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Biblical Archaeology Review 4:1, March 1978

Queries & Comments

Prof. Zeitlin’s Last Words on the Authenticity of the Dead Sea Scrolls

To the Editor:

In his last will, