Biblical Archaeology Review 16:2, March/April 1990
Dead Sea Scrolls

Dead Sea Scroll Variation on “Show and Tell”—It’s Called “Tell, But No Show”

By Hershel Shanks

You’re not going to believe this!

Next summer, at the Biblical Archaeology Congress in Jerusalem, Joseph Baumgarten, newly assigned to edit and publish the coveted Damascus Documents from the Dead Sea Scrolls, will, after more than 35 years, DESCRIBE his treasure. Describe, mind you, not show. He’ll describe them for you, BUT HE WON’T LET YOU SEE THEM.

You heard me right. He will tell you how many fragments there are, perhaps how long they are, what kind of writing is used and what the general contents are. He may even tantalize you by reading a few lines. BUT HE WON’T SHOW YOU THE DOCUMENTS! NOT EVEN PHOTOGRAPHS!

The scholars will gather in Jerusalem, crowd the room eager to catch his every word, grateful for any hint of what the secret documents say, inwardly seething with resentment.

Here we go again! MMT all over!a

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