Qimron Wins Lawsuit
Paying the price for freeing the scrolls By Hershel Shanks

The Jerusalem court has spoken: Elisha Qimron of Ben-Gurion University of the Negev owns the copyright on the reconstructed text of MMT, one of the most important, and still unpublished, Dead Sea Scrolls. Now the scholarly community will have to live with that decision—and deal with it in its own way. Our friends who […]

Dershowitz to Head Qimron’s Legal Team

Elisha Qimron, the Israeli Dead Sea Scroll scholar who is suing the Biblical Archaeology Society (BAS) for a quarter of a million dollars, has hired Alan Dershowitz, one of this country’s most famous and most feared lawyers, to fight his case in the United States. Time magazine has called Dershowitz “the top lawyer of […]

An Open Letter to John Strugnell and Elisha Qimron

Dear Professor Strugnell and Professor Qimron,

Lawsuit Diary

I. A Cold Boston Night It is after 8 at night. I am sitting in the reception area of a Boston law firm. The attorneys are still arguing in a conference room. I have been here with our Israeli attorney, Dov Frimer, since 10 in the morning. We have just finished taking the testimony […]

American Professors Seek to Block Qimron’s Control of MMT

Two American scholars have filed suit in federal court in Philadelphia against Professor Elisha Qimron of Ben-Gurion University of the Negev in Israel, asking the court to break Qimron’s stranglehold on one of the most important still-unpublished Dead Sea Scrolls, known as MMT. A Jerusalem court recently held that Qimron owned the copyright on […]

The Latest on MMT: Strugnell vs. Qimron

In a conference held at the University of Notre Dame on April 25 through 27, the complete set of Dead Sea Scrolls photographs was released in microfiche form.

Women Scholars Shine

The Dead Sea Scrolls—Forty Years of Research Edited by Devorah Dimant and Uriel Rappaport (Leiden: E. J. Brill, 1992) 370 pp., 180 Dutch guilders ($102.86)

BAR Decides to Appeal Qimron Decision, After All

In our BAR 19:04 issue, we announced that we would not appeal the Jerusalem court’s decision that Professor Elisha Qimron owns the copyright on the reconstructed text of the Dead Sea Scroll known as MMT. “Now the scholarly community,” we said, “will have to live with that decision—and deal with it in its own […]

Tapping the Mother Lode

Qumran Cave 4: Palaeo-Hebrew and Greek Biblical Manuscripts (Discoveries in the Judaean Desert, Volume 9)

Bits & Pieces

Qimron Threatens More Scholars

Scholars Ask for Cave 7 Re-excavation

Scholars attending a Dead Sea Scroll conference at the University of Eichstaett in Germany recently addressed a letter to the Israel Antiquities Authority calling for a renewed investigation of Qumran Cave 7, where several fragmentary Greek texts were uncovered in the 1950s. According to two scholars in attendance, some of these fragments may have […]

Qimron Defends His Lawsuit—“No Threat to Intellectual Freedom”

Your editorial headed “Why Professor Qimron’s Lawsuit Is a Threat to Intellectual Freedom,” BAR 18:05, ends with an invitation to me to explain why I think that the arguments in that editorial are wrong. I should like to take up that invitation. 1. The editorial is based on a completely false assumption. It states […]

Have Your Remote Control Handy

Enigmas, secrets—an aura of mystery still surrounds the Dead Sea Scrolls, as the titles of these videos attest. And the mere fact that videos are being produced for a mass-market on this once-obscure subject indicates that interest in the scrolls is as high now as when they were first discovered in the late 1940s and early 1950s near the site of Qumran, on the northwestern shore of the Dead Sea.

News Flash!

Qimron Is Author of MMT Reconstruction, Jerusalem Court Holds

Qimron Obtains Court Order Preventing BAR Editor from Leaving Israel

Halfway through my most recent trip to Israel, I received a call from our Israeli attorney: Professor Qimron had obtained a court order preventing me from leaving the country, he said. I was now a prisoner in Israel. The order was obtained without any notification of the application being given to our attorney. He […]

Dorner’s Decision Criticized

An editorial entitled “A Miscarriage of Justice in Jerusalem,” appearing in the June 1993 issue of The Qumran Chronicle, a scholarly journal published in Poland and devoted to research on the Dead Sea Scrolls, states that “scholars all over the world should be alarmed by the decision” of Jerusalem Judge Dalia Dorner in the case Professor Elisha Qimron brought against BAR.

