So last night at our Thursday night group we got on the subject of the scriptures - what they are and what they are not. We found ourselves in a place where it was asked, "What if we found a text, or a portion of a text, that a consensus of people agreed belongs in the canonical scriptures, what would we do?"
In response, we talked about the finds at Qumran, which have revolutionized how we understand and read the scriptures. I brought up that in the latest NRSV editions, there has indeed been an addition made to 1 Samuel - a paragraph length addition which is felt was lost in the Masoretic text [the literary edition that gives us the Hebrew scriptures we have today], but has now been restored from a Dead Sea Scroll fragment.
Here's the addition, which appears between 1 Samuel 10.27 and 1 Samuel 11.1. The addition is in italics.
Samuel told the people the rights and duties of the kingship; and he wrote them in a book and laid it up before the LORD. Then Samuel sent all the people back to their homes. Saul also went to his home at Gibeah, and with him went warriors whose hearts God had touched. But some worthless fellows said, "How can this man save us?" They despised him and brought him no present. But he held his peace.
Now Nahash, king of the Ammonites, had been grievously oppressing the Gadites and the Reubenites. He would gouge out the right eye of each of them and would not grant Israel a deliverer. No one was left of the Israelites across the Jordan whose right eye Nahash, king of the Ammonites, had not gouged out. But there were seven thousand men who had escaped from the Ammonites and had entered Jabesh-gilead.
About a month later, Nahash the Ammonite went up and besieged Jabesh-gilead; and all the men of Jabesh said to Nahash, "Make a treaty with us, and we will serve you." But Nahash the Ammonite said to them, "On this condition I will make a treaty with you, namely that I gouge out everyone's right eye, and thus put disgrace upon all Israel."
Interesting, is it not? Adding to the scriptures... any thoughts?