This Week in the News

“Trump’s Greatest Trick He’s Ever Pulled”

The Washington Post wrote on September 16:

“Donald Trump is, at heart, a showman. He rose to national fame thanks to star turns on reality TV… His great gift is the ability to draw attention — and then use that attention for his own, usually commercial, purposes.

“Trump may have outdone himself on Friday morning. He and his campaign touted a ‘major’ announcement at his newly opened hotel in Washington, D.C., at 10 a.m. The word was that Trump would walk away from his past skepticism about President Obama’s citizenship while also laying the blame for the birther movement at the feet of Hillary Clinton…  And say it he did. ‘Hillary Clinton and her campaign of 2008 started the birther controversy. I finished it,’ Trump said. ‘President Obama was born in the United States. Period.’

“Trump’s assertions about Clinton’s role in the birther movement are wrong. His simple statement that Obama was born in the United States directly contradicts myriad statements he has made questioning the president’s birthplace over the past five years.

“But neither of those things were the most amazing part of that Trump event. The most amazing thing was that it took the Republican nominee 29 minutes to deliver those three sentences. The event was slated to start at 10 a.m. Eastern time. It wasn’t until 11 a.m. that it actually began — with Trump touting his new hotel and proclaiming that it is likely to be one of the best in the world. He then ceded the stage to a parade of decorated military veterans who testified to his toughness, his judgment and his temperament.

“Cable networks seemed to not know what to do. All three of them — MSNBC, Fox News and CNN — stayed with the generals’ testimonials for the better part of 20 minutes. That’s a remarkable amount of free cable time to dedicate to a series of surrogates testifying how great one of the two party nominees is.

“The networks eventually cut away from the generals, but then Trump was back at the mic — roughly 90 minutes after his event was originally slated to start. Meaning that he drew an hour and a half of live coverage for:

“1. An empty podium.

“2. A series of military endorsements/testimonials.

“3. Three sentences from Trump himself — one that is totally false and two others that represent a total reversal from a position he held as recently as, well, Thursday night.

“It was a low moment for politics and political coverage… But for Trump, it might have been his crowning achievement: All eyes on him with the chance to direct the play in whatever way he saw fit. The ringmaster — calling the shots in all three rings of the circus. It was peak Trump.”

If America wants a showman as President, then it was indeed a great performance. The sad truth of the matter is that the presidential election for 2016 has sunk to an unprecedented low… never before in the history of the USA have there been two nominees for the Republican and Democratic parties who are equally disliked by most voters, especially in view of their perceived lack of qualification and trustworthiness.

Will Trump’s Circus Act Get Votes?

Deutsche Welle wrote on September 16:

“For years, Trump was the most prominent proponent of the ‘birther’ movement, which questioned whether US President Barack Obama had been born outside the United States and thus potentially constitutionally ineligible to be president – and calling on him to prove he was born in Hawaii. As recently as Thursday he refused to answer a question from the ‘Washington Post’ about his claim. That ended this week when Trump and his campaign abruptly changed tack and conceded that Obama had indeed been born in Hawaii. Trump then pivoted and tried to blame his Democratic opponent, Hillary Clinton, for raising the issue and bragged that it was his pressure as a private citizen in 2011 that forced the president’s hand in releasing his birth certificate.

“Yet even if that were true, it fails to explain why Trump repeatedly made the claim for years to question the president’s legitimacy in holding the country’s highest office. His comments speculating on Obama’s birthplace have been seen by many as an attempt to delegitimize the nation’s first black president, playing to a racist vein within American society but also losing votes from the non-white electorate.”

“To get votes” seems to be the underlying motive for Mr. Trump’s sudden “epiphany,” as the next article points out as well.