BAS Seminar Is Featured on the MacNeil/Lehrer NewsHour

Four participants in a Biblical Archaeology Society (BAS) seminar on the Dead Sea Scrolls were interviewed in a MacNeil/Lehrer NewsHour report this past spring. The four had attended a BAS seminar at Guilford College, in Greensboro, North Carolina. Also interviewed was BAR contributor James Tabor, a featured speaker at the seminar. The 13-minute report, […]

New Carbon-14 Tests on Dead Sea Scrolls

As a result of an initiative by a BAR reader, new carbon-14 tests will be performed on selected Dead Sea Scrolls in an effort to determine their dates with greater confidence.

Qumran—the Evidence of the Inkwells

The nature of the settlement at Qumran, adjacent to the caves where the Dead Sea Scrolls were found, continues to be a hotly debated topic among scholars and the educated public alike. The entrants in the debate are (1) a military fortress, a contention supported by Norman Golb of the University of Chicago; (2) […]

Ephesus: Key to a Vision in Revelation

A careful study of the archaeology of Ephesus will, I believe, deepen our understanding of one of the visions in the Revelation of John, perhaps the most difficult book of the New Testament. The last book of the New Testament canon, Revelation records the fantastic heavenly revelations received by a certain John. Known […]

The Scrolls Are Here!
Library of Congress is first of three American venues By Steven Feldman

Walk into the Madison Building of the Library of Congress (LC), turn left just inside the entrance, and you can gaze at what less than two years ago only a small handful of scholars were allowed to see: a dozen Dead Sea Scroll fragments from the collection of the Rockefeller Museum in Jerusalem.

More on the Pierced Messiah Text from Eisenman and Vermes

Few of the recently published Dead Sea Scrolls have generated as much controversy as payment 4Q285, popularly known as the Pierced Messiah text. The debate over its meaning has raged in the pages of this magazine. Now two of the principal scholars in that debate, Robert Eisenman, chair of the department of religious studies […]

The Shrine of the Book—Where Nothing Has Changed

Major developments in nearly every field related to the Dead Sea Scrolls have followed in the wake of their release. Research on the scrolls is burgeoning. Depositories of scroll photographs are doing their best to accommodate the needs of many scholars. The Israel Antiquities Authority is not only providing access to photographs, but to […]

Qumran Chronicle Resumes Regular Publication

The Polish scholarly journal The Qumran Chronicle, which temporarily suspended publication, is once again on schedule. The February and June 1993 issues have already appeared. Editor Z. J. Kapera says he is confident that the journal will henceforth maintain its publication schedule. The Qumran Chronicle is published three times a year. Subscriptions are $66 […]

Bits & Pieces

Computers Enhance Scroll Studies If “making it” in today’s world means being on a computer, then Dead Sea Scroll studies have finally arrived. Two new developments have thrust the scrolls into the digital arena.

New Journal Planned

The avalanche of scholarly activity precipitated by the release of the Dead Sea Scrolls photographs continues unabated. The latest development is the announcement of a new journal, Dead Sea Discoveries: A Journal of Current Research on the Scrolls and Related Literature. Three issues per year, beginning in 1994, are planned, with one of the […]

What Ever Happened to the Ammonites?

To the Bible writers, they were the bad guys. But they were nevertheless important. The Ammonites emerged east of the Jordan at about the same time as the Israelites appeared as a people west of the Jordan. Together with their neighbors—the Moabites, the Edomites and the Amorites (who also lived west of the Jordan)—the […]

Here Are the Secret Papers from Madrid

The Madrid Qumran Congress: Proceedings of the International Congress on the Dead Sea Scrolls, Madrid 18–21 March 1991

Casting Call for the World’s Longest-Running Drama

“All the world’s a stage,” Shakespeare declared. Few places, however, provide a more dramatic backdrop for history making events than the Near East. Birthplace of the three major Western religions, much-traveled roadway for bloody conquerors and pious pilgrims alike, the jewel-in-the-crown of many an empire and also the undoing of those very same empires, […]

Bits & Pieces

Copper Scroll Coming to U.S. In “Bits & Pieces,” BAR 18:06, we announced that some fragmentary Dead Sea Scrolls from Israel are to be exhibited at the Library of Congress, starting April 29. Not to be outdone, Jordan will allow the famous Copper Scroll to be brought to this country perhaps as early as this summer.

Ancient Churches in the Holy Land

More ancient churches have been found in the Holy Land than in any area of comparable size in the world. About 330 different sites with ancient church remains have been identified in modern Israel, the West Bank and the Golan Heights east of the Sea of Galilee. At many of these sites, more than […]

The Philistines and the Dothans: An Archaeological Romance, Part 1
An interview with Moshe and Trude Dothan By Hershel Shanks

They are the first family of Israeli archeology. Trude and Moshe Dothan each have more than four decades of experience in the field, having excavated such major sites as Hazor, Hammath Tiberius, Nahariya, Deir el-Balah, Akko, Ashdid and Ekron. In this first installment of a two-part interview with BAR editor Hershel Shanks, the Dothans […]

The Many Masters of Dor, Part 2: How Bad Was Ahab?

