifying (5, Informative)

ndansmith (582590) | more than 5 years ago | (#24799037)

So what? You're talking about a religion that has had its primary texts re-written countless times over the centuries, already. Nobody today can point at any kind of original "Bible". Whether or not these are "accurate" is pretty irrelevant, even if you're somebody who is Christian/Jewish.

Perhaps you should read up on textual criticism.

Re:Edifying (4, Insightful)

canUbeleiveIT (787307) | more than 5 years ago | (#24799107)

So what? You're talking about a religion that has had its primary texts re-written countless times over the centuries, already. Nobody today can point at any kind of original "Bible". Whether or not these are "accurate" is pretty irrelevant, even if you're somebody who is Christian/Jewish.

Did you really say that? Since when does the validity of a particular religious belief have anything to do with the relevance of a 2000-year-old document? You don't have to share the beliefs of the writers of it to understand that this is an immensely important piece of history.

While you're at it, why don't you take a ball peen hammer to the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel since it contains religious thought. Or perhaps make it your life's work to erase any remnant of the works of William Blake since he was apparently a Christian.

It think that this is why many look at hostile agnostics and atheists and see people who are just as irrational as the religious folks that they seem to hate so much.

Re:Edifying (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24799175)


You don't have to share the beliefs of the writers of it to understand that this is an immensely important piece of history.

It's not important for anything other than an old curiosity. I'd wipe my ass with it on camera just to see the reaction of the religious nuts.

Re:Edifying (4, Insightful)

rtechie (244489) | more than 5 years ago | (#24799503)

Since when does the validity of a particular religious belief have anything to do with the relevance of a 2000-year-old document?

Did you really say that? Christianity is ENTIRELY based on the testimony recorded in early Christian texts and the teachings of early Church fathers. If you invalidate early Christian texts, you invalidate Christianity. Much the same is true of Judaism.

Christians tend to attribute psychotic hatred and irrationality to anyone who says "Christianity is nonsense" because it clashes so strongly with their point of view.

Atheists are not talking about smashing the Sistine Chapel, burning the books of William Blake, or killing modern "Christian rock" stars. Find me some quotes or news accounts. You will find people who attack religious art (like Michelangelo's David). They're all religious nuts, who find any depiction of religious figures sinful.

Re:Edifying (1)

sm62704 (957197) | more than 5 years ago | (#24799965)

While you're at it, why don't you take a ball peen hammer to the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel since it contains religious thought.

Sadly, there are those here who would do just that. Fanaticism knows no bounds. There are religious fanatics even among the fanatical athiests.

Re:Edifying (2, Insightful)

Rostin (691447) | more than 5 years ago | (#24799601)

You're talking about a religion that has had its primary texts re-written countless times over the centuries, already.

You should try reading a little less Dan Brown and a little more actual scholarship. There is certainly debate about the actual origins of the biblical text - whether, for example, the gospels represent mostly eyewitness accounts or are just a written version of oral traditions that circulated for decades in the early church. But there is very little dispute about the fact that the text as we have it today differs little from the original.

Re:Edifying (5, Interesting)

yfarren (159985) | more than 5 years ago | (#24799775)

Wow. Yet another ignorant boor ranting against religion, and while demonstrably WRONG, getting modded by other ignorants.

Listen, there are a LOT of reasons to criticize religion. Take your pick. Hateful violent groups, both internally and externally. In many cases religions encourage people to turn away from knowledge and discovery. Blah blah blah. There are many fruitful, and many flame-ish discussions you can have about religions. But, one of the things they have a very good track record on is maintaining the integrity of their key books.

So, for instance, there are fairly minor differences (generally several letters different) in the First 5 books of Moses, between the Bible that the Ethiopian Jews, and the rest of the Jews had, in spite of these groups having virtually no contact for several thousand years.

Now, the Ethiopians had in their cannon several books the rest of the Jewish world has as Apocrypha (I.E. they largely ignored). And, they did not have many later books, or traditions of the rest of the Jewish world.