What Happened to Donald Trump’s Concerns? It’s All About Politics…

The Washington Post wrote on September 16:

“In April 2011, Obama released his long-form Hawaiian birth certificate [actually, he released a copy, which was “authenticated” by an Hawaiian official who subsequently died in a plane crash]…  But Trump didn’t revise his position and repeatedly questioned the validity of the document Obama released. In an October 2011 interview with CNN, Trump said that if ‘you check out the Internet, many people say it is not real.’ In August 2012, Trump tweeted that ‘an “extremely credible source” has called my office and told me that Barack Obama’s birth certificate is a fraud.’…

“Days before the 2012 election, Trump posted a video online that labeled Obama ‘the least transparent president in the history of this country’ and demanded that Obama release his college records, college applications and passport records…  When Trump launched his long-shot presidential bid in June 2015, he continued to say in interviews that he didn’t know if Obama was born in the United States…  In January [2016], Trump said on CNN that he doesn’t know where the president was born…

“A sizable number of voters agreed with Trump. A 2010 Washington Post-ABC News poll [and a CNN-ORC poll in September 2015] found 20 percent saying Obama was born in another country…  In the latest survey, beliefs that Obama was born outside the United States peaked at 26 percent among Republicans and 34 percent among self-identified tea party supporters…

“[This has] caused many black voters to turn sharply against Trump, offended that he would challenge the qualifications of the country’s first black president… Earlier this month, former Republican candidate Ben Carson – who now advises Trump on race issues – said on CNN that Trump could immediately improve his relationship with African American voters by apologizing for questioning the president’s place of birth…”

The “birther” movement was never about the color of the President. After all, one should never forget (even though the mass media likes to do this), that Mr. Obama is both black and white.

Do the “Birthers” Buckle Too?

The Washington Post wrote on September 17:

“A few hours after Donald Trump’s announcement that he had renounced ‘birtherism,’ Andy Martin was pleased with how it went. ‘He handled it as well as he could,’ said Martin, a lawyer, writer and frequent candidate who began asking questions about Barack Obama’s birth certificate in 2004. ‘His supporters don’t really care about the issue any more…’

“Orly Taitz, a dentist and lawyer who long ago surpassed Martin as the face of birtherism, took a similar position on Trump’s reversal… ‘ My word to my supporters: let Trump win the election. There are only 8 weeks left. Now is not the time to talk about Obama, he is not running for president, Clinton is.’…

“Philip J. Berg, a Pennsylvania lawyer who filed the first high-profile lawsuits against Obama, quit his law practice to avoid being disbarred…

“Taitz… was the only prominent birther still raising questions. In a rundown of the interviews she’d done on Friday, Taitz repeated the eight questions she had about the fraud the president might have committed. ‘When media is corrupt, when the Department of Justice is corrupt, the country becomes a banana republic or even worse, a tyranny,’ she wrote. ‘For now, let’s concentrate on the election, let’s help Trump get elected, we’ll renew this conversation later.’”

The question is: Will Mr. Trump participate in that “conversation”? At this point, he did not give any answer to a myriad of questions. To just make “politically correct” statements to gain some advantage in the number of votes is neither helpful nor persuasive.

Arizona’s Sheriff Joe Arpaio Won’t Buckle

The Huffington Post wrote on September 21:

“Arizona’s Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio still isn’t convinced President Barack Obama was born in the United States. Arpaio, a supporter of Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, told a tea party group Tuesday he’s still investigating Obama’s birth certificate, which the president made public in April 2011. ‘I don’t care where he’s from,’ Arpaio told the crowd, according to USA Today. ‘We are looking at a forged document. Period.’ ‘I know all the politicians say, “Sheriff, don’t talk about it,”’ he continued. ‘But how can I back down when we started it? I’m not going to just forget it.’”

Why couldn’t Donald Trump behave in the same manner?

Trump Backtracking Again?

