Carbon dating the dead sea scrolls
“And there can happily not be the slightest doubt in the world about the genuineness of the manuscript.” Collaborative evidence for an early date came from archaeology. As I said in my first article on the scroll, ‘Herein lies its chief importance, supporting the fidelity of the Masoretic tradition.’” R. The 5 percent of variation consisted chiefly of obvious slips of the pen and variations in spelling.” To return to the original and “all important question” framed by Old Testament scholar Frederic Kenyon (1863-1952) a generation ago, it may now be more confidently asserted than ever before that the modern Hebrew text faithfully represents the Hebrew text as originally written by the authors of the Old Testament.
Millar Burrows, in The Dead Sea Scrolls, writes, “It is a matter of wonder that through something like a thousand years the text underwent so little alteration. is not nearly so great as that between the Neutral and Western text in the New Testament study.” Gleason Archer observes that the two copies of Isaiah discovered in Qumran Cave 1 “proved to be word for word identical with our standard Hebrew Bible in more than 95 percent of the text.
Discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls (hereafter DSS) at Qumran, beginning in 1949, had significant apologetic implications. Pottery accompanying the manuscripts was Late Hellenistic (ca. Laird Harris points out that “evidently the difference between the standard text of A. Dead Sea discoveries have enabled us to answer this question with much greater assurance than was possible before 1948.
These ancient texts, hidden in pots in cliff-top caves by a monastic religious community, confirm the reliability of the Old Testament text. Paleography (ancient writing forms) and orthography (spelling) were more helpful, indicating that some manuscripts were inscribed before 100 B. Albright studied photographs of the complete Isaiah scroll and set its date at around 100 B. Since the New Testament most often cites the Greek Septuagint (hereafter LXX) translation of the Old Testament, the reliability of this text is important, particularly where it is quoted in the New Testament.
This represents the ideal date for the amount of 14C measured for the sample.
However, as there is fluctuation from year to year as to the quantity of 14 absorbed by all life, the figure needs to be calibrated based on the known fluctuation.
The Qumran texts have become an important witness for the divine origin of the Bible. Half of a two-ounce piece of linen wrapping from a scroll in cave 1 was tested by Dr. Results indicated an age of 1917 years with a 200-year (10 percent) variant, which left the date somewhere between 168 B. However, even Orlinsky, who is one of the foremost defenders of the Masoretic Text against proposed emendations based on the DSS, admits, “The LXX translation, no less than the Masoretic Text itself, will have gained considerable respect as a result of the Qumran discoveries in those circles where it has long—overlong— been necessary.” Some DSS fragments have been identified as the earliest known pieces of the New Testament. 50 and listed under “not identified” and classified as “Biblical Texts.” O’Callahan eventually identified nine fragments.
We get an expression for the number of atoms remaining, N, as a proportion of the number of atoms N, where the quantity l, known as the "radioactive decay constant", depends on the particular radioactive substance.In his article Light Attenuation and Exponential Laws in the last issue of Plus, Ian Garbett discussed the phenomenon of light attenuation, one of the many physical phenomena in which the exponential function crops up.