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Old 11-22-2017, 03:28 PM   #1
Textcritic
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Default The Museum of the Bible, Antiquities Collection, Looting and Forgery

I was posting these in other threads, but with the developments of the past week, and a lot of media attention with the grand opening of the Museum of the Bible this is becoming a big story. I had posted links to news articles in the Times of Israel and Science about the recent scourge of manuscript forgeries purported to belong to the Dead Sea Scrolls:

Dead Sea Scrolls scam: Dozens of recently sold fragments are fakes, experts warn




Can the Museum of the Bible Overcome Sins of the Past?



In the past three or four days articles have appeared featuring my work at CNN.com, The Guardian, and LiveScience.

http://www.cnn.com/2017/11/17/us/bib...kes/index.html
https://www.theguardian.com/world/20...P=share_btn_fb
https://amp.livescience.com/60985-de...forgeries.html

Without rehearsing the whole story, I was involved in the publication of two private collections of Dead Sea Scrolls manuscripts, and in the course of my work became convinced that many—perhaps most of these—are forgeries for which vendors have received literally millions of dollars. Because I was bound by a non-disclosure agreement with Museum of the Bible, I was not allowed to speak publicly about this (nor with any of my colleagues) until after the official publication of their holdings. In last September, I presented a paper in which I finally exposed the problems, and this was then written up in an academic journal a few months ago. I have managed to gain the scholarly consensus in all of this, but at the same time am making powerful enemies, and the future of my own career is a legitimate concern as this story unfolds. A lot of my work is threatening not only exceedingly wealthy collectors' holdings, they are running sharply against the grain of a fiercely hierarchical academic establishment, and a poisonous and deeply engrained authoritarian culture.

It is a complicated and multi-faceted situation that features blatant and illegal breach of international and national laws designed to protect cultural heritage, along with the http://UNESCO Convention on the Mean...tural Property. It features a murky and shadowy ring of antiquities dealers and forgers who run in circles with traffickers, the mafia, Russian oligarchs and Arabian royalty. The victims in much of this are not just embarrassed Evangelicals who have paid obscene amounts of money to stake an controversial claim in their own religious heritage, but primarily marginalized, starving people in war-torn Iraq, occupied Gaza and elsewhere who suffer under slave-like conditions in the archaeological rape of these sensitive regions.

I was an invited speaker to a few sessions and panels at this year's Annual Meeting of the Society of Biblical Literature, and I believe we are making some small progress to effect genuine change in the irreparably corrupt antiquities exchange. But the struggle is ongoing. If you are interested in this, then you should follow "The Lying Pen of Scribes" FB blog that is owned by one of my former colleagues in Norway.
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"...harem warfare? like all your wives dressup and go paintballing?"
"The Lying Pen of Scribes" Ancient Manuscript Forgeries Project

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Old 11-22-2017, 03:36 PM   #2
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Pretty sure I'd love to have coffee with you one day. I'd love to hear about all of your work in this.
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Old 11-22-2017, 03:37 PM   #3
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I read a pretty scathing write-up about the museum (NYT or WaPo) a couple days ago, and immediately thought, "hmm, I bet Textcritic has some pretty strong opinions on this." Wouldn't have suspected you were so close to this story though, thanks for sharing your side of it.
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Old 11-22-2017, 03:42 PM   #4
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Are you the guy rocking the crown royal toque in the Israel Times link?
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Old 11-22-2017, 03:42 PM   #5
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Very interesting, but also utterly unsurprising.

I hope your career does not get tanked for doing the right thing.
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Old 11-22-2017, 03:45 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GoinAllTheWay View Post
Are you the guy rocking the crown royal toque in the Israel Times link?
You're damn straight.

