Biblical Archaeology Review 17:6, November/December 1991
Dead Sea Scrolls Update

Is the Vatican Suppressing the Dead Sea Scrolls?

By Hershel Shanks

A book that will soon be available in the United States was recently published in England under the title The Dead Sea Scroll Deception by Michael Baigent and Richard Leigh (Jonathan Cape, 1991).1 The book’s thesis is that the Vatican is suppressing the Dead Sea Scrolls because they will undermine vital Christian doctrine.

The authors’ first bit of evidence is the unconscionable publication delays: Of over 500 texts found in Qumran Cave 4 beginning in 1952, only approximately 100 have been published after nearly 40 years. (The 300 texts from other caves have almost all been published.)

Even more sinister is the fact that the small coterie of editors who control access to the 400 unpublished texts from Cave 4 won’t let other scholars see their secret hoard.

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