“I will show the photographs [of the unpublished Dead Sea Scroll texts of Jubilees] to anyone who is interested in seeing them,” James C. VanderKam, who was recently assigned these texts for publication, told BAR. The North Carolina State professor, one of the world’s leading experts on the Book of Jubilees, is the first Dead Sea Scroll editor to agree to let other scholars see the unpublished texts in his control. “I gave it a large amount of thought,” the 44-year-old VanderKam said, “and I decided it was the proper thing to do.”
He praised J. T. Milik, from whom he received the assignment to edit Jubilees. Milik had already done considerable work on editing the texts before VanderKam was brought in. When VanderKam recently saw Milik in Paris, VanderKam told him, “I understand you’ve agreed to work with me on Jubilees.” Milik replied, “Oh, no, I’m giving it to you; you do with it what you want.”
Following this disclosure, BAR spoke with Milik in Paris. Milik agreed to consider authorizing other scholars to see photographs of all remaining Dead Sea Scroll texts under his control. BAR will report his decision in the next issue.