In our BAR 19:04 issue, we announced that we would not appeal the Jerusalem court’s decision that Professor Elisha Qimron owns the copyright on the reconstructed text of the Dead Sea Scroll known as MMT. “Now the scholarly community,” we said, “will have to live with that decision—and deal with it in its own way.”a
We have changed our mind. We are going to appeal. The principal reason for the change is the courageous action of two American scholars—Professor Ben Zion Wacholder of Hebrew Union College Jewish Institute of Religion in Cincinnati, Ohio, and Professor Martin Abegg of Grace Theological Seminary of Winona Lake, Indiana—who have instituted their own suit against Qimron. Wacholder and Abegg are not seeking money; they are simply asking an American court to declare that they may make their own reconstruction of MMT despite the fact that they, like all scholars in the field, are conversant with Qimron’s reconstruction of this 121-line text. In other words, they are claiming that Qimron does not own the copyright on the reconstructed text of MMT.