Different groups have been funny about how they pick and choose which books get INTO (or taken out of) their cannons.

And there are a whole mess of interesting things that come up when a religion starts TRANSLATING texts.

But to just say that religions have had their primary texts re-written many times? Well that is just wrong. And wrong from a hateful disposition (assumed from tone) really doesn't belong in an exchange of knowledge. Propaganda? Sure, but an educated conversation? No. Shame on you, and anyone modding you up. If you want to decry the wrongs of religion, there really are enough out there to pick on. Disseminating untruths is really unnecessary.

Re:Edifying (1)

Ironsides (739422) | more than 5 years ago | (#24798857)

Somehow, I doubt it is that hard to find copies. I came across photograph copies in my College Library the other day.

Re:Edifying (5, Funny)

grub (11606) | more than 5 years ago | (#24798917)


I came across photograph copies in my College Library the other day

Did you wipe them off and apologize to the librarian?

Re:Edifying (1, Troll)

geekoid (135745) | more than 5 years ago | (#24798859)

"Rational Christian"
WTH does that mean?

Re:Edifying (5, Informative)

COMON$ (806135) | more than 5 years ago | (#24798955)

As opposed to the bible thumping corner screamers that believe whatever they are told. Believe it or not, there is a subset of us Christians who came to faith because it made sense. We tend to be ashamed of the Christians that are most often portrayed in the media. We can typically defend our belief with reason and solid premises rather than some strong emotional tie to it.

Re:Edifying (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24799137)

Believe it or not, there is a subset of us Christians who came to faith because it made sense.
 
  Made sense like this does? [fuckjesus.net]
 
You're the same as the others. Believing in the same invisible superbeings but, somehow, you're better, right?
 
One delusional kook is no better than the other.

Re:Edifying (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24799921)

If he's so delusional, then why does your ass pucker inwards every time you contemplate the possibility that Heaven and Hell exist, and to which one you would be going?

Your hostility is just you trying to quiet that uneasy feeling that you have because it might just really be true.

Re:Edifying (0, Flamebait)

jcgf (688310) | more than 5 years ago | (#24799153)

We can typically defend our belief with reason and solid premises rather than some strong emotional tie to it.

Feel free to begin anytime. I'm willing to bet that you can't.

Re:Edifying (1, Interesting)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 5 years ago | (#24799653)

The size of the Multi-verse (as physics assume now that the universe is only a subset of multi-verse. Is infinite so the probability that any particular event that isn't happening an infinite number of time is 0. So however we exist so there forth we couldn't have come here from probable chance of events. So the concept of a God who in some way willed the circumstances of what exists is just a good answer to the paradox of Math as anything else.

Then there is pascals rational.
There are these possibility.
No God
Angry God (you dammed no matter what)
Neutral God (No heaven or hell but God exists)
Picky God (save those who follow the correct way of life)
Loving God (you are in heaven no matter what)

If No God if you are Right about being No God nothing is gained or loss in the universal scale you are just a series of chain of events.

Angry God you will lose no matter what if you are right or wrong the same event will happen.

Neutral God does care if you beleve in it or not still no effect of your destiny

Picky God If you follow the ideals of No God, Angry God, Neutral God, and Loving God you are loosing you chances of living the way Picky God wants you to live. By choosing a religion you at least may hedge your bets of doing what picky God wants you to do.

Loving God. You will gain no matter what.

So the Picky God is a good idea for a belief structure to follow. While it may not be correct you have a better probability for the afterlife.

The rest of the choice will either increase your negative effect or just be neutral.

Then there is the infinite complexity of the universe. As scientist study the universe in big and small more the more complex it gets and the more questions that come up. If we are an just a scientific process then I would suspect the Universe at some point should really start explaining itself and get simpler when gets smaller but that doesn't seem to be the case.

