More Forged Scrolls in a Major Collection

My colleague Torleif Elgvin and I just published a paper in which we discuss Dead Sea Scrolls forgeries in the Schøyen Collection.

In this paper, we offer a global assessment of all Dead Sea Scrolls in the Schøyen collection. Several fragments had already been excluded from the official volume, but we argue that there are more forgeries.

To find out, please read our paper, available on Peeter’s website or below.

Torleif Elgvin and Michael Langlois, “Looking Back: (More) Dead Sea Scrolls Forgeries in The Schøyen Collection,” Revue de Qumrân 113 (2019): 111–33.

Friends, if you aren’t skeptical of every ‘bible’ discovery, whether it be an artifact or a text, you’re not doing your job. These days artifacts are guilty until proven innocent.  Don’t allow the BAR-ification of biblical studies to deceive you.

Oxford Commentary on the Dead Sea Scrolls

The Oxford Commentary on the Dead Sea Scrolls is a series intended for the scholarly study of the most important non-biblical Dead Sea Scrolls. It aims to provide scholarship of the highest level that is accessible to non-specialists, based on the best digitized images and readings. Each volume will include a synthetic and substantial introduction, followed by a line-by-line commentary on the scrolls. The commentary will provide an English translation, textual notes and thematic discussions of the original Hebrew text of the scrolls.


Michael Langlois and the Dead Sea Scrolls

I was interviewed by Science & Life Magazine on recent issues pertaining to the Dead Sea Scrolls, including forgeries.

You can find the magazine here; I also attach the article in PDF format:

Marielle Mayo, “La saga de Qumrân continue” in Les Cahiers de Science & Vie 185, 04/2019, p. 10-13.

I want to thank journalist Marielle Mayo for contacting me when she was writing this article. The saga of the Dead Sea Scrolls is indeed not over! 🙂


Ezra-Nehemiah and the Dead Sea Scrolls: INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE

Call for Papers

This International Conference explores the wider horizons of the agenda of Professor Charlotte Hempel’s AHRC Project on Ezra’s Legacy and the Dead Sea Scrolls: Law and Narratives of Exclusion. Papers are invited on any aspect of research on Ezra-Nehemiah and the Dead Sea Scrolls in the broadest sense including the history of Jewish Law, Prayer in the Second Temple Period, the role of founder narratives and figures, the linguistic landscape including multi-lingualism, gender and sexuality studies, the social movements and tensions depicted in both literatures and the contribution of archaeology. Equally pertinent is the wider canvas of the pre-history of Rabbinic Judaism and the New Testament, and other Earl. Finally, any aspects not mentioned explicitly here that might creatively and innovatively be related to this broad research agenda will be considered.


Let’s Not Forget BAR’s Role in Publishing Scrolls From The Same Sources

Five of its Dead Sea Scroll fragments are fake, the Museum of the Bible in Washington was forced to admit last week. The embarrassed institution may be in good company: Out of at least 70 fragments ostensibly from the Scrolls held in various collections around the world, scholars warn that all are probably forged.

As the experts ponder who is responsible for the scandal in the Museum of the Bible, which may be the largest case of antiquities fraud in years, some researchers are placing a big chunk of the blame on a surprising culprit: themselves.

“Without the scholars, we would not have this big scandal,” agrees Arstein Justnes, a professor of biblical studies at the University of Agder, Norway, who also runs the blog The Lying Pen of Scribes, which tracks the suspicious scroll fragments.

But how could this have happened? How difficult is it to establish that a fragment of pottery or scroll is genuine? The answer is, not as difficult as you might think.

In his opinion, Justnes says, if the fragments in the Bible Museum had turned out to be genuine, they still shouldn’t have been displayed unless the museum divulged their provenance and proved they were legit.

