Tuesday, October 11, 2016

New Dead Sea Scrolls fragments?

THEY STILL KEEP COMING — BUT ARE THEY GENUINE? 25 New 'Dead Sea Scrolls' Revealed (Owen Jarus, Live Science).
More than 25 previously unpublished "Dead Sea Scroll" fragments, dating back 2,000 years and holding text from the Hebrew Bible, have been brought to light, their contents detailed in two new books.

The various scroll fragments record parts of the books of Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Deuteronomy, Samuel, Ruth, Kings, Micah, Nehemiah, Jeremiah, Joel, Joshua, Judges, Proverbs, Numbers, Psalms, Ezekiel and Jonah. The Qumran caves ― where the Dead Sea Scrolls were first discovered ― had yet to yield any fragments from the Book of Nehemiah; if this newly revealed fragment is authenticated it would be the first.

Scholars have expressed concerns that some of the fragments are forgeries. ...
And further to that, see this Live Science article, also by Owen Jarus: Are These New Dead Sea Scrolls the Real Thing?
The Dead Sea Scrolls are about 2,000 years old and hold text from the Hebrew Bible. Hundreds of fragments of the scrolls were first found between 1947 and 1956 in caves in Qumran in the Judean Desert.

More recently, additional scroll fragments have come to light. Since 2002, around 70 Dead Sea Scrolls fragments have appeared on the antiquities market, said Eibert Tigchelaar, a professor at the University of Leuven in Belgium, in an interview with Live Science.

Tigchelaar believes that some of the scroll fragments that have recently appeared are actually modern-day forgeries, while others are not from Qumran, but rather other caves in the Judean Desert, possibly ones that haven't been discovered by archaeologists.

"I think what we have here is a mix of material that is authentic and of material that are forgeries," Tigchelaar told Live Science.

He has some good arguments for his position. Artifacts without a provenance can be very difficult to authenticate. Background here. The Nehemiah scroll fragment mentioned in the first article was noted here and here. The new Brill volume publishing some of these new scroll fragments was noted here. The initiative to search for more Judean Desert scrolls (so far only in the Cave of Skulls) was noted here, here, here, and here.