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The Dead Sea Scrolls Hoax

“The Museum of the Bible is being as transparent as possible. We’re victims—we’re victims of misrepresentation, we’re victims of fraud” said Harry Corgrave CEO of the Washington, D.C. Museum of the Bible responding to the discovery that the museum’s sixteen fragments of the Dead Sea Scrolls were all forgeries. The entire Dead Sea Scrolls collection are also in question as being not quite as authentic or as old as previously claimed. The evidence suggests that the Dead Sea scrolls are a bunch of medieval documents that have been cobbled together for political reasons and sold to a gullible world. The Dead Sea scrolls allegedly lay hidden in a number of desert caves to be miraculously found and acquired by the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and then used to support the establishment of Israel, a country exclusively for Jews.

The main document “finds” were allegedly made in 1946 and 1947 in caves near the tiny ancient settlement of Qumran when the State of Israel was in the making. The Israeli State was created in 1948. The Dead Sea scrolls are the only really old (alleged to be really old) documents in Hebrew characters that have ever been found. No other really old documents in the Hebrew characters have ever been found. All other documents in Hebrew characters’ date from later than 800 A.D.

Forgers and Academics

In the past, carbon dating the Scrolls parchment would have been a sure way to test for authenticity. However, it is now suspected that many of these “new” or later surfaced fragments use ancient 2,000-year-old leather as their “slate,” thus making carbon dating the previously accepted true and tried authentication technology no longer sufficient. A complex network of high-stakes dubious deals in cahoots with dodgy academic authenticators are making large fortunes. The motive is entirely clear. The tiniest snippets sell for well over $100,000 per fragment in private off-the-books sales. Since 2002, private antiquities markets worldwide have been flooded with certified millennia-old leather fragments inscribed with biblical verses by what appears to be the work of a modern hand. Some scholars believe that one or more of their own has gone rogue. As a result, a proliferation of fakes is being peddled to a growing number of Evangelical Christian collectors. On close examination the entire ‘Dead Sea Scrolls’ hoard fail to stand up to scrutiny.

A Cock and Bull Story

The entire story of the scrolls is riddled with as many holes as the scrolls themselves and their convenient appearance in 1946/47. They were allegedly sold to a dealer of antiquities by a group of Bedouins who had allegedly found them. He wrapped them in cellophane and put it in a shoebox under a floorboard where they lay for eleven years without taking any precautions for their protection and preservation. That’s not the behaviour of a dealer in valuable antiquities. Eleven years later scholars were at last said to have somehow acquired the scrolls which were by then severely damaged by moisture. That story never comes close to passing the Duck Test! As presented, the story makes no sense. It’s just not credible.

A Most Convenient Find

Previous to the Qumran “finds”, critics had pointed to the late date of all documents in Hebrew characters and deduced that the Hebrew Old Testament must have been translated from the Greek Old Testament and not the other way round. Then a very timely miracle occurred. The Dead Sea scrolls were “found” and dated or guestimated to hundreds of years earlier than the oldest previously known documents in Hebrew characters. It is widely claimed that all the scrolls produced had been discovered in the Qumran caves and were dated before 70 A.D. (the supposed time of the sack of Jerusalem by the Romans).

Party Poopers

Up to the present, unauthorised researchers have not been given access to the scrolls nor are they even allowed to photograph the text, lest they spoil the party. For decades, only seven selected scholars have been given access to the scrolls. What are they playing at or hiding?

This continues until certain critics are dead and the scrolls have been carefully purged of all anachronisms (like Arabic numerals). Then, in 1991 just 45 years after their “discovery”, the Huntington Library, in San Marino, California, without consent, made facsimile copies of the scrolls available to all.

Dead Sea Scrolls Hoax

The unauthorised Huntingdon copies allowed numerous researchers without an agenda to examine the previously carefully hidden Dead Sea Scroll documents and deduce their true age and their source. On examination it turns out that some of the Dead Sea Scroll documents such as the “Damascus Document,” are nearly identical to documents from the Genizah collection of the Ben Ezra Synagogue in Cairo, Egypt suggesting that many of the Dead Sea scrolls had their true original source there. Worldwide, there are ten manuscripts of the “Damascus Document” from the Dead Sea scrolls and just two manuscripts from the Cairo Genizah. This strange distribution is the result of fraud. The “Damascus Document” was first published in 1910 by Solomon Schechter in “Fragments of a Zadokite Work.” The Ben Ezra Synagogue in Cairo was established around 900 AD.

The Jewish synagogue coexisted undisturbed in Cairo since around 900 A.D. right in the midst of the Islamic world. Maybe the original Jews were a group of Arabs or vice versa explaining why Hebrew and Arabic are nearly identical languages or are two dialects of the same language. This would explain why the Hebrew and Islamic religious traditions are so similar and it would also explain the arrival of Jews in Spain with the Moors.

Medieval Origin of Scrolls

Some Jewish scholars in particular, Solomon Zeitlin have long insisted that the Dead Sea scrolls were a Medieval production. Zeitlin was a well-known Talmudic scholar and would not make such a claim unless he was convinced it was true. Internal evidence from the scrolls themselves indicates a Medieval production. The fact that 90% of the scrolls are written on vellum proves that these are indeed of Medieval origin. The Qumran story is a good yarn but it does not hold up to any kind of scrutiny.

The Qumran Site

It is estimated that just 20 people occupied the Qumran site. This estimate is based on the number of inhabitants the buildings could accommodate. Now if these 20 people created the Dead Sea Scrolls they were most extraordinary people. They would need to have read and wrote Greek, Phoenician, Aramaic, Nabataean, and Hebrew documents, like natives. They would also have needed to write learned works on numerous religious topics consisting of about 900 manuscripts consisting of about six hundred separate works. They allegedly achieved all of this while gathering enough water, and producing sufficient food for their survival, in a bleak, burning desert. Some have claimed that up to 200 lived at Qumran, but considering the building and the environment that number is unsustainable. The available evidence suggests that the Dead Sea scrolls are a bunch of medieval documents that have been cobbled together for political reasons and sold to a gullible world. Everything in this story suggests fraud. Their age is an estimate without any basis while there is not a single word on the topic of authentication. The story of the Dead Sea Scrolls is a convenient lie both academically and politically.


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