But by uncritically publishing the scroll fragments, the scientific community “sent a strong signal to the antiquities market that it really didn’t care too much about provenance,” he says. “This really stimulated the antiquities market, and it was an encouragement to every looter under the desert sun. For over 15 years, several prominent Dead Sea Scrolls scholars have effectively laundered unprovenanced material.”

And more, which do read.  And though the article completely ignores the major role that BAR has played in the entire Scrolls story, BAR too bears some responsibility.

The September Biblical Studies Carnival: A Learning Extravaganza At the Fair

Below you’ll find a whole midway of Biblical Studies learning.  Check out the Hebrew Bible Hoop Shot, The New Testament Nacho Stall, the Archaeology Arcade, The Miscellaneous Mouse Coaster, and the Book Bumble Bee!  There are enough thrills here to delight even the most stoic scholar or student.  Or even the most angry of the angriest angry atheists.

At the Gate

Before you proceed one step further, you HAVE to read Dan Wallace’s post on the importance of the biblical languages in theological education.  Go do it now.

The Hebrew Bible Hoop Shot

It’s time to try your skills with the round ball and see how many points you can score by reading the posts described.  To start off, give a read to this essay which is over on Travis Bohlinger’s blog on teaching Hebrew Bible outside of your confessional boundaries if you aren’t Jewish.

There’s some Hebrew Bible stuff noted by Jose here.  3 points.

Mid October be sure not to miss the Annual Genizah Lecture if you are in or around Cambridge.  If you attend, you get three points.

John Rogerson lectured, shortly before his death (on 4 September, 2018- may he rest in peace), on the forgiveness of sin.  Give it a watch.  Deane has also assembled other lectures by Rogerson on things like the Kingdom of God and the Prophets.

James Tabor (my best friend from olden times) posted an interesting snippet on the Messiah before Jesus.  Give it a read.

The LXX readers edition editors are very excited about pre-publication endorsings.  You may be too.  Personally I’m very excited about the volume’s appearance.  In spite of the fact that I haven’t seen it…

Semitica is out with a new volume, number 60, edited by Langlois and Römer.

Did you know that Song of Songs was the most popular book of the Bible in the Middle Ages?  Yup.  Thanks, weird ‘Jesus is my boyfriend’ mystic loons.  Read the post.  It’s good.

The New Testament Nacho Stall

Time for a snack, on New Testament cheesy nachos.  First up, the British New Testament Society annual meeting was held at St Mary’s, Twickenham.  There was plenty of tasty tacos and buttery biscuits and cotton candy to be had by all who attended.  The conference, open to all who are duly qualified, meets every September somewhere in the UK.

Christian Brady has some observations about the Syro-phonecian woman.  Spicy!

Nympha, anyone?  Nympha and the letter to the Colossians?  Well here’s your post!  Give it a read.  It’s spicy!

Michael Jones has some great stuff (jalapeno-esque) to say about Schweitzer and Paul and suffering.  Michael has been friends with Timothy Bertolet for a long time, so he’s something of an expert on suffering.

For pity’s sake… stop with the goat talk.  Richard Goode is behind this.  Richard *The Goat* Goode is a bad, bad, bad, bearded, bad man.

Conrad Gempf (LST) gave a 20 minute talk on Jesus and the Scriptures.  Enjoy.  It’s got a bit of onion but cheesy onion nachos are super.

Lauren Larkin on Luke.  Lovely.  Look.  It’s laudable.

Did you know that Mark’s use of the Old Testament is important for understanding his Christology?  Wow.  Next, we discover that water, when liquid, is wet, and we then learn that a bullet to the head can be seriously injurious!!!!!  More cheese please!

Christian Brady did a video lecture for a group and even though it posted at the tail end of August, I’m including it here, because I know you never saw it:

Phil Long did a series of posts on the Sermon on the Mount.  Here’s the kickoff.  And you can find the rest on his blogge.

Here’s a recap of the BNTS annual meeting.  Nice work, Travis…  Travis seems like a nice person though he may well not be.  I don’t know.  I’ve not met him.  He may be a serial killer.  Who knows.  Anyway, read his post.  It’s not like he can reach through your screen and strangle you.

Luke 23:46… in music….  Okie dokie.  That’s nacho-esque right there.  Very nacho-esque.

Jimbob Snapp has some interesting comments about Mark 7:3f.  It’s a load of nachos without too much cheese.  (But I wish he had a better blog layout.  I don’t like the aesthetics of it.  That’s just me, and I’m not being judgy, but it reminds me of the 1st generation America Online style and it hurts my soul and senses).

Mike Bird has some interesting things to say about the book of Revelation and the doctrine of revelation.  Give it a read.  It’s just mildly cheesy.

The Archaeology / Dead Sea Scrolls Arcade

Test your skills and see if you can tell the fakes from the real thing.  One thing’s certain; the articles from Dead Sea Discoveries and made freely available to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the journal are anything but fakes.

Israel Finkelstein lectured in Zurich and the three lectures have been posted on the University’s theology department YouTube page.  Enjoy.  There’s lot’s of wisdom there.

Michael Langlois was in Australia talking about forgery stuff.  If you missed it, you missed it.

Did they find the church where the First Council of Nicaea was held nearly 1700 years ago?  Maybe.  The evidence sure seems to be there.  If they did, well that’s just pretty cool.  And I can’t wait to see how BAR exaggerates it!  Fun times!

On the other hand, 9 Dead Sea Scrolls ‘discovered’ in recent years are obviously fakes.  Well, I mean obvious to everyone but BAR readers.  But, speaking of the Scrolls, T&T Clark published what will be a standard volume for study of the Scrolls on the 20th.  It’s a massive volume with massive amounts of information.

If you would like to learn archaeology from an actual archaeologist- take Aren Maeir’s MOOC – coming soon!  It looks fantastic.

The Miscellaneous Mouse Coaster

Sit back, relax, and prepare to be turned upside down and lose all the change in your pocket.  Michael Bird has some thoughts on dealing with predatory priests drawn from Basil.  If only the Romanists would follow Basil’s guidance.

Ready to be really horrified?  Then hop on the academic publisher paywall exploitation express!  Yeah, I’m looking right at you JSTOR.

There’s still time for you to make plans to attend the Mowinckel Memorial Lecture, given in November by the brilliant Anne Katrine Gudme.

The Museum of the Bible… some don’t like it.  Peter talks about how Alexander talks about it.  It’s worth talking about their talking about it but it itself is something each person on their own has to decide their feely feelings about without having their sentiments dictated to them from Iowa or Yale or Birmingham.  Make up your own minds, sheeple.

Get your calendar (or diary, if you’re a Britlander) and take note of the dates of the 2019 meeting of IOSCS.  And if that meeting doesn’t make your heart pound maybe Syriac Bootcamp will…  Man that sounds terrifying.  I don’t know, but I think they make you eat Syriac and drink Syriac and carry around big heavy bags of Syriac and sleep on Syriac and it all seems so cruel.  But maybe you’re into that…

Randy B. takes a look at the Golden Mouth and Calvin.  Sure, it’s not something related to the Bible but it’s a good post so I’m including it.  If you don’t like it, be sure to comment below….

Interesting lecture here about those who like and those who don’t like Semites, in biblical studies.  And thanks, Deane.  Speaking of Deane Galbraith, he wins the post title of the month with this one: An Assmannian Global Spirituality Index.  Germans have such funny names.  And talk about a roller coaster stomach churning plunge…

There was a lot of discussion of Nike this month.  Randy did the best job of discussing it.  You should read it.  Strictly speaking, it’s not a biblical studies post- but it does have to do with biblical interpretation/application and that’s a good enough reason to include it here.

Hey, go work at Emory!  If your thing is New Testament, that is.  They already have Jacob Wright, so they don’t need anyone else for Hebrew Bible.

The Book Bumble Bee

Welcome to the stinging (of your bank account).

