Museum Exhibitions Intensify Controversy Over Dead Sea Scrolls
Oriental Institute, University of Chicago
(reprinted from The Aspen Institute Quarterly, Spring 1994, v6#2 pp79-98)
Dr. Norman Golb, a world-class scholar, has written an extraordinary letter (which follows) that concerns the way the Dead Sea Scrolls are presented in museums. Golb’s many studies and reports on his historical discoveries have appeared in learned journals in the United States and overseas. His new book, Who Wrote the Dead Sea Scrolls? -- The Search for the Meaning of the Qumran Manuscripts, will be published by ScribnerÕs in the late autumn of 1994.
Dr. Golb has been for many years in the thick of a dispute with a team of international scholars who not only exerted a monopoly control over access to the Dead Sea Scrolls, but reached the view originally formulated by the late Eliezer Sukenik, Andre Dupont-Sommer, Yigael Yadin (a noted archeologist and hero of the Israeli war of independence) and others that the people who wrote the Scrolls were Essenes, an ascetic Jewish sect living in pre-Christian Palestine.