Biblical Archaeology Review 19:4, July/August 1993

Here Are the Secret Papers from Madrid

The Madrid Qumran Congress: Proceedings of the International Congress on the Dead Sea Scrolls, Madrid 18–21 March 1991

Edited by Julio Trebolle Barrera and Luis Vergas Mantaner (Leiden, Netherlands: E. J. Brill, 1992) 2 vols., 683 pp., $171.50

In early 1991 I received a personal invitation to a conference of Dead Sea Scroll scholars to be held in March in Madrid. A week before the conference, after buying two nonrefundable tickets, I was cordially “disinvited.”a Presumably the reason for my disinvitation was that I might report on the contents of unpublished scrolls that the scholars would discuss in their papers.

That came at the height of the official editing team’s resistance to opening access to all who wished to study the scrolls. These two volumes contain the papers delivered at the conference, which, according to the introduction, indeed “centered on the discussion of unpublished manuscripts.” For the most part, the papers are quite technical and will interest only Qumran scholars. In any event, all scholars can now learn what was said at that conference-or at least rich scholars can. Ordinary scholars may balk at its hefty $171.50 price tag,

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