First up, the Logos free book of the month for September was Walter Kaiser’s ‘Preaching and Teaching the Last Things’.  It’s a different one now, because the free book for October is up.  And I don’t know what it is.  Because this post went live before the posting of the new free book of the month.  So go find out what it is.  And avoid Kaiser’s book because it’s fundamentalist rubbish.

Don’t miss Paula Fredriksen’s review of Matthew Thiessen’s book on Paul.

Michael Jones is sharing news of a 40th anniversary edition of Sanders’ ‘Paul and Palestinian Judaism’.  Go ahead and get a copy if you don’t already have one.  It’s quite a large book (which means it says far more than we know) and it is a real sleep aid / door stop / deadly weapon when hurled at an annoying person’s head!  It’s multi-purpose!

Evidently one or two people who read something called ‘Credo’ magazine must be mildly interested in actual biblical scholarship (I know, it shocked me too), because they convinced Will Ross to write something about the LXX.  I’m sure in their heads they read that ‘El, ex, ex’ and don’t know what it means.  Hopefully Will can help them.

Don’t read this terrible interview by the terrible Travis Bowlinger of the equally terrible Chris Le Keith.  Don’t do it.  It’s about a good series but the two principles of the post are terrible.  Terrible……..

Interested in the history of scholarship?  German scholarship?  German Dead Sea Scrolls scholarship?  If you answered yes, this will be of interest to you.

Do take a look at the post on the OUP blog about a new book on Darwinism.  You won’t regret it as much as you would a bee sting.


We hope you had fun.  But, really, it doesn’t matter.  Because we did.  As you leave, make sure you haven’t forgotten your children.  And here’s our final word, brought to you by Terry Eagleton:

“Imagine someone holding forth on biology whose only knowledge of the subject is the Book of British Birds, and you have a rough idea of what it feels like to read Richard Dawkins on theology.” Terry Eagleton

Hahahahaha.  Dilettante owned.

See you next time!

If You’re in Australia…

Michael Langlois is there-

I will be in Sydney for an international conference on 20–21 Sept 2018. I have been invited by Macquarie University to give a paper at a meeting entitled “Manuscripts from the Margins: How to edit a forgery”. My paper is entitled: “The Jerusalem Papyrus: Is it a forgery, and how to deal with it?

More here.

Six More

They’re all free.

The Dead Sea Scrolls and German Scholarship: Thoughts of an Englishman Abroad

By George Brooke

This booklet is a fresh consideration of German-speaking scholarship on the Dead Sea Scrolls; it divides the scholarship into two phases corresponding with pre- and post 1989 Germany.

In the first phase the dominant place given to how the scrolls inform the context of Jesus is analyzed as one of several means through which the study of Judaism was revitalized in post-war Germany. Overall it is argued that the study of the Scrolls has been part of the broader German tradition of the study of antiquity, rather than simply a matter of Biblical Studies.

In addition the booklet stresses the many very fine German contributions to the provision of study resources, to the masterly techniques of manuscript reconstruction, to the analysis of the scrolls in relation to the New Testament and Early Judaism, and to the popularization of scholarship for a thirsty public. It concludes that German scholarship has had much that is distinctive in its study of the Dead Sea Scrolls.

The Philip R. Davies Qumran Slide Collection

This is the best thing you’ll see online today.

DQCAAS is extremely grateful to the late Prof. Philip R. Davies for generously making available to us his slide collection of Qumran. These slides were taken in 1970-71 when he was a doctoral student in Jerusalem, working on the Dead Sea Scrolls, and Travelling Scholar at the British School of Archaeology in Jerusalem (now the Kenyon Institute). These slides include a remarkable picture of Fr. Roland de Vaux explaining how the people of Qumran washed their laundry.

