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September 22 1991

By Patrick Van Roy On September 23rd, 2020


Library ends scholarly seclusion of Dead Sea Scrolls

California’s Huntington Library shocks scholars as it releases photocopies of one of the top archaeological finds of the 20th century, the Dead Sea Scrolls. The ancient Jewish biblical texts, previously available to only a few researchers, are now accessible to all.

This is the fun part……


Publication of the scrolls has taken many decades, and delays have been a source of academic controversy. The scrolls were controlled by a small group of scholars headed by John Strugnell, while a majority of scholars had access neither to the scrolls nor even to photographs of the text. Scholars such as Norman Golb, publishers and writers such as Hershel Shanks, and many others argued for decades for publishing the texts, so that they become available to researchers. This controversy only ended in 1991, when the Biblical Archaeology Society was able to publish the “Facsimile Edition of the Dead Sea Scrolls”, after an intervention of the Israeli government and the Israeli Antiquities Authority (IAA).[482] In 1991 Emanuel Tov was appointed as the chairman of the Dead Sea Scrolls Foundation, and publication of the scrolls followed in the same year.

That’s the official story…. the unofficial story of what finally ended the publication “debate” was a pissed off American student. He was tired of the infighting of the “Scholars” the entire text had been digitized for decades, but the fight was over who had the “right” to view them. Only 6 “Scholars” determined who was “allowed” to view what texts. The volunteer student that handled the digital copies was tired of all sides, said FU and dumped the entire copy online….. allowing anyone and everyone in the world to view these historical texts.


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