Israeli press laments Dead Sea Scrolls 'scandal'

World
Wed, 24 Oct 2018 19:34 GMT
Claims by Washington’s Bible Museum that some of the Dead Sea Scrolls are “fake” would -- if confirmed -- represent “one of the biggest scandals in recent years”, Israeli daily Yedioth Ahronoth reported on Wednesday. On Monday, the Bible Museum in Washing...
Israeli press laments Dead Sea Scrolls 'scandal'

Claims by Washington’s Bible Museum that some of the Dead Sea Scrolls are “fake” would -- if confirmed -- represent “one of the biggest scandals in recent years”, Israeli daily Yedioth Ahronoth reported on Wednesday.

On Monday, the Bible Museum in Washington DC announced the results of a recently-concluded third-party analysis of five of the 16 scrolls.

First discovered in 1947 north of the Dead Sea (in what is now the Israeli-occupied West Bank), the scrolls contain roughly 850 manuscript fragments written mostly in ancient Hebrew.

Israeli historians and archaeologists claim the manuscripts date back to a period between the second century BC and the first century AD.

But according to the findings of the museum’s third-party analysis, the characteristics of the analyzed scrolls “do not conform with the ancient style and therefore will not be displayed in the museum”.

"We had hoped the analysis would lead to different results,” the museum said in a Wednesday statement, “but this is an opportunity to educate the public on the importance of verifying the authenticity of rare archaeological artifacts of biblical significance.”

According to the same statement, previous examinations of certain parts of the scrolls had “raised questions regarding their authenticity”.

"Initial findings of an earlier study, which were published in an academic journal last year, brought additional parts of the scrolls into question," it added.

The most recent analysis, the museum went on to assert, “casts further doubt on the authenticity of all five manuscripts [under examination]”.

In its Wednesday edition, Yedioth Ahronoth wrote: “The Dead Sea Scrolls, which have been deposited in the Bible Museum in Washington and are valued at millions of dollars, have been found to be fake.”

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