By Rachel Lynn Aldrich
Patrick Henry College
Photo courtesy of Karen Daley
According to most theologians and biblical archeologists, the true significance of the Dead Sea Scrolls is how thoroughly they’ve supported the accuracy of existing biblical texts. For example, one of the Isaiah scrolls had been preserved so thoroughly that it is nearly completely intact, scholarly examination revealing only minor differences between it and the working translation of Isaiah in use at the time -- this in spite of a difference in age of thousands of years between the two.
Patrick Henry College is pleased to welcome to campus Dr. Stephen Daley, Wednesday, Sept. 25, at 6 p.m. Daley will be presenting, “The Dead Sea Scrolls: Alive and Well and Coming to a Translation Near You,” at the Hodel Center Coffeeshop. Daley has a B.A. from Westmont College and graduated Summa cum Laude from the Hebrew University in Jerusalem with a PhD in Hebrew Bible. The lecture is based in part on research for his dissertation. He studied under Professor Emanuel Tov, who was at the time Editor-in-Chief of the Dead Sea Scrolls. Dr. Daley will be visiting the College with his wife Karen.
In his presentation, Dr. Daley will describe the influence of the Dead Sea Scrolls on well-known modern English translations of the Bible, as well as the history of certain scrolls. The hour-long talk will include photos, a replica of one of the Isaiah scrolls, opportunities for Q&A, and an overview of his current work.
A significant part of Dr. Daley’s work includes researching and writing reference materials for field translators. His wife, Karen, explained that translators on the field are working with difficult materials in time-sensitive situations. The Daley’s work helps them access the hundreds of years of scholarship and best minds in their attempt to accurately translate God’s word.
“He really has a heart for helping translators on the field have everything they need to make the decisions that they have right at the translation desk,” Karen said. “You’re working with a mother tongue translator and you want to get the Word translated as fast as you can and as accurately as you can and as appropriately as you can so it communicates to the heart language of your audience.”
Aside from the research, Dr. Daley also teaches Hebrew to translators and facilitators, and fills the role of consultant for various projects, making sure the translations are of the highest quality possible.
“The Dead Sea Scrolls, when they were discovered, were so exciting because they are among the texts that would have been concurrent, contemporary, with Jesus’ life on earth,” Karen said, emphasizing this would have been the form that Jesus and his disciples would have had the Scriptures in. “It underscores the fact that God has preserved His Word and that there aren’t any major doctrinal issues that are changed by the differences in the actual writing on the scroll.”
Don’t miss this exciting opportunity to hear about the other impacts of the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls.