Friday, June 27, 2008

Dead Sea Scrolls at Museum of Natural Sciences

2000 Years in the Judean Desert
Six Months in Raleigh
June 28 - December 28
Reservations required, buy tickets in advance

"The Dead Sea Scrolls is an exhibition that tells a story that is beyond words, beyond time and beyond our imaginations. Experience the most remarkable archaeological discovery of the 20th century – the oldest surviving manuscripts of the Hebrew Bible, known to Christians as the Old Testament."

To read more go to

Thanks for the info Ali ;)


Anonymous said...

You're welcome, and by the way, I would love to see you highlight garden tools on the internets.

Museum Ethics Controversy said...

This is in fact a biased and misleading exhibit, in which the current state of research has been carefully distorted to cater to the interests of influential members of the old Dead Sea Scrolls monopoly group. The group's control over access to the scrolls collapsed in the midst of scandal following John Strugnell's antisemitic outbursts some fifteen years ago, but they have retained control over the way the scrolls are presented in museum exhibits, even though their views have now been rejected by an entire series of major historians and archaeologists.

In a word, the Raleigh museum (which is run by the North Carolina Department of the Environment) agreed to downplay and conceal the evidence brought to light by Jewish researchers who, over the past decade, have rejected the old "Qumran-Essene" theory of scroll origins, and to physically exclude them from participating in the lecture series accompanying the exhibit.

I urge everyone to read University of Chicago historian Norman Golb's editorial at, as well as his more detailed article on "Fact and Fiction in Current Exhibitions of the Dead Sea Scrolls," available on the Oriental Institute website at

Since the museum is a state-run institution, the role of government officials in displaying religiously controversial artifacts must also be addressed. Is it appropriate for a North Carolina government agency to take sides in an acrimonious scholarly dispute while entertaining people with a religiously oriented exhibit in, of all places, a natural sciences museum?

Is there any public accounting of how this exhibit was funded, and of where the profits ($22 per ticket) will be going to?

This is, of course, a serious issue that should be carefully examined by the media. Instead, we have silence, viciously implied innuendo about Jewish culture coming from North Carolina authorities (including an antisemitic insinuation on the museum's website), mendacious claims about a fabricated "consensus" that no longer exists, and a continuing pattern of catering to private interests.

For further information on this propaganda masquerading as an exhibit, previously dished out to the public in various private "science" museums around the country, see, e.g.,