Chief scroll editor John Strugnell has called his critics “fleas.” Here are some quotes from the fleas identified on our cover:

Geza Vermes (Oxford University): “The world is entitled to ask the authorities responsible … what they intend to do about this lamentable state of affairs. For unless drastic measures are taken at once, the greatest and most valuable of all Hebrew and Aramaic manuscript discoveries is likely to become the academic scandal par excellence of the twentieth century.”

T. H. Gaster (Columbia University): “Many of us who, stand outside the charmed circle of the ‘Scrolls team’ in Jerusalem deplore the fact that … relatively little has been made generally available to us … the prevailing policy will, by the hazards of mortality, prevent a whole generation of older scholars from making their contribution.”

Norman Golb (University of Chicago): “I’ve never had so much as a peek at those precious fragments, except for the tiny one we have here at the museum, even though I’ve been requesting permission for 20 years.”

Joseph A. Fitzmyer (Catholic University): See “Leading Dead Sea Scroll Scholar Denounces Delay,” in this issue.

Philip R. Davies (University of Sheffield): See letter, Queries & Comments, in this issue.

Robert Eisenman (California State University): See letter, Queries & Comments, in this issue.

Morton Smith (Columbia University): “I thought to speak of the scandals of the Dead Sea documents, but these proved too numerous, too familiar and too disgusting.”

“For [these materials] to be kept from other scholars and general knowledge is, I think simply outrageous.”

David Noel Freedman (University of Michigan): “Each of these people wants not only to be first, they want to dominate the field. You can’t do both.” (Houston Chronicle News Service, Dec. 1989)

“A basic publication of all new inscriptional materials ought to he available within a year of the discovery.”

Philip J. King (Boston College): “Lest valuable time and energy he exhausted on useless disputing in the future, it would seem best, as Freedman has advocated, to publish the literary remains immediately, without transcription or translation, simply the plates, to give all qualified scholars equal opportunity to try their hand at decipherment and interpretation. And that may be the most effective way to put an end to proprietary attitudes vis-à-vis scrolls, manuscripts, inscriptions and tablets.”

Kenneth Mathews (Samford University): According to the Birmingham (AL) News, “Mathews said he’d like to see Israel’s Department of Antiquities publish photographs of all the scrolls and fragments so anyone could study them.

Nahum Sarna (Brandeis University): “It’s a scholarly disgrace.”

Michael Fishbane (Brandeis University): “Very disquieting and, from an ethical point of view, unconscionable. The scholarly world doesn’t even know the range of material that exists … There’s no telling how much there is. [John Strugnell] couldn’t have done in a lifetime all the material he held.”

Dieter Georgi (University of Frankfurt): “There is no justifiable reason for not publishing immediately the photographs of all remaining Qumran documents.”

Ben Zion Wacholder (Hebrew Union College): “Almost anybody who doesn’t have access is frustrated.”

Mogilany Resolution:

Zdzislaw Jan Kapera, Organizer (see BARlines, BAR 16:01)

Max Wilcox, Chair of session and drafter of the Resolution

Any scholar who wants to be an acknowledged flea, please write, with your affiliation, to BAR at 3000 Connecticut Ave., N.W., Suite 300, Washington, DC 20008.