018 Tel Dor, on Israel’s Mediterranean coast, is the site of one of the most conquered cities in the Levant. Although practically every major people of the region occupied or ruled the site at one time or another—leaving behind an accumulation of debris 45 feet high—it was the Phoenician culture that dominated Dor […]

The Many Masters of Dor, Part 3: The Persistence of Phoenician Culture

Twelve years of excavation have barely begun to uncover the 3,900 years of history buried at Tel Dor. Located 12 miles south of Haifa, on Israel’s Mediterranean coast, this 45-foot high mound contains the largest Phoenician city in a good state of preservation. Dor was not exclusively a Phoenician city, however. Although Phoenician […]

The City of Salt

The City of Salt has been found. The late, much-lamented Pesach Bar-Adon identified it. Bar-Adon died in 1985 at the age of 77.

The Philistines and the Dothans: An Archaeological Romance, Part 2
An interview with Moshe and Trude Dothan By Hershel Shanks

In our previous issue (“The Philistines and the Dothans—An Archaeological Romance, Part 1,” BAR 19:04), archaeologists Moshe and Trude Dothan spoke with Hershel Shanks about their early years together, as were embarking on careers in archaeology and at the same time beginning a family They shared their impressions of the great women and men […]

The Search for Biblical Heshbon

In 968 Siegfried Horn of Andrews University began large-scale excavations at a site everyone thought was Biblical Heshbon. This was Tell Hesban (or Hisban). Horn, his chief archaeologist, Roger Boraas of Upsala College, and other staff members had participated in the influential Shechem excavations led by the dean of American archaeologists at that time, […]

Old Stones, New Friends

In a summer of sweaty, dirty, demanding volunteer work, one particularly arduous morning stands out. We were dismantling a Persian-period wall at Ashkelon. My job was to work the stones free with a pick and then carry them in my arms over a treacherous terrain of balks, pits and trenches. That was the first […]

A Death at Dor
A gruesome discovery may explain a mysterious destruction at Dor in 1000 B.C.E. By Andrew F. Stewart

It’s not every day that you dig up a dead woman. And in archaeology, the most dramatic discoveries always seem to come at the most awkward times; this one, true to form, appeared less than 36 hours before we were due to leave the excavation at Tel Dor. It was 7 a.m. on Thursday, […]

Capernaum: From Jesus’ Time and After

The Gospels record an incident in the life of Jesus that took place at Capernaum involving a Roman centurion and his sick slave (Luke 7:1–10; for slightly different versions, see Matthew 8:5–13 and John 4:46–53). In the Lukan account, the Roman centurion sends elders of the Jews to ask Jesus to come and heal […]

Where the Temple Tax Was Buried
The key to understanding the Copper Scroll By Manfred R. Lehmann

One Dead Sea Scroll stands out as unique—in many ways. First, of course, is the material it is written on. It is the only one of the more than 800 scrolls in the collection that is written, or rather scratched, on copper—thin copper sheets. Obviously, it must have been an extremely important document. The […]

Uncovering Herod’s Seaside Palace

The great port city of Caesarea was born out of the genius of one man: Herod the Great (c. 73–4 B.C.E.). This Idumean politician, with the support of the rulers at Rome, rose to become king of Judea. On the site of a dilapidated town, he built a glorious new city, splendid in every […]

Tell-ing It Like It Is

One morning in February, about nine o’clock, I was having breakfast. On my left Ulf and Helena were speaking German; on my far right Ami, Aaron and Tami were discussing the day’s work in Hebrew; in front of me Amanda from South Africa was listening to Michael’s Australian version of English; and at my […]

Where Is David’s Ziklag?

David, while fleeing from King Saul, joined the Philistines, ancient Israel’s bitter enemies. With 600 men (and their families), David presented himself to Achish, king of the Philistine city of Gath, and asked for asylum. Achish gave David the town of Ziklag, and David lived there a year and four months (1 Samuel 27:1–7). […]

26 Tons of Gold and 65 Tons of Silver: Too Much To Believe?

The Copper Scroll is one piece that doesn’t fit the Dead Sea Scroll puzzle. Inscribed on metal and consisting simply of a list of 64 locations where huge amounts of treasure are said to be buried, the Copper Scroll has divided scholarly opinion for decades: Is it a list of something real or is […]

Cabul: A Royal Gift Found
Hiram of Tyre scorned King Solomon’s offering of 20 cities—called Cabul By Zvi Gal

After King Solomon constructed the Jerusalem Temple and his adjacent royal palace, he made a gift to Hiram, the Phoenician king who had supplied him not only with craftsmen for the project, but also with much timber and gold. Solomon’s gift: 20 towns in Galilee. But when Hiram inspected the towns, he didn’t like […]

An Ancient Israelite House in Egypt?