Also there is question of Prove to me that there is No God. If I can't prove to you that there is a God, I haven't disproved the existence of God. So either I will need to find a better proof of God or find a way to Disprove God. Otherwise the concept is unproven either way so If you believe in God or Not is outside the realm of science. The best I have defuncts the literal translations of religions but not the core parts of the faith itself.

Re:Edifying (1)

serviscope_minor (664417) | more than 5 years ago | (#24800169)

Then there is pascals rational.

(ITYM wager) Well, how do you expect to get to Valhalla if you worship the false god Jehova? You may as well worship a frost giant. Thor would be a much better choice, if you don't want to end up in Hel.

Re:Edifying (1)

AioKits (1235070) | more than 5 years ago | (#24800277)

Being Pagan and of German descent, this idea intrigues me... Course, I've always preferred Inari myself...

Re:Edifying (1)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 5 years ago | (#24800339)

This is hedging your bets of the Picky God/god. I am not debating any faith just a religion in general. Picking a religion where there is/are picky God/god(s) are still the best probable action to choose. There is still the chance of going the Picky God Rout that you will choose the wrong way of life however you are better going that route then choosing the others.

Re:Edifying (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24800309)

What about the "Giving God" that gives you 17 acres in heaven? I heard that from someone the other day. Man, I thought, souls must take up a lot of space in the after life for God to be so frugal allocating it out in infinite vastness that must be heaven, lol.

Re:Edifying (1)

Butisol (994224) | more than 5 years ago | (#24799991)

Would you accept circular reasoning?

Re:Edifying (0, Troll)

flyingfsck (986395) | more than 5 years ago | (#24800181)

Hmm, all religious reasoning is circular. It is a kind of proof of religiosity. Of course, it all goes back to Circ, the original Greek religious wizard. Her name also lives on in the Dutch (and Scottish) word 'Kerk' which is Dutch for Church, which also means Circ. So the sad joke is that the very word 'Church' admits to circular reasoning - sigh...

Re:Edifying (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24799167)

We can typically defend our belief with reason and solid premises rather than some strong emotional tie to it.

Then please do so. I would like to read such a defense. As long as it is not some form of the watchmaker argument or any of the other standards that have been knocked down time and again.

Re:Edifying (2, Insightful)

geekoid (135745) | more than 5 years ago | (#24799203)

That mean your less irrational. Not rational.

There really isn't anything rational in Christianity.
I'd like to see some solid premises and reason that applies to an act of blind faith.

Re:Edifying (1)

the_womble (580291) | more than 5 years ago | (#24799479)

an act of blind faith.

Rational faith is not blind. It is based on experience or reason.

Furthermore faith is not synonymous with belief. You could believe in God's existence without having faith in him (although vice-versa would obviously not make sense).

so what does it mean? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24799735)

Furthermore faith is not synonymous with belief. You could believe in God's existence without having faith in him (although vice-versa would obviously not make sense).

So what is "faith" in this context? You are directly contradiction the common-use meaning of the word, which is ok if you are employing a more technical meaning. However, it is presumptuous of you to expect that the rest of us would automatically know what that means.

Normally, "faith" is used to imply some kind of trust when evidence is lacking. It could be trust that a given (otherwise unsupported) belief is true, or trust in the virtues of a person...such as believing that he will follow through on a promise or some such.

So, "faith in God" in the common senses could imply that one believes he exists, as described, without evidence (an arguably irrational position), or it could mean that one trusts the virtues of God, which would imply belief in God's existence. Either way, the end result is the same: belief in the existence of something despite a lack of compelling evidence.

So...are you saying that "faith" doesn't mean either of those things as you use it? Could you please give a very precise explanation of what "faith" does mean, and why it is different than what I have presented?

Re:Edifying (1)

BobMcD (601576) | more than 5 years ago | (#24799485)

Belief in the deity is only one fraction of the meaning of Christianity.

Christian means 'like Christ', which is generally accepted as trying to have the insight into life and humanity that he did.

