Biblical Archaeology Review 16:4, July/August 1990
Dead Sea Scrolls Update

Cross and Milik Fail to Meet Deadline in New “Suggested Timetable” for Dead Sea Scroll Completion

By Hershel Shanks

In January 1989, the Israel Department of Antiquities released a “Suggested Timetable” for publication of all still-secret Dead Sea Scrolls. The “Suggested Timetable” called for completion of 21 categories of texts between 1989 and 1996.

The Department of Antiquities refused to respond to our inquiry as to who “suggested” the times in the unsigned timetable, who agreed to the dates and what would happen if the timetable dates were not met; BAR called the “Suggested Timetable” “a hoax and a fraud.”a

“A relatively quick test will soon tell us how well the ‘Suggested Timetable’ is working,” we opined, referring to texts due to be completed in 1989. “We would be happy to be proved wrong, but it seems most unlikely that this first deadline will be met.”

On January 23, 1990, we wrote to General Amir Drori, the director of Israel’s Antiquities Authority, asking him whether the 1989 deadlines had in fact been met—due were the Apocrypha texts from Cave 4, assigned to J. T. Milik, and the Wadi Daliyeh texts (volume 1), which Frank Cross is editing.

A month later Drori replied:

“We have not yet received the Milik or Cross manuscripts, which will be delayed by several months. We are expecting this delay to be remedied shortly.”

As of this writing, the 1989 deadlines are still unmet. No further word has been forthcoming from Drori as to what he intends to do.

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