Biblical Archaeology Review 17:2, March/April 1991
Dead Sea Scrolls Update

Silence, Anti-Semitism and the Scrolls

By Hershel Shanks

Did you ever wonder what the dean of Harvard Divinity School does with his time? He attends meetings—all day—at least when a senior member of his faculty gives a virulently anti-Semitic interview to the press.

On October 28, 1990, chief Dead Sea Scroll editor John Strugnell of Harvard Divinity School gave an interview in Jerusalem to Israeli journalist Avi Katzman in which Strugnell called Judaism a “horrible religion” that was “originally racist,” a “Christian heresy” that should never have survived. He ended by recommending “mass conversion” of the Jews to Christianity as “the answer.”

The interview was published in Hebrew on November 9 in the Tel Aviv daily Ha-aretz. In the age of the fax machine, a copy of the Ha-aretz story arrived in the United States within hours. Arrangements were quickly made to publish the interview in English in the next issue of BAR (the BAR 17:02 issue, which would be out in mid-December).

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