How on earth is that not rational??

Re:Edifying (-1, Troll)

CowboyBob500 (580695) | more than 5 years ago | (#24799673)

Because there is little to no evidence that he even existed. You may just as easily say you want to be "like King Arthur" since there is just about the same level evidence of his existence. Most rational people would say that wanting to achieve the "insight into life and humanity" that King Arthur had is a one way ticket straight to the nuthouse...

Bob

Re:Edifying (1)

BobMcD (601576) | more than 5 years ago | (#24799835)

So then Buddhism is somehow more rational because this person is verified to exist? Would it be more rational to follow the teachings of Tom Cruise because I like the color if his hair?

Whether or not the person actually existed isn't really all that questionable. You can deny it, if you wish, but if he did not exist then we're looking at a vast conspiracy. He even appears in the Koran, for example.

I'd also challenge your statement that practicing the principles of Camelot isn't so nutty as you're making it out to be. Remember the Round Table? Turns out that's not a bad idea.

Focus more on the concept, less on the person.

Re:Edifying (1)

Abreu (173023) | more than 5 years ago | (#24800029)

+1 Insightful

Being a Christian is considered to be a life-long endeavour, not something you "just become". ...of course there's the whole "by grace alone, not by deeds" thing, but thats a whole 'nother debate.

Re:Edifying (1)

BobMcD (601576) | more than 5 years ago | (#24799297)

I'm not sure who modded him Funny, but I agree with his statement.

Some examples:

1) I do not believe in the literal global flood. There's just too much common sense to the contrary, and I haven't personally witnessed anything that makes me believe it may have happened. I don't go in for the 6000 year creation story, or 900-year-old mothers, or any of this nonsense. I'm quite certain that these exist in the Bible as a matter of human error rather than God's will that we all believe in a super-human history.

2) I do believe that the teachings of Christ himself (emphasis on himself, and not extrapolations upon what he said) can be followed to leading a very good life. By any definition of 'good' you want to use. I fail to see how 'love thy neighbor' does one wrong, as just one example. I DO NOT believe that a great deal of what Paul (formerly Saul) wrote and taught would have actually been Christ's own words. I do not find it reasonable that God would hate all homosexuals, again as a single example.

3) God may in fact NOT be a grey-bearded dude on a cloud. He may well not be a 'he', as I can see little need for reproduction, ergo genitalia. I am certain that some benevolence has an impact on my life (prayers have been answered, etc), but would be willing to entertain a wide variety of opinions as to what exactly is causing this. I call it 'God', but if you want to call it 'Allah', 'Spaghetti Monster', or some other thing, I can't really dispute you. If you want to claim that nothing of this nature has ever had an impact on your own life, that's cool too. Sad, but perfectly reasonable.

4) However, I do find that claiming that it is impossible for such a religion to be correct, even by if accident, is quite unreasonable indeed.

Re:Edifying (1)

sm62704 (957197) | more than 5 years ago | (#24799789)

there is a subset of us Christians who came to faith because it made sense

There is another subset who came to faith by being baptized in blood [kuro5hin.org]. Some people won't accept witness or any other proof.

We tend to be ashamed of the Christians that are most often portrayed in the media.

Never trust a preacher who wears a five thousand dollar suit. Pat Robertson has converted more Christians to athiesm than all the slashdot athiests combined. He is one of the "wolves in sheep's clothing" Christ warned you about; so is Bush. They worship not God, but mammon. Their church is the bank and their priest is the economist. These people believe that priceless==worthless. Beware of them.

Re:Edifying (1)

Kenrod (188428) | more than 5 years ago | (#24799843)

Is it rational to mask your disgust with a display faux befuddlement? If you're going to take time out of your busy day to poke Christians with a stick, you could at least make a rational argument.

But I guess you don't have to because at Slashdot your "point" is an accepted meme by the majority of readers. Which further makes me wonder "why bother?". Maybe you're just a bigot who can't tolerate those who aren't like you.

