The SBL Artifact Policy Statement

Members of SBL received this email today:

Dear Colleagues,

Members of the Society of Biblical Literature encounter important ethical issues related to the authenticity and provenance of ancient artifacts. Such artifacts include, but are not limited to, archaeological objects and ancient texts (including papyri, inscriptions, cuneiform tablets, and codices). To provide guidance for members, and a framework for articulating the Society’s position on these matters, the SBL Council has voted to endorse and adopt the American Schools of Oriental Research policy on stewardship of archaeological material and unprovenanced artifacts (

The SBL policy statement is available for your review.  It applies to SBL program session presentations at Annual, International, and Regional Meetings, and books and serials published by SBL Press. Implementation will begin with the call for papers for the 2017 Annual Meeting and for 2017 submissions to SBL Press’s books and serials.

Council also wishes to thank the members of the Task Force on Unprovenanced Artifacts: Douglas Boin, Malcolm Choat, John Fitzgerald, Ann Killebrew, Jodi Magness, Eric Meyers, Daniel Schowalter (co-chair), and Christine Thomas (co-chair).

John F. Kutsko
Executive Director

It’s too bad this wasn’t in place before Karen King’s foray into absurdity with her ‘Jesus Wife’ travesty.