Biblical Archaeology Review 35:4, July/August September/October 2009

BAR’s Crusades

You win some, you lose some

Despite what some may think, we do not court controversy. On the other hand, we do not shrink from it either. Nor do we hesitate to take up a worthy cause and fight for it—even if that means ruffling a few feathers. Some might think of them as “BAR fights,” but we prefer to call them our “crusades.” Sometimes we have been successful; other times less so.

On Saturday, September 7, 1991, The New York Times and The Washington Post ran prominent stories announcing the Biblical Archaeology Society’s publication of Volume 1 of the reconstructed Dead Sea Scroll texts. The worldwide coverage extended from Time and Newsweek to CNN and radio. As The New York Times headline (“Breaking the Scroll Cartel”) suggested, this was the first anyone outside the small secretive publication team had gotten a glimpse of the unpublished Dead Sea Scroll texts. But it had taken 40 years to reach this point, and the fight wasn’t over quite yet.

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