Re:Edifying (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24798867)

As a Rational Christian, I am excited about this material being released. Debates will be much more entertaining and edifying, with some good old material to validate certain arguments and invalidate others.

Rational as in you do believe that the bible is the word of god, but you don't think it should be taken seriously? Why spell it with capitals. Dead sea scrolls are just a different viewpoint on a man that never existed. The bible is a very good piece of fiction and no westerner should ever deny that it is woven into our history. We do have a future ahaid of us however.

Re:Edifying (2, Informative)

ArcSecond (534786) | more than 5 years ago | (#24799159)

The Dead Sea Scrolls are roughly contemporary with the life of Jesus of Nazareth (sometime before 100 CE). Big J (who I have no trouble believing is an actual historical person, godhood notwithstanding) and his teachings don't appear in them, because they were separated and parallel offshoot of Judaic religious tradition.

So to summarize, Dead Sea Scrolls != New Testament. Thanks for coming out.

Re:Edifying (1)

ndansmith (582590) | more than 5 years ago | (#24799057)

My big concern is over the principle that once these are made publicly digitally available, they will be easily tampered with. How are we going to be able to validate the good copies from the publicly tampered ones? From a technical standpoint is there anyway to protect things like this so the average Jo knows which is real and which is not?

The average Jo also does not know how to read ancient Hebrew, so perhaps we should not be too concerned about him. If people want the real thing, they can always go to the source, and cryptographic hashes could be provided to validate photos hosted on other sites.

Re:Edifying (4, Informative)

jeiler (1106393) | more than 5 years ago | (#24799071)

My big concern is over the principle that once these are made publicly digitally available, they will be easily tampered with.

Digital watermarking, digital signatures, heck, even a CRC checksum will go a long way to preventing forgeries. And if I'm not mistaken, these things will be on an "official" website somewhere, so if fakes start circulating it will be easy to point to the original.

And I quite agree as to the importance--as a non-Christian who studies ANE culture, this is an exciting and important step.

Re:Edifying (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24799315)

Sandlotters aren't typically very tolerant of Christian philosophy, or events.

/.'rs mock superstition, regardless of creed.

As a Rational Christian,

You believe in an imaginary playmate.

the dead sea scrolls are very important

Absolutely. The study of mythology is very important to understanding who we are.

Re:Edifying (4, Insightful)

rtechie (244489) | more than 5 years ago | (#24799371)

So now are we going to get a bunch of jokes on how it takes 2 years to have good 'fakes' made?

Nobody I'm aware of is claiming the Dead Sea Scrolls are not ancient documents.

As a Rational Christian, I am excited about this material being released.

Why? The Dead Sea Scrolls really say nothing, at least nothing positive, about Christianity. The Dead Sea Scrolls contain copies of some Old Testament works and works related to the Essenes, a Jewish Zealot group that vaguely resembled Christianity in some ways. If anything, the Dead Sea Scrolls weaken the arguments of orthodox Christianity by demonstrating that Christians were influenced by other Jewish reform movements as much as (or more) than Jesus.

The Dead Sea Scrolls are of enormous importance to Jews as they contain the oldest know copies of the Torah (the first 5 books of the Old Testament). But for the most part, the copies of the Torah in the DSS strictly conform to the current translations of the Torah.

Regardless of your Religious background, the dead sea scrolls are very important

I'm not sure why Hindus, Jains, Budhists, Taoists, Native Americans, Neopagans, etc. should care.

2 Years though, at least this shows you how seriously people take preserving historical documents like this.

It's more likely due to he massive egos and arguments surrounding the DSS, and archeology in general. To this day, over 60 years since their discovery, not all of the DSS have been published.

Re:Edifying (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24799865)

Regardless of your Religious background, the dead sea scrolls are very important

I'm not sure why Hindus, Jains, Budhists, Taoists, Native Americans, Neopagans, etc. should care.