Philip Davies, Emeritus Professor at Sheffield University and Chair of the Palestine Exploration Fund, was one of our key supporters.  He is a towering figure in the study of the Dead Sea Scrolls, and author of a book that engages with the archaeology of the site of Qumran and its environs: Qumran (Cities of the Biblical World; Guildford: Lutterworth Press/Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1982). He was co-founder and director of Sheffield Academic Press and founding editor of the Journal for the Study of the Old Testament, and Professor Emeritus of Sheffield University, were he worked since 1975.

Philip laid out the slides on the Palestine Exploration Fund lightbox on 13 September, 2017, as shown in this image taken by Sandra Jacobs, DQCAAS Network Facilitator and Researcher. At this time no one knew that his illness was so serious. Philip died on 31 May, 2018.

Free Access to ‘Dead Sea Discoveries’ Till August 16

Free articles from Dead Sea Discoveries

To celebrate the 25th Volume of Dead Sea Discoveries, 25 articles from the past 25 Volumes will be available for free downloading during 2018.

The following 5 articles are now freely accessible until 16 August:

Did John the Baptist Eat like a Former Essene? Locust-eating in the Ancient Near East and at Qumran
James Kelhoffer (Volume 11, No. 3)

Mystery or History: The Dead Sea Scrolls as Pop Phenomenon
Maxine Grossman (Volume 12, No. 1)

The Book(s) Attributed to Noah
Michael Stone (Volume 13, No. 1)

The Development of the Early Recensions of the Damascus Document
Menahem Kister (Volume 14, No. 1)

What Has Happened to the Laws? The Treatment of Legal Material in 4QReworked Pentateuch
Moshe Bernstein (Volume 15, No. 1)

The T&T Clark Companion to the Dead Sea Scrolls

Word today that the volume is due out next month

The Dead Sea Scrolls are one of the most important archaeological discoveries of the last century. They have great historical, religious, and linguistic significance, not least in relation to the transmission of many of the books which came to be included in the Hebrew Bible. This companion comprises over 70 articles, exploring the entire body of the key texts and documents labelled as Dead Sea Scrolls.

Beginning with a section on the complex methods used in discovering, archiving and analysing the Scrolls, the focus moves to consideration of the Scrolls in their various contexts: political, religious, cultural, economic and historical. The genres ascribed to groups of texts within the Scrolls- including exegesis and interpretation, poetry and hymns, and liturgical texts – are then examined, with due attention given to both past and present scholarship. The main body of the Companion concludes with crucial issues and topics discussed by leading scholars. Complemented by extensive appendices and indexes, this Companion provides the ideal resource for those seriously engaging with the Dead Sea Scrolls.

Table of contents

List of Images and Figures
List of Contributors
Introduction – George J. Brooke and Charlotte Hempel

I. Background
Discoveries – Hans Debel
Archaeology of Qumran – Dennis Mizzi
Manuscript Collections: An Overview – Mladen Popovic
Publication Process – Weston Fields and son
Scholarly and Popular Reception – Matthew Collins

II. Context
Ethnicity: A Fresh Religious Context of the Scrolls – Robert Kugler
The Yahad in the Context of Hellenistic Group Formation – Benedikt Eckhardt
Regional Context of the Dead Sea – Joan E. Taylor
Qumran and the Ancient Near East – Henryk Drawnel
Scrolls and Early Judaism – George J. Brooke
Scrolls and Early Christianity – Albert Hogeterp
Scrolls and Hellenistic Jewish Literature
a. Philo – Joan E. Taylor
b. Josephus – James McLaren
c. Other Literature – Matthias Henze
Scrolls and non-Jewish Hellenistic Literature – Jutta Leonhardt Balzer

III. Methods 
Physicality of Manuscripts and Material Culture – Ingo Kottsieper
Scientific Technologies – Ingo Kottsieper
Reading and Reconstructing Manuscripts – Annette Steudel
Languages: Hebrew, Aramaic, Greek – Holger Gzella
Biblical Scholarship and Qumran Studies – Reinhard G. Kratz
Scrolls and the Study of the Ancient World – Benjamin Wright
Historiography – Philip R. Davies
Social Scientific Approaches
a. Sectarianism – David Chalcraft
b. Sociolinguistics – Trine Hasselbach
c. Identity Theory – Lloyd Pietersen
Postmodern and Poststructuralist Questions – Maxine Grossman

