Comments about ‘Utahn's work with Dead Sea Scrolls adds insights for Bible translation’

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Published: Saturday, Aug. 15 2009 12:00 a.m. MDT

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Go Don, you rock!

Don was my Hebrew teacher at BYU. What a great honor for a great guy.


I thought the Jehova's Witnesses have the correct translation, I was told that their religion had already translated their version of the bible from the dead sea scrolls long ago.....seems like a correct translation is more complicated than their religion might teach.

dead sea scrolls

yawn. about as interesting as a walk through central cleveland in the fog.


I wonder how creative he will be in tying these to the Book of Mormon. I am sure he will come back home to Zion a hero.

Zadruga Guy

Klueth, Parry's scholarly credentials speak for themselves. He is, simply put, one of the world's leading experts on the Dead Sea Scrolls. What are your credentials to speak on the Book of Mormon?

Ronnie Buckley

Facinating, I look forward to the outcome of all this.
I have spent some time in the middle East and have been to where the Dead sea scrolls where found and have seen parts of them. Anything that can shine more light and knowledge on the Gospel Plan is so welcome to me as I work my way back to my Father in Heaven.
Thanks for reporting on this

Lloyd Knowles

I spent a year and a half studying Parry's "Understanding Isaiah" and it was more like a stroll through central Jerusalem. What insight! To Klueth: Parry's work is scholarly, not creative. In his own writings he has the freedom to make the connection between the translations and his Faith; but the actual translations have to be as accurate as possible. This is an amazing work.


I hope there are Christian scholors which are overseeing Don Parry's work. I would be concerned about no peer review for this man and connecting dots to mormonism which just aren't there.


@Concerned: Don Parry has 100 times more knowledge about Christianity and the Bible in his little finger than you do in your entire body. His work is entirely scholarly.

I never cease to be amazed at some of the ignorant comments from those who have little knowledge of scripture (particularly the Book of Mormon) and yet spew criticism at those who have great knowledge.

You know it's really easy to write a blog that says there are no connections between Mormonism and the Bible. What I'd like to see you do is give some backup evidence to prove your unfounded statements. Gosh, I'd better not hold my breath.

Jody Palmer

I hope this guy does well but keeps this venture into context on looking at the scrolls. I do have my doubt, however he is trying to come up with a smoking gun to connect the Mormon church and these scrolls. I do hope there indeed is a great deal of peer review (not practiced at byu) and Christian scholars who are supervising this effort. The best of luck to this man and I hope he is doing an honest effort and not doing the work of the Mormon church to create it as a legitmate organization.


Any rational person knows that a Christian, by definition, is a believer in and follower of Jesus Christ. So Dr. Parry is, of course, a Christian. His appointment to this project speaks volumes about his scholarly reputation.


"Some of the variant readings scholars don't even know – you can state it can go either way,"
Parry said.

If the man is a scholar, and indeed he is, it would be beneath his scholary expertise to "tilt" the translation to favor any particular Faith. On the other hand, just as Jewish, Catholic and other scholars bring their "interpretation" of what has been translated from the Scrolls, it is Dr. Parry's perogative to do so as well as a Latter-day Saint. This has been the case with the Bible for hundreds of years. Dr. Parry does not claim to have the "spiritual gift" of translation. He is doing his work as a scholar, not a Prophet.


Dr. Parry would not have the reputation that would even get him considered for this activity if he seemed to be 'too LDS'. It is indeed a nod to his scholarly abilities that they would even consider him let alone offer him a position. To those who think that every Mormon has a hidden agenda, learn more about what you criticize before you open your mouths. There are many LDS who are at the top of their professions, not because they are LDS but because they do a good job.



Sounds like a great scholar, an expert in his field who will bring skill and knowledge to a challenging project.

Clearly the non-Mormon critics are nervous and paranoid about the legitimacy that this brings to Mormonism; they should calm down. He happens to be an expert in his field who is a Mormon--so what?

And...Mormons who think this stuff has some connection to the Book of Mormon are equally misguided. This is about ancient Judaism and Hebrew culture/artifacts. There isn't any archeological or DNA evidence for BOM connection to Judaism etc. This doesn't mean people can't sincerely believe there is a connection. It just means there isn't any physical evidence. In the end, who can really explain "faith" or supernatural belief?! Some believe, some don't--for a variety of reasons.

Anyway, I wish this scholar success in his endeavour. He clearly has the expertise and respect of his expert peers.


I hope the dude well but question his integrity. The mormon church has certain expectation placed on members and there are serious cultural damages if this guy bucks the faith; on the other hand if he follows through and links all together then he is inline for some sweet church positions. We will see what happens but as an individual we have to give him the benefit of the doubt; on the other hand if the church get to him all bets are off.

Re prejeudices

The Christian world has a couple keys to watch Mormons on tranlation, 1.The Septuagint a Greek translation of the Bible about 250 BC Jesus quotes from this(Apostles Bible). Joseph Smith made many changes in tranlation of Isaiah, If this Scholar agrees with the JST translation that would be another key. will see.


Just when I think I might enjoy moving back to Utah, I am reminded why it is good to be away from Utah. Why does everything that an LDS person does have to have some religious motivation to PROVE their faith. Faith cannot be proved. I happen to know many great members of the LDS faith who are great because they are just great people. They are successful because they are successful. Why do we never hear these same complaints about Baptists or Methodists.....as if they could never have ulterior motives for things they do or participate in. This man is a world reknown scholar who is recognized for his scholarly talents AND his integrity. The fact that he is LDS isn't the issue. The fact that he is a truly talented scholar and professional at what he does is all that matters.

Alan Tennuchi

To those who question Perry's honesty and integrity, I hope that you apply the same criteria to others on the team. I am sure that they do not all agree 100% theologicaly with each other.

The original translation of the scrolls was done by many Roman Catholics. Do we see the veneration of Mary introduced?


Another Book of Abraham. Mormons are noted for translations.

To Jody Palmer 11:46 am

YOU: I do hope there indeed is a great deal of peer review and Christian scholars who are supervising this effort. The best of luck to this man and I hope he is doing an honest effort and not doing the work of the Mormon church to create it as a legitmate organization.

Will "Christian scholars" be objective themselves, or will they also bring their assumptions and prejudices just like any Baptist, Jew, Mormon, or Catholic?

Dr. Parry has already participated in the scrolls projects for many years with high praise from his fellow scholars. He is talented and a recognized expert.

The Mormon church already is a "legitimate organization".

The only "work" Parry will do is to apply his scholarly talents to produce the most accurate translation possible. His integrity has spoken and will speak volumes.

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