Daily Mail wrote on September 22:

“Last week, the Republican presidential candidate announced that Obama was in fact born in America, and not Kenya, as Trump had claimed for years. But when asked why he backtracked on his birther theory on Wednesday, Trump appeared to reverse his opinion once again… Trump said that his birther theory was becoming a distraction from his big issues and appeared to say he only admitted that Obama was born in the U.S. to get the public back on track…”

CNN wrote on September 21:

“Donald Trump suggested Wednesday that his statement late last week that President Barack Obama was born in the US was motivated by politics, not by a genuine change of heart…”

On September 22, Newsmax published the following article:

“A reporter from ABC6/FOX28 asked Trump ‘what changed’ to make him believe Obama was born in this country.  ‘Well, I just wanted to get on with, I wanted to get on with the campaign…’

“During a campaign stop in North Carolina on Tuesday, The Associated Press’ Jill Colvin called out, ‘Mr. Trump, when did you change your mind about the birther issue? When did you decide that President Obama was actually born in the United States?’ Trump did not answer, and the press were soon ushered out…”


“Obama Was Born in Kenya and His Birth Was Later Registered in Hawaii at two Different Hospitals”

Israel National News wrote this on October 12, 2008:

“According to Obama’s Kenyan (paternal) grandmother, as well as his half-brother and half-sister, Barack Hussein Obama was born in Kenya, not in Hawaii… His grandmother bragged that her grandson is about to be President of the United States and is so proud because she was present DURING HIS BIRTH IN KENYA, in the delivery room…  Obama’s mother Ann Dunham, flew to Kenya in 1961 with Obama’s father to meet his family… Obama’s family did not take to Stanley Ann Dunham Obama very well, because she was white, according to Sarah Obama. Shortly after she arrived in Kenya Stanley Ann decided to return to Hawaii because she later said, she did not like how Muslim men treated their wives in Kenya.

“However, because she was near term the airline would not let her fly until after the birth of her baby. Obama’s grandmother said the baby–Barack Hussein Obama, Jr.–was born in Kenya… Then, after he was born, his mother returned with him to Hawaii where his birth was REGISTERED on or about August 8th, 1961, in the public records office in Hawaii. There is also a discrepancy in what hospital Barack Hussein Obama was born in, even if he was born in Hawaii.  Reports by his own sister in two separate interviews state that he was born[on August 4, 1961] at two different hospitals — Kapiolani Hospital and Queens Hospital–in Honolulu.”

There are many more unanswered questions. We have reported about these unresolved issues for many years in our weekly Updates.

Chaos and Turmoil in North Carolina

Newsmax wrote on September 21:

“One person was killed in Charlotte Wednesday and another one was injured as police fired tear gas on the second night of protests after the fatal shooting of an African-American man by police officers who said he had refused their orders to drop a handgun… The protest is located in the uptown section of North Carolina’s largest city…”

CBS News wrote on September 21:

“The killing inflamed racial tensions in a city that seemed to have steered clear of the troubles that engulfed other places… The unrest took many by surprise in Charlotte, the banking capital of the South with a population of 830,000 people, about 35 percent of them black. The city managed to pull through a racially charged shooting three years ago without the unrest that erupted in recent years in such places as Baltimore, Milwaukee and Ferguson, Missouri.”

Another Terrorist Attack in New York City

Express wrote on September 18:

“THE New York bomb explosion has seen Donald Trump threatening action against anyone who threatens US security. The New York explosion injured 29 people and was caused by one of two devices discovered in the city last night… Democrat rival Hillary Clinton refused to say anything other than that she had been briefed…  New York Governor said the explosion was a terror attack but stressed no links to any international terrorist group like ISIS had been found… A White House official said President Barack Obama… had been ‘apprised of the explosion in New York City, the cause of which remains under investigation’.”

It was subsequently reported that police arrested an Afghan-born American wanted in connection with weekend bombings in New York and New Jersey, and that the assailant had shot two officers during a firefight in Linden, New Jersey. Reuters quoted two US unnamed officials as saying investigators believed there were more people involved, and New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said, “the evidence might suggest a foreign connection.”

