Tuesday, September 15, 2009

It's an upper-level class, for God's sake.

Today in 379 we spent the day in small groups discussing the problems inherent in utilizing the Dead Sea Scrolls as a primary source for understanding first-century Judaism.

Or rather, we were supposed to.

Instead I ended up in the dumbest group I've ever been a part of.

I had a lot of well-thought-out points, mostly about the bias that would be incipient in an Essene tract. This was a radical Jewish sect, far removed from the Temple in Jerusalem and more mainstream Jews. Of course, there is a school of thought that says Christ was probably an Essene, which would explain a lot of interest in these scrolls by Christian scholars as well as Jewish historians.

The rest of the group's consensus? "Yeah, I think it's the language barrier."

Except...there isn't a language barrier. I mean, yeah, if you handed me a copper fragment written in Aramaic script with Hebrew phonics, I'd have a major problem. But if you handed it to someone who, oh, I don't know, has devoted their life to learning first-century Aramaic? I'm pretty sure they're good.

Also one of the guys remarked, "I heard that they, like, think they have the cloth Jesus was buried in?" A girl responded, "Really?" I responded, "The Shroud of Turin?" The guy replied, "I don't think so."

Um. I do think so.

(Not that it's necessarily the actual cloth Christ was buried in.)

(But still.)

That was a really long 75-minutes.


rockford said...

Ok, I know it was an upper level class, but if I were you I'd keep some of those thoughts to myself --...you definitely will not be the popular girl on the playground at recess if such thoughts are expressed (and I know how you love to be popular at recess...) And, by the way, what does "incipient in an Essence tract" mean??? Does such a question mean I just joing the dumb group:)?? or does it just mean that I really have not studied my religion enough??

FzngWizbee said...

all/most people are stupid. if you see everyone in your class as a stupid idiot, then when they say/do something smart, they'll end up surprising you.

mickey said...

I can hear the tone in your voice when you said "Shroud of Turin"...