WASHINGTON - Museum of the Bible opened an updated Dead Sea Scrolls exhibit today featuring the history of the original discoveries in 1948 and their impact on biblical studies as well as the museum’s state-of-the-art research on its own collection of post-2002 fragments. The exhibit, entitled Dead Sea Scrolls: From Deception to Discovery, is the culmination of years of research on the museum’s Dead Sea Scrolls fragments during which experts and various testing methods resulted in different conclusions. After Museum of the Bible invested heavily in sophisticated imaging and microscopy, it was determined that none of the 16 fragments were authentic. The museum released its findings during an academic symposium at the museum in March.
“We believe that it is important to tell the full and intriguing story about the discovery of the authentic Dead Sea Scrolls, the research on them and their impact on our understanding of the Bible today,” said Museum of the Bible Chief Curatorial Officer Jeffrey Kloha. “We also decided to tell the story about our own fragments and the years of testing and research conducted to determine whether or not they were authentic. We hope this helps to affirm confidence in the original discoveries of the authentic scrolls as well as makes it clear that these, and perhaps other post-2002 fragments, should not be part of the academic record of the history of the text of the Hebrew Bible.”
The new Dead Sea Scrolls exhibit is on the museum’s History Floor. Accompanying the exhibit is a detailed landing page on the museum’s website entitled A Journey for the Truth: Investigating the Recent Dead Sea Scrolls Fragments.