Qimron Threatens More Scholars
Elisha Qimron, of Ben-Gurion University, has threatened to sue two American scholars if they publish the Dead Sea Scroll known as MMT using some of Qimron’s reconstructions. Qimron has already sued the Biblical Archaeology Society, Hershel Shanks, Robert Eisenman and James Robinson because a 120-line Hebrew transcript of MMT to which Qimron contributed was included in their publication of previously unpublished scroll photographs.
MMT was assigned for publication 35 years ago to John Strugnell, the now-deposed chief editor of the official scroll publication team. In about 1980, Strugnell enlisted Qimron in the MMT project. Together they reconstructed the text and wrote a 300-page commentary that has not yet been published. A samizdat copy of their text reconstruction has been widely circulating for years and was published without authorization in a Polish journal in 1990. When a photocopy of the unauthorized Polish publication was included in A Facsimile Edition of the Dead Sea Scrolls, published by BAS, it became the basis of a lawsuit by Qimron. Qimron claims he owns the copyright in the reconstructed text. (Strugnell has not joined in the lawsuit or in Qimron’s threats to other scholars.)