Scientists “Alarmed” About Trump’s Denial of Global Warming

Deutsche Welle wrote on September 21:

“Nearly 400 scientists have blasted Donald Trump for threatening to pull the US out of the Paris climate accord. Their criticism comes just seven weeks before the US presidential election. The scientists, including 30 Nobel Prize winners and numerous members of the US National Academy of Sciences, take issue with Trump’s denial of global warming…

“Most of the signatories are from the United States, with many from leading universities such as Harvard, Cambridge and Columbia.”

Express wrote on September 21:

“MUCH has been made about his controversial views, but there has been little coverage on what US Presidential hopeful Donald Trump thinks about climate change… the outspoken billionaire does believe in climate change in a sense, but believes that it is a natural weather cycle… He claims it is a money making hoax designed to control how much energy the US uses… If he does make it into power, Mr Trump would be the world’s only national leader to deny climate change as a man-made problem, according to a report from environmental agency The Sierra Club.”

Will Mr. Trump stick to his position in light of growing criticism?

“Amid Fears of Trump, Europe Tries to Make its Security Less Dependent on the U.S.” wrote on September 16:

“The leaders of the remaining 27 nations in the European Union gathered Friday in Slovakia to discuss their visions for a Europe without Britain, including a Franco-German proposal to create a centralized European military headquarters in Brussels… Stronger coordination among European countries could bolster militaries that have relied on American firepower as a crutch…

“A Europe that is more independent militarily would also be more capable of pursuing a foreign policy path more distinct from the United States, potentially widening cracks in Western unity… ‘It is time to move forward to a European defense union,’ German Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen said last week. ‘… together, we Europeans are very strong if we improve our capabilities.’…

“The efforts to pool European defense would touch one of the core aspects of national sovereignty: the military, years after many European countries agreed to share a single currency and rely on one another for border controls…

“Still, defense cooperation may be among the least-divisive projects for Europe’s future, particularly with American commitments to European security the most in question since the end of World War II. Trump has said that he would not automatically come to the defense of other NATO alliance members but would first review how much those nations have done for their own defense… Proposals to rethink European defense long predate Trump’s rise, but he has jolted Europe with his willingness to question longstanding U.S. doctrine…”

Paper Tiger UK Would Object to an EU Army… So What?

The Independent wrote on September 17:

“The UK would exercise its power of veto to block the creation of an EU army while it remains a member of the European Union, according to Defence Secretary Sir Michael Fallon. EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker has spoken of the possibility of a ‘common military force’ at a meeting of EU leaders in Bratislava, to which Britain was not invited.

“Sir Michael told The Times newspaper. ‘That is not going to happen. We are full members of the EU and we will go on resisting any attempt to set up a rival to Nato.’ A document discussed at the Bratislava summit indicates the European Commission will put forward proposals in December for a common military force, for which agreement will be sought in the summer. France and Germany are understood to be behind the proposals…

“The veto threat will further poison British relations with Brussels after the Brexit vote and harden attitudes in Germany and France against giving Theresa May concessions on access to Europe’s single market. Diplomatic relations between the UK and the EU are already fraught. The UK vetoing significant EU policy while it simultaneously negotiates its exit from the union could have significant consequences. All previous steps toward creating a common EU military force have been vetoed by Britain.”

The influence of the UK on Europe will be over very soon; but any opposition in the meantime will only increase Europe’s antagonism towards the UK.

Shaky EU Commitment in Bratislava, Slovakia wrote on September 16:

“European Union leaders on Friday… vowed to strengthen cooperation on security, reduce illegal migration and improve prosperity for the alliance’s disaffected citizens… Hollande said that Europe ‘can and must move forward as long as it has clear priorities: protection, security, prosperity and the future of the youth.’ The proposals will likely be ratified in March, when the EU celebrates the 60th anniversary of the signing of the Treaty of Rome, one of founding documents for a united Europe…

“The summit was held in Bratislava because Slovakia currently holds the EU’s rotating presidency. In many ways it is an apt venue for the talks. Once a jewel in the Austro-Hungarian empire, Bratislava has hosted the coronation of eighteen Hungarian rulers. And its location on the Danube River in Central Europe borders two independent countries — Austria and Hungary — that have long made it an important crossroads for international trade.

