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OPINION

UPDATE 2: Dead Sea Scrolls & the Bible

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Townhall.com.
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EDITOR'S NOTE: This story is part of a series of stories about Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary's "Dead Sea Scrolls & the Bible" exhibit, which runs through Jan. 13. For more information visit seethescrolls.com.

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FORT WORTH, Texas (BP) -- The Dead Sea Scrolls challenge the assumptions of liberal scholars by affirming the reliability and antiquity of biblical writings, experts said during the Joan & Andy Horner Lecture Series at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.

"The Dead Sea Scrolls confirm the accuracy of the biblical text," said Peter Flint, who is professor of religious studies, Canada Research Chair of the Dead Sea Scrolls and director of the Dead Sea Scrolls Institute at Trinity Western University.

The scrolls, Flint said during his Aug. 7 lecture, confirm that the Old Testament was copied accurately for thousands of years and that the Hebrew text now used by Bible translators represents what was contained in the original texts.

Dead Sea Scroll fragments from the book of Daniel also defy the skepticism of scholars who deny the possibility of predictive prophecy, said Randall Price, distinguished research professor and executive director of the Center for Judaic Studies at Liberty University. One such fragment, owned by Southwestern Seminary, is currently on display in the seminary's Dead Sea Scrolls & the Bible exhibition.

Some critical scholars in the past claimed that the book of Daniel was written in the second-century B.C. or afterward -- that is, after some of the events that the book of Daniel predicts. According to Price, however, the Daniel fragments among the Dead Sea Scrolls were copied in the second century B.C. They reveal that, by this time, Daniel was "already accepted as authoritative Scripture" and that the book had been copied for quite some time.

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This evidence, Price said during his July 31 lecture, "pushes the date of (the writing of) Daniel back before the second century B.C.," before the events that the book predicts. This confirms the antiquity and prophetic nature of the book of Daniel, he said.

To learn more about The Dead Sea Scrolls & the Bible exhibition at Southwestern's campus in Fort Worth, Texas, visit seethescrolls.com

Benjamin Hawkins is senior news writer for Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas (www.swbts.edu/campusnews). Get Baptist Press headlines and breaking news on Twitter (@BaptistPress), Facebook (Facebook.com/BaptistPress ) and in your email ( baptistpress.com/SubscribeBP.asp).

Copyright (c) 2012 Southern Baptist Convention, Baptist Press www.BPNews.net

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