The Scrolls, One More Time

March 14, 2020
Posted by Jay Livingston

As a distraction from COVID-19, the Museum of the Bible had an important announcement.

The museum said in part, “Moreover, each exhibits characteristics that suggest they are deliberate forgeries created in the twentieth century with the intent to mimic authentic Dead Sea Scroll fragments." [USA Today.]

I know that I shouldn’t be citing Woody Allen these days. Plus, I used this same excerpt from his essay “The Scrolls” not so long ago. But with life so brazenly imitating art, I felt compelled.

Scholars will recall that several years ago a shepherd, wandering in the Gulf of Aqaba, stumbled upon a cave containing several large clay jars and also two tickets to the ice show. Inside the jars were discovered six parchment scrolls with ancient incomprehensible writing . . . .

The authenticity of the scrolls is currently in great doubt, particularly since the word Oldsmobile appears several times in the text.

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