“Perhaps most important of all, Slovakia is one of the EU members in Eastern Europe along with Hungary that has consistently objected to Brussels’ plan to redistribute mostly Muslim asylum seekers across EU territory…

“The Visegrad countries — Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia — released a separate statement Friday urging leaders to improve how the EU functions… Whereas Eastern member states want more power returned to national parliaments, bigger players such as France and Germany are adamant that solutions to joint difficulties should take place at the EU level…”

Eastern European nations do not seem to see eye-to-eye with their Western friends. But notwithstanding some “lip services” to the contrary, they all seem to be in agreement with the “need” to build a mighty European “defense force.”

“Hundreds of Thousands Take to Streets in Germany Against Obama-backed Trade Deal”

CNBC wrote on September 17:

“Hundreds of thousands of Germans took to the streets Saturday, in protest of pending trade deals with the United States and Canada. The deals in question are the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) between the U.S. and the European Union and the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) for the Canadian-EU relationship. Neither free trade agreement has been ratified yet, but popular outcry has been growing for the last few years.

“The demonstrations took place in seven cities throughout Germany: Berlin, Frankfurt, Hamburg, Cologne, Leipzig, Munich and Stuttgart. Organizers told CNBC that the official estimate is 320,000 demonstrators across Germany. In Berlin… the largest demonstration of the day took place with about 70,000 attendees, according to the organizers… while the organizers talk of seeking to maintain the sanctity of democracy and rule of law, critics of the movement charge that its ranks thrive at least as much on anti-Americanism as any coherent political or economic philosophy. Those elements were on display Saturday in Berlin as one sign accused U.S. President Barack Obama of being a murderer, and another suggested the American way of life was dominated by corporate interests. The demonstrator behind those signs even had a half-sized Obama effigy with the words ‘the lies of the Peace Prize winner Mr. President Barack Obama’ stuck to its forward.

“… anti-corporate sentiment… pervaded the march. Homemade signs admonished those seeking ‘profits,’ and images of the U.S. dollar bill were stand-ins for greed and inequality. Nearly every demonstrator queried by CNBC pointed immediately to concerns about “big companies” garnering too much power and wealth if the trade deals were enacted.

“You cannot just say all Americans are bad, but I can understand when people hate big companies,” Jonas, a 26-year-old Berlin student, said. Many like-minded demonstrators acknowledged they have friends and relatives who are employed by major multinational companies like Volkswagen, but they insisted that the benefits of a trade deal would go disproportionately to executives.

“Obama has said he hopes to conclude the TTIP negotiations by the end of the year, but that goal suffered a series of blows last month when French and German politicians openly questioned whether any deal was on the horizon. But the White House has indicated it won’t back down, and so it will be making a concerted push to solidify the terms of the TTIP before Obama is out of office. In fact, there is ‘no legitimate plan B’ for eventually crafting an agreement between the U.S. and the EU if the deal doesn’t happen this year…”

Deutsche Welle wrote on September 21:

“This is arguably one of the most stunning developments of the 2016 presidential race: Both presidential candidates have come out in opposition of free trade. Trump and Clinton have vowed that as president they would block the already fully negotiated Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), a large trade agreement hammered out between the US and 11 other nations.”

Merkel Loses Again; Victory for AfD

The Telegraph wrote on September 18:

“Angela Merkel was facing damaging losses at the hands of Germany’s resurgent far-Right in regional elections in Berlin on Sunday evening. The anti-immigrant Alternative for Germany (AfD) party won the highest share of the vote for the far-Right in Berlin since the Second World War, with [14.1 percent of the votes]…

“The strong showing in Berlin proves the AfD ‘doesn’t just trade off discontent in rural areas but can establish itself in a city of millions known for its open lifestyle,’ Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung newspaper wrote in an editorial…

“Mrs Merkel’s CDU came second, but with just [17.5] per cent of the vote the result was disastrous for the party. It will almost certainly be forced out of the Berlin state government, where it previously served as junior coalition partner to the SPD…”

Deutsche Welle added on September 18:

“The populist Alternative for Germany (AfD) party entered Berlin’s 149-seat state assembly… It now enters its tenth regional assembly out of 16 German states… Sunday’s elections represent another significant blow to Merkel’s party…  The CDU suffered a sobering defeat to the AfD in the Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania regional elections at the beginning of September. The CDU finished third behind the SPD and AfD with 19 percent – its all-time lowest result in the northeastern state.”

