This top photo is of the natural history museum and part of beautiful Balboa park in San Diego.
Next photo is of Sky and Josie center, flanked by a few of our bible school friends. They were the center of an incredible conversation around our table one night about archeology, the scrolls, Biblical manuscripts and I don't know what else...they are clearly a brain trust...so we decided to invite them along to enhance our experience. Here we stopped downtown for lunch.
This last photo...immediately after exploring the exhibit for a solid two hours, the boys headed straight for the books in the gift store to look up some points they were unclear on - we had to laugh! And then ask them their thoughts of course.... Meg is in this photo with the boys.
The exhibit took us 2 hours to work our way through, we did not take Amie and Demi, and I was really, really, really glad that we didn't bring them along...they would have been bored to tears.
It was an incredible experience to see the scroll fragments and other artifacts. Without getting all technical, I just have to say that to stand and look at scroll fragments written in Hebrew from the time of the 2nd temple was amazing...I loved the surety and confirmation evidenced by these same texts word for word the same as the Bible I hold in my hand. I can't describe what I felt, standing in front of a glass case, looking down at Psalm 121 with my daughters- listening to a recording of a Jewish girl singing the Psalm, while I read it with my eyes and sang along in my heart those ancient, comforting words.
It was an amazing exhibit, and learning about daily life at the community where these texts were produced was very interesting. It seemed like a lovely place, a community of believers-living, studying, praying and working together daily. I liked the thought of the group studying scriptures every night for an alloted portion of the evening. Some of the text found are interpreted by scholars as describing their own community; parts of the texts referred to the pure not being overthrown by war or pestilence...it was taken to mean that the group felt if they lived pure lives, that God promised to protect them and let them live forever- but as I read these lines, all I could think was that they were describing the body of Christ- His body made up of believers...the Church that the gates of Hell would not prevail against. The different parts of manuscripts read so like our new testament epistles in some places.
The last part of the exhibit felt a little like the deflating of a balloon...I really think that they tried so hard to make the scrolls identifiable to all people that they stripped it of it's amazing singularity and confirmation of a single message and history. Kind of like the point was out of focus and fuzzy...
And yet, I am so glad we went and saw what our ears have heard and our hearts confirm..
"Hear, O Isreal: The Lord our God, the Lord is one!...."
"I will lift up my eyes to the hills, From where will my help come?
My help comes from Jehovah, Who made heaven and earth.
He will not let your foot slip; He who keeps you will not slumber.
Behold, Israel's keeper Will neither slumber nor sleep.
Jehovah is your keeper; Jehovah is the shade at your right hand.
The sun will not strike you by day,
Nor the moon by night.
Jehovah will keep you from all evil; He will keep your soul.
Jehovah will keep your going out and your coming in
From this time forth, and even forevermore."