I'm an atheist, and even I find these important from a historical perspective. I mean, aren't these, like, some of, if not THE, oldest writings in the world?

Re:Edifying (1)

sm62704 (957197) | more than 5 years ago | (#24799565)

So now are we going to get a bunch of jokes on how it takes 2 years to have good 'fakes' made?

I welcome the jokes; humor and laughter is the only thing unique to our species.

As a Rational Christian, I am excited about this material being released

As am I, but it will be as enlightening to me as watching "Passion of the Christ" with subtitles turned off.

Patience (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24798755)

You've waited this long ... what's another two years?

What we need is for Google to develop an actual, physical spider that goes out and searches hard copies of documents for indexing.

DNF team is devastated (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24798771)

Their last ray of hope was of at least beating the release date of the Dead Sea Scrolls.

Re:DNF team is devastated (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24798829)

Posting anonymously.... DNF is going to be released next year. Worth the wait? Eh. But it is fucking awesome.

NICE! I love.... (0, Flamebait)

buanzo (542591) | more than 5 years ago | (#24798831)

I love FICTION!

Re:NICE! I love.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24799595)

Also, I like a stiff cock up my ass.

--
GNU/Buanzo Consulting - We are a pretty nice Linux Consulting company!

+1 Informative (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24798839)

The Democratic party is the party of kikes and niggers.

Be a Republican and put those dogs in their place.

Translation? (1)

steeljaw (65872) | more than 5 years ago | (#24798849)

TFA did not mention whether or not the scrolls would be translated into other languages, it would be interesting to read them in english.

Re:Translation? (1)

Eudial (590661) | more than 5 years ago | (#24798887)

Honestly, anything... even interpretive dance would be more useful than reading them untranslated for Joe Sixpack.

Re:Translation? (1)

Whorhay (1319089) | more than 5 years ago | (#24798957)

I don't know if translations would really be worth it without them being very large collaborative works. The issues of translating anything into another language are I think widely known. And are only complicated in instances like this where the source material is so old. Ones own religious views and such are bound to slant any project like this.

Re:Translation? (1)

Fallingcow (213461) | more than 5 years ago | (#24798999)

Wikitranslation?

Re:Translation? (1)

rukcus (1261492) | more than 5 years ago | (#24799243)

That won't really help much either. The scrolls are in Aramiac. I still haven't seen a digital translator that works from Hebrew -> English. Good luck on making any sense from the scans. It sounds a lot like da Vinci's journals. They may be nice to look at, but the Layperson cannot understand them.

Re:Translation? (1)

ndansmith (582590) | more than 5 years ago | (#24799163)

TFA did not mention whether or not the scrolls would be translated into other languages, it would be interesting to read them in english.

This is not the first time the scrolls have been published. There are also translations available in numerous languages. What is significant here is that all of the fragments will be digitized and put online.

Re:Translation? (1)

Pearson (953531) | more than 5 years ago | (#24799345)

I thought they had been digitized years ago to facilitate searches for similar characters, so that translation would be easier. What happened to all that work?

Re:Translation? (1)

ndansmith (582590) | more than 5 years ago | (#24799391)

Not sure, but I know that these images will be shot in infrared, which makes the scrolls easier to read (according to the CNN article). So it seems that the new digitization process is the main impetus for the new work.

Dead Sea Scrolls were proprietary for decades (5, Interesting)

davidwr (791652) | more than 5 years ago | (#24798869)

Access to the Dead Sea Scrolls was carefully guarded for decades. Think proprietary database formats.

Back in the '80s or '90s, a scholar published a very detailed index. It was so detailed that other scholars were able to reverse-engineer the text of the scrolls, breaking the data monopoly for those scholars who were only interested in the text on the scrolls rather than the scrolls themselves.

Since then, the keepers of the scrolls have been much more, what is the work I'm looking for, open.

infighting over "first publication" (3, Insightful)

peter303 (12292) | more than 5 years ago | (#24798975)

Not much has gotten published and many of the original scholars have died.