EU to Enact Entry System for Non-EU Visitors

Deutsche Welle reported on September 21:

“The EU is planning to massively increase its border controls. Those who want to enter have to register, or apply for a visa…

“Australia’s had one for a long time, and the United States has had one since 2007: An electronic entry system for travelers who don’t need a visa. Now, the EU wants to implement such a system in order to have better control over who is actually entering and leaving the bloc. In the US, the online electronic registration system is known as ‘ESTA.’ In Europe, it will be known as ‘Etias’ (European Travel Information and Authorisation System). The EU Commission is currently carrying out a feasibility study to determine how Etias can be set up at hundreds of airports and border crossings. The legislative process would then begin at the end of the year.

“EU interior ministers called for a digital registration system last year following the terror attacks in Paris. But the system, designed to close recognized security loopholes, has been in planning for much longer. Now, it’s going to become a reality. Similar to the US system, travelers who don’t need a visa for the EU will be required to register online. A fee will be charged for the process; according to EU officials, it could be anywhere between 13 and 50 euros ($15 and $56). Based on the current 30 million travelers from non-EU countries who do not need a visa, that would create income of between 390 million to 1.5 billion euros per year.

“The number of people who don’t need a visa but who will have to pay this ‘entry fee’ could increase considerably in the next few years. After Brexit, millions of British people traveling to the EU for vacations or business trips will also have to pay and register with Etias. The same goes for people from Turkey or Ukraine, in the event that the EU grants them visa-free travel…

“The system to record the movements of all travelers from non-EU states is at the heart of the new security measures. This network, called ‘EES’ should be agreed on by the end of the year…”

This is just the start, and it was predictable. It may become more and more difficult, burdensome and expensive for non-Europeans to even visit the European continent.

Syrian Army Declares End of “Ceasefire”

Deutsche Welle wrote on September 19:

‘The Syrian army has blamed ‘terrorist groups’ of undermining a ceasefire brokered by Washington and Moscow… The Syrian army on Monday unilaterally declared an end to a US-Russia brokered ceasefire that witnessed days of calm across the conflict-ridden country. Syrian officials cited repeated ceasefire violations on behalf of US-backed rebels.

“The US has admitted that a coalition airstrike may have killed scores of Syrian army soldiers amid a fragile ceasefire in Syria. Russia has demanded ‘full and detailed explanations’ at the UN Security Council… At least 80 Syrian soldiers were killed by the US-led coalition airstrikes on Saturday, and included the involvement of British forces…

“President Bashar al-Assad described the airstrikes as ‘blatant American aggression.’ The incident cast doubt on the fragile ceasefire between rebel groups and government forces, prompting a sharp rebuke from Russia…

“Meanwhile, US State Secretary John Kerry, who brokered the deal with his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov, said that Russia failed to uphold its side of the bargain by enforcing the truce and pressuring the Syrian government to halt its attacks…

“More than 250,000 people have been killed and half the population displaced since the conflict erupted five years ago. The conflict erupted in 2011 when government forces launched a brutal crackdown on peaceful protesters calling for President Bashar al-Assad to step down.”

It should have been clear from the outset that that “ceasefire” agreement would never hold.

