Tuesday, October 16, 2012

31 Days of Writing in Community: Day 10- The Dead Sea Scrolls Part 2 : Testimonia

Testify- (verb) From the Latin- witness: To bear witness; to make a statement based on belief; to give evidence
(Merriam Webster)

(Side note: I adore archaeology. It had me at "Indiana Jones".)

Cue the music: Something light and French...A fascinating find by Dead Sea archealogists was the Testimonia scroll. It was a testimony scroll- a list of scriptures on the theme of the Messiah. It might be labeled as a "proof-text". (Texts which prove or disprove an argument.)"The five biblical quotations are connected by commentary or interpretation."(Like a Facebook post with scrolls!) The scriptures cover the "prophet like Moses, priestly Messiah, and royal Messiah". It even has a nickname, "4QTest". 'Sup, 4QTest?! Word. The whole point: Messiah.
(West Semitic Research Project, USC)

When reading, read wisely.
Let in only testimony to your purpose.


It testifies to the nature of Messiah- but also to the purpose of the people at Qumran. They were of a singular aim- being ready for the Messiah. Every scripture copied or commented upon contained this theme. Every behavior choice funneled energy toward this purpose. They refused to write or read on any other topic.

When writing, write wisely.
Let every word testify to your purpose.

Purpose is a tricky thing. There are times when I am so sure of my purpose. The clarity is astounding, the energy sizzles; Every choice feels right somehow. And then, there are murkier times. I feel I am lobbing waterballoons into a dark,vast canyon and hoping the splooshy pop gives me a sense of direction. Every action seems scattered and unrelated- it is a fuzzy puzzle and none of the pieces fit.Fear whispers menacingly. Keeps me from being able to produce for fear of  wrong step, wrong turn, wrong hope. There are times when I think I know the purpose and it comes to be something entirely different. Community can help. Community reminds you of your purpose, your dreams, your hopes. Community can corrall your wandering herd of thoughts. But the wrong community can detract from your purpose. True community- (common unity)- should only bolster your purpose.

When choosing a community, choose wisely.
 Be a part of something that testifies to your purpose.


Dixie McLeod said...

5loved the water balloon analogy!!! this is powerful writing....by the way.....

Karise said...

Thank you! (That was Keely's favorite part,too! ) :)