I have a friend who teaches at McMaster. He gave a lecture on forgeries in one of his classes based entirely on that interview, and there called me "the most consummately Canadian-appearing scholar in the country."
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Originally Posted by woob
"...harem warfare? like all your wives dressup and go paintballing?"
"The Lying Pen of Scribes" Ancient Manuscript Forgeries Project

Last edited by Textcritic; 11-22-2017 at 03:47 PM.
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Old 11-22-2017, 03:52 PM   #7
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Lol, that's awesome.
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Old 11-22-2017, 03:56 PM   #8
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Quote:
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I read a pretty scathing write-up about the museum (NYT or WaPo) a couple days ago, and immediately thought, "hmm, I bet Textcritic has some pretty strong opinions on this." Wouldn't have suspected you were so close to this story though, thanks for sharing your side of it.
The Museum of the Bible has made huge mistakes over the past six or seven years, and I continue to be critical of several of their curious decisions in large part because I believe there is an amazing opportunity there to do something exceptional. They have been far too confessional in their narrative and I really hate the proselytizing. But to their credit, they continue to listen seriously to me and other critics and advisors, and after the nondisclosure fiasco have become very transparent amid all of this controversy.
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"...harem warfare? like all your wives dressup and go paintballing?"
"The Lying Pen of Scribes" Ancient Manuscript Forgeries Project
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Old 11-22-2017, 04:04 PM   #9
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I read the story on CNN a couple of days ago and recognized you from it. It's an interesting story, probably worthy of an episode of Nova like they did with the presumed da Vinci painting, "La Bella Principessa".
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Old 11-22-2017, 04:27 PM   #10
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Crown Royal and Iron Maiden. Fantastic!
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Old 11-22-2017, 05:27 PM   #11
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Crown Royal and Iron Maiden. Fantastic!
Throw on a Jean Jacket, and you're wearing a Winnipeg Tuxedo.

Question for textcritic. I have never been able to figure out over the years where your beliefs lie. Are you religious? Agnostic? Atheist?
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Old 11-22-2017, 06:55 PM   #12
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Great accomplishment Textcritic. A very fascinating area of study.

Indiana Jones in an Iron Maiden shirt and Crown Royal toque.
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Old 11-22-2017, 08:22 PM   #13
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Quote:
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Throw on a Jean Jacket, and you're wearing a Winnipeg Tuxedo.



Question for textcritic. I have never been able to figure out over the years where your beliefs lie. Are you religious? Agnostic? Atheist?

I am a Christian agnostic theist.
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"...harem warfare? like all your wives dressup and go paintballing?"
"The Lying Pen of Scribes" Ancient Manuscript Forgeries Project
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Old 11-22-2017, 10:45 PM   #14
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Whoa whoa whoa. So your avatar isn’t a mashup of some Shakespearean guy and Africa?
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Old 11-22-2017, 10:54 PM   #15
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Whoa whoa whoa. So your avatar isn’t a mashup of some Shakespearean guy and Africa?


That’a me when I still had hair morphed with a large fragment from my favourite manuscript, the Qumran Cave 4 War Scroll-a (4Q491).

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"...harem warfare? like all your wives dressup and go paintballing?"
"The Lying Pen of Scribes" Ancient Manuscript Forgeries Project
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Old 11-22-2017, 11:23 PM   #16
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Baddest ass looking scholar ever.

Ok jokes aside, having now read your post this sounds serious. Fight the good fight but be careful. I'll definitely be following along now.
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Old 11-22-2017, 11:47 PM   #17
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Has Dan Brown contacted you yet?
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Old 11-22-2017, 11:56 PM   #18
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It's all bollocks of course. Just like that Ark thing in Kentucky.

To think that money could've done something good.
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Old 11-23-2017, 12:13 AM   #19
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Fascinating story.

I'm assuming that is hebrew/block script on the text? If so, can you read that stuff?
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Old 11-23-2017, 12:51 AM   #20
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Fascinating story.

I'm assuming that is hebrew/block script on the text? If so, can you read that stuff?
Yes and yes.
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"...harem warfare? like all your wives dressup and go paintballing?"
"The Lying Pen of Scribes" Ancient Manuscript Forgeries Project
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