The “Biggest Threat to Modern Medicine”

The Guardian wrote on September 20:

“All 193 United Nations member states are set to sign a declaration agreeing to combat ‘the biggest threat to modern medicine’ in Wednesday’s high-level meeting on antibiotic resistance…

“It is estimated that more than 700,000 people die each year due to drug-resistant infections… Scientists warned about the threat of antibiotic resistance decades ago when pharmaceutical companies began the industrial production of medicine…”

The Washington Post added on September 21:

“In the United States, drug-resistant gonorrhea already is one of the country’s three most urgent superbug threats… In each case, as with other diseases such as pneumonia and tuberculosis, overexposure to antibiotics has allowed the particular germ to more rapidly develop resistance.”

Crazy Evolutionary Ideas

Daily Mail wrote on September 20:

“Occasionally in science there are theories that refuse to die despite the overwhelming evidence against them. The ‘aquatic ape hypothesis’ is one of these, now championed by Sir David Attenborough in his recent BBC Radio 4 series ‘The Waterside Ape’. The hypothesis suggests that everything from walking upright to our lack of hair, from holding our breath to eating shellfish could be because an aquatic phase in our ancestry…

“In 1960, marine biologist Alister Hardy published an article in New Scientist, titled: Was man more aquatic in the past? He re-told the familiar tale of the evolution of land animals from ancient fish, and then considered the return of various groups of reptiles, birds and mammals to an aquatic existence: ichthyosaurs and plesiosaurs, crocodiles, sea-snakes, penguins, whales, dolphins and porpoises, manatees and dugongs, and seals – as well as polar bears, otters and water voles, who hunt in water. Then he suggested that many of the unique characteristics of humans and their ancestors, marking them out as different from the other apes, could be explained as adaptations to spending time in water.”

The entire evolutionary concept is an appalling foolish blasphemy in the eyes of God.

God Preserved His Word

On September 22, Times of Israel re-published the following article by The Associated Press:

“The charred lump of a 2,000-year-old scroll sat in an Israeli archaeologist’s storeroom for decades, too brittle to open. Now, new imaging technology has revealed what was written inside: the earliest evidence of a biblical text in its standardized form. The passages from the Book of Leviticus, scholars say, offer the first physical evidence of what has long been believed: that the version of the Hebrew Bible used today goes back 2,000 years.

“The discovery… was made using ‘virtual unwrapping,’ a 3D digital analysis of an X-ray scan. Researchers say it is the first time they have been able to read the text of an ancient scroll without having to physically open it…

“The biblical scroll examined in the study was first discovered by archaeologists in 1970 at Ein Gedi, the site of an ancient Jewish community near the Dead Sea… The synagogue was destroyed in an ancient fire, charring the scrolls. The dry climate of the area kept them preserved, but when archaeologists touched them, the scrolls would begin to disintegrate. So the charred logs were shelved for nearly half a century, with no one knowing what was written inside.

“The researchers say it is the first time a biblical scroll has been discovered in an ancient synagogue’s holy ark, where it would have been stored for prayers, and not in desert caves like the Dead Sea Scrolls. The discovery holds great significance for scholars’ understanding of the development of the Hebrew Bible, researchers say.

“In ancient times, many versions of the Hebrew Bible circulated. The Dead Sea Scrolls, dating to as early as the 3rd century B.C., featured versions of the text that are radically different than today’s Hebrew Bible. Scholars have believed the Hebrew Bible in its standard form first came about some 2,000 years ago, but never had physical proof, until now, according to the study. Previously the oldest known fragments of the modern biblical text dated back to the 8th century.

“The text discovered in the charred Ein Gedi scroll is ‘100 percent identical’ to the version of the Book of Leviticus that has been in use for centuries, said Dead Sea Scroll scholar Emmanuel Tov from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, who participated in the study…  ‘In 2,000 years, this text has not changed.’ Noam Mizrahi, a Dead Sea Scrolls expert at Tel Aviv University… said the imaging technology holds great potential for more readings of unopened Dead Sea Scrolls.”

This is indeed a great discovery, also showing that the so-called “Dead Sea Scrolls” were altered by an obscure sect and are totally unreliable.

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