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(100,995 posts)
Fri Mar 13, 2020, 03:53 PM Mar 2020

'Dead Sea Scrolls' at the Museum of the Bible are all forgeries [View all]

On the fourth floor of the Museum of the Bible, a sweeping permanent exhibit tells the story of how the ancient scripture became the world’s most popular book. A warmly lit sanctum at the exhibit’s heart reveals some of the museum’s most prized possessions: fragments of the Dead Sea Scrolls, ancient texts that include the oldest known surviving copies of the Hebrew Bible.

But now, the Washington, D.C. museum has confirmed a bitter truth about the fragments’ authenticity. On Friday, independent researchers funded by the Museum of the Bible announced that all 16 of the museum’s Dead Sea Scroll fragments are modern forgeries that duped outside collectors, the museum’s founder, and some of the world’s leading biblical scholars. Officials unveiled the findings at an academic conference hosted by the museum.
The new findings don’t cast doubt on the 100,000 real Dead Sea Scroll fragments, most of which lie in the Shrine of the Book, part of the Israel Museum, Jerusalem. However, the report’s findings raise grave questions about the “post-2002” Dead Sea Scroll fragments, a group of some 70 snippets of biblical text that entered the antiquities market in the 2000s. Even before the new report, some scholars believed that most to all of the post-2002 fragments were modern fakes.
By decade’s end, the trickle of post-2002 fragments turned into a flood of at least 70 pieces. Collectors and museums jumped at the chance to own the oldest known biblical texts, including Museum of the Bible founder Steve Green, the president of Hobby Lobby. Starting in 2009, Green and Hobby Lobby spent a fortune buying up biblical manuscripts and artifacts to seed what would become the Museum of the Bible’s collection. From 2009 to 2014, Green bought a total of 16 Dead Sea Scroll fragments in four batches, including seven fragments he bought directly from William Kando, the elder Kando’s son.


"The elder Kando" was a dealer who got hold of fragments legitimately, before that was restricted.

I'll just observe that the best way for a con to work is for the mark to think they're in on some special, even illegal deal. Just not what they think.
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