Saturday, March 14, 2020

"'Dead Sea Scrolls' at the Museum of the Bible are all forgeries"

NatGeo:

the Washington, D.C. museum has confirmed a bitter truth about the fragments’ authenticity. On Friday, independent researchers funded by the Museum of the Bible announced that all 16 of the museum’s Dead Sea Scroll fragments are modern forgeries

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The announcement also draws the spotlight back onto how the Museum of the Bible assembled its collection in the first place. In 2017, U.S. officials forced Hobby Lobby to return 5,500 illegally imported clay tablets to Iraq and pay a $3-million fine. In 2019, museum officials announced that 11 papyrus fragments in its collection had been sold to Hobby Lobby by Oxford professor Dirk Obbink, who is accused of stealing the fragments from a papyrus collection he oversaw.

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Christopher Rollston, a specialist on Semitic texts at George Washington University in Washington, D.C., welcomes the effort to set things right. “The Museum of the Bible did some really bad things eight to 10 years ago, and they were rightly criticized severely,” he says. “I believe that they’ve made a number of attempts in recent years to right the ship.