I'm guessing it was more professional jealously rather than some "secret revelation invalidating Christianity or Judiasm" that caused the delay.

That, and money/power/academic politics (1)

davidwr (791652) | more than 5 years ago | (#24799493)

By restricting access to only those who paid for access with cash, "friendly" academic papers, or reciprocal access arrangements, those who had control stood to gain from their monopoly.

Of course, since science is never for sale *sarcasm*, I wouldn't waste time looking for cash payments. It's much more likely that favorable access was granted to those who were more likely to publish results favorable to those who controlled the access.

This favoritism can even happen unintentionally - it's human nature to favor our friends, and human nature to be friends with those who think like we do.

Confucius say (2, Funny)

Profane MuthaFucka (574406) | more than 5 years ago | (#24798879)

Confucius say "Now we can find out if the People's Front of Judea are a bunch of splitters."

Re:Confucius say (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24799043)

Come and see the violence inherent in the system!

front page? (1, Funny)

apodyopsis (1048476) | more than 5 years ago | (#24798895)

will they include the front page?

you know, the bit that goes "to my darking Wendy, all names and places in this book are entirely fictitious and any resemblance to real.."

Re:front page? (1)

Poohsticks (921205) | more than 5 years ago | (#24799929)

"to my darking Wendy.."

Yeah my wife has been making my days dark since I married her, but I don't think I would make a book dedication to her.

Oh wait! you meant darling Wendy

Nevermind.

They aren't paper (5, Informative)

Thelasko (1196535) | more than 5 years ago | (#24798979)

Unfortunately they are claiming the project will take somewhere in the neighborhood of two years to complete.

Why will it take two years? Part of the problem is because they aren't made of paper. One of them is made of copper, [wikipedia.org] and most of them are made of parchament, [wikipedia.org] which is much more difficult to work with. Especially considering the age.

Google Scholar (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24799087)

Wait a minute. Didn't Google already put every document ever written on the internet?

The abridged Dead Sea Scrolls (4, Funny)

thermian (1267986) | more than 5 years ago | (#24799197)

'The Romans are bad'
'So are any Jews who don't do what we do'
'We don't like women'
'Why is is so hard to get a damn bath around here'

Considering they ar already available (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 5 years ago | (#24799227)

on dvd, I don't understand why it takes two year to put them on the web. Are they adding something? do they need to redo it?

Re:Considering they ar already available (1)

just_another_sean (919159) | more than 5 years ago | (#24799487)

on dvd, I don't understand why it takes two year to put them on the web. Are they adding something? do they need to redo it?

*citation needed*

Dead sea confetti... (-1, Flamebait)

flyingfsck (986395) | more than 5 years ago | (#24799267)

These scrolls are so fragmented, it is more like confetti or corn flakes, than scrolls. However, I wonder whether a computer aided puzzle solver could put them together better. Not that it matters much, the Church has never had a problem with writing new fairy tales. The old ones don't really matter.

Microsoft... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24799319)

Microsoft Dead Sea Scrolls Live!* *Subscription required.

Copyright? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24799381)

No public domain translation of the Gospel of Judas, the Dead Sea Scrolls, The Qumran texts, etc exists, i'm afraid that the translations will be copyrighted, i'm not interested until these translation are made public.

Off-topic post (sorta) (1)

lena_10326 (1100441) | more than 5 years ago | (#24799867)

I'm convinced all religions are the result of chieftain ancestors who suffered from OCD.

OCD => useless rituals performed to prevent bad things from happening.

Religion => useless rituals performed prevent bad things from happening.

Now.. for the on-topic portion. This has to be a good thing. Access to Earth maps and astronomy images have yielded new discoveries by amateurs. http://www.cnn.com/2008/TECH/space/08/07/space.discovery/index.html?eref=ib_topstories [cnn.com] The same should happen here.

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