IV. Key Texts 
Aramaic Job – David Shepherd
Aramaic Levi – Vered Hillel
Authoritative Scriptures: Torah and Related Texts – Katell Berthelot
Authoritative Scriptures: Prophets and Related Texts – Roman Vielhauer
Authoritative Scriptures: Writings and Related Texts – Ulrich Dahmen
Authoritative Scriptures: Other – Kelley Coblentz Bautch and Jack Weinbender
Barkhi Nafshi – Daniel Falk
Bar Kokhba Letters – Lutz Doering
Beatitudes – Dorothy Peters
Berakhot – Daniel Falk
Commentaries on Genesis – George J. Brooke
Copper Scroll – Jesper Høgenhaven
Damascus Document (D) – Liora Goldman
Genesis Apocryphon – Daniel Machiela
Hodayot (H) – Angela Kim Harkins
Instruction – Benjamin Wold
Messianic Apocalypse – Eric Mason
Mil?amah (M) – Brian Schultz
Miq?at Ma?ase ha-Torah (MMT) – Hanne von Weissenberg
Mysteries – Samuel Thomas
New Jerusalem – Michael Langlois
Pesharim – Shani Tzoref
Rule of Blessings (Sb) – Judith Newman
Rule of Congregation (Sa) – Corrado Martone
Serekh ha-Yahad (S) – Stephen Hultgren
Songs of the Sabbath Sacrifice – Judith Newman
Son of God Text – Eric Mason
Tan?umim – Jesper Hogenhaven
Temple Scroll – Joseph Angel
Testimonia – Eva Mroczek
Wiles of Wicked Woman – Michael Lesley
Words of the Luminaries – Judith Newman

V. Types of Literature
Bible – Mika Pajunen
Parabiblical Texts /Rewritten Scripture – Molly Zahn
Exegesis and Interpretation – Michael Segal
Halakhah – Vered Noam
Rules – Charlotte Hempel
Poetry and Hymns – Daniel Stökl Ben Ezra
Liturgical Texts – Daniel Falk
Calendars – Helen Jacobus
Wisdom – Matthew Goff
Mystical Texts, Magic, and Divination – Gideon Bohak

VI. Issues and Topics 
Patriarchs and Aramaic Traditions – Ariel Feldman
Revelation – Hindy Najman and Nick Hilton
God(s), Angels and Demons – Hanne von Weissenberg
Eschatologies and Messianisms – Kenneth E. Pomykala
Jerusalem and the Temple – Mila Ginsburskaya
Purity and Holiness – Cecilia Wassen
The Scribes of the Scrolls – Eibert J. C. Tigchelaar
Forms of Community – Alison Schofield
Daily Life – Cecilia Wassen
Ethics and Dualism – Marcus Tso
War and Violence -Alex Jassen

APPENDICES A-G – Drew Longacre, Michael DeVries

Index – Michael DeVries

Live Streaming George Brooke Lecture

Via the undersigned-

Dear Colleagues,

We are happy to invite you to join us this Wednesday, 30 May, from 13.30-15.30, at the University of Groningen Faculty of Theology and Religious Studies (Oude Boteringestraat 38), room 117, for the Dirk Smilde Research Seminar.

Professor George Brooke will present on “Comparing Rules and Rituals,” his fifth in a series of lectures on “Comparative Studies with Special Reference to the Dead Sea Scrolls.”

If you are unable to join us in person, please join us virtually by watching the live stream of Professor Brooke’s lecture at the RUG Faculty of Theology and Religious Studies Facebook page:

We very much look forward to seeing you all then!

Best wishes,

Dr. Jason M. Zurawski