What may be an ancient Israelite house has been discovered at the one-time Egyptian capital of Thebes, dating to about the same time the Israelites were settling in Canaan (Iron Age I; 1200–1000 B.C.E.). The house was found by the Austrian archaeologist Manfred Bietak, who is directing a major excavation of Tell el-Dab’a in […]

The Welcome Mat Is Out … Until You’re Asked to Leave!

I wasn’t really kicked out. I was just asked to leave—very politely. Still, it was a little embarrassing. I was at a joint meeting of CAP—ASOR’sa Committee on Archaeological Policy—and AMC—its Ancient Manuscript Committee, having just come from a separate meeting of the Ancient Manuscript Committee, chaired by Notre Dame’s James VanderKam. The AMC […]

Herod’s Temple in East Anglia

There it is in the heart of the British countryside I of East Anglia: the largest, the most detailed and the most accurate model of Jerusalem’s Second Temple ever built.

The Many Masters of Dor, Part 1: When Canaanites Became Phoenician Sailors

History runs deep at Tel Dor—45 feet deep to be exact! Layer upon layer of ancient cities, each built on the ruins of its predecessor, have formed this immense mound on Israel’s Mediterranean coast, about 12 miles south of Haifa. As extraordinary as the mound’s size is the large number of different people who […]

The Bat Creek Inscription: Did Judean Refugees Escape to Tennessee?

At the beginning of the First Jewish Revolt against Rome (66–73 or 74 A.D.), “the inhabitants of Caesarea massacred the Jews who resided in their city,” says the first-century Jewish historian Flavius Josephus. “Within one hour, more than 20,000 were slaughtered, and Caesarea was completely emptied of Jews.”1 Is it possible that a […]

The Qumran Settlement—Monastery, Villa or Fortress?

Not long after archaeologists confirmed the location of the cave where Bedouin shepherds had found the first of the Dead Sea Scrolls, an archaeological expedition was organized to excavate the nearby site known as Khirbet Qumran, the ruins of Qumran. Directed by a Dominican father, Roland de Vaux, the excavation and survey was sponsored […]

Cast Your Net Upon the Waters: Fish and Fishermen in Jesus’ Time

For more than 50 years, I have lived at Kibbutz Ein Gev on the shore of the Kinileret, the Sea of Galilee. For much of that time, I have been a fisherman. The Hebrew letter nun (N) means fish in Aramaic. My former name—I was born in Latvia—began with an N. When I became […]

Recollections from 40 Years Ago: More Scrolls Lie Buried

With so much public attention lately focused on the Dead Sea Scrolls, the question is frequently asked, with increasing insistence: Are there more scrolls—either undiscovered in the caves or in the hands of the Bedouin or of those who acquired them from the Bedouin? This article will suggest that the answer is yes on […]

Let’s be Serious About the Bat Creek Stone

Let me see if I have this straight. Some 19 centuries ago there was a group of Jews, citizens of one of the Judean port cities like Caesarea or Joppa, who fled their homes to escape the violence and confusion of the First Jewish Revolt against Rome and, reluctantly forsaking their native land, embarked […]

Archaeological Encyclopedia for the 90s

The New Encyclopedia of Archaeological Excavations in the Holy Land

Unlocking the Mystery of Rogem Hiri

I suspect that some BAR readers have become hooked, as I have, on the mysterious site in the Golan known as Rogem Hiri (Rujm el-Hiri in Arabic). In the cover story of BAR 18:04 (see “Mystery Circles,”), Dr. Yonathan Mizrachi speculated that these immense concentric stone circles, constructed in the Early Bronze Age (3150–2200 […]

Is the Ark of the Covenant in Ethiopia?

Ever since the premiere of the popular movie Raiders of the Lost Ark, hardly a year passes without someone claiming to have found the Ark of the Covenant, the disappearance of which is one of the most famous Biblical mysteries. According to a very well-known, ancient Ethiopian tradition, how ever, the Ark did not […]

The Great Mikveh Debate

In a letter to the editor in Queries & Comments, BAR 18:06, Jerusalem guide Walter Zanger questions whether the installations found in the Jewish Quarter excavations directed by the late Nahman Avigad were really mikva’ot (ritual purification baths, singular mikveh), as they were denominated in an article on those excavations.a According to Zanger, only […]

Faith and Archaeology—A Brief History to the Present

“Can archaeology prove the Bible true?” is no longer a question field archaeologists in the ancient Near East even ask. Instead they ask sociological questions, economic questions, anthropological questions about ancient societies. In the end, the data they unearth may illuminate our understanding of the Bible, but this is not the archaeologist’s primary focus. […]