Biblical Archaeology Review 19:5, September/October 1993
Dead Sea Scrolls Research Council: Fragments

The Shrine of the Book—Where Nothing Has Changed

By Hershel Shanks

Major developments in nearly every field related to the Dead Sea Scrolls have followed in the wake of their release. Research on the scrolls is burgeoning. Depositories of scroll photographs are doing their best to accommodate the needs of many scholars. The Israel Antiquities Authority is not only providing access to photographs, but to the fragments themselves. In addition, it has undertaken a major effort to prevent further deterioration of the scrolls and even to reverse the damage done when early researchers placed cellophane tape over the back of joins. With the advice of the world’s foremost experts, the authority will mount a program to preserve early scroll photographs and negatives, which often reveal letters visible that can no longer be seen on deteriorated or lost scrolls.

On the public front, a major exhibit of scroll fragments, beautifully and contextually displayed and explained, is drawing record crowds to the Library of Congress in Washington. It will soon move to the New York Public Library and then to the M. H. De Young Memorial Museum in San Francisco. The public is being informed regularly of mayor new readings and interpretations of the scrolls in the pages of BAR and our sister magazine Bible Review.

In only one place is nothing happening—where almost nothing has happened for nearly 30 years, since the major intact scrolls were deposited there in 1965. That place is Jerusalem’s Shrine of the Book.

Join the BAS Library!

Already a library member? Log in here.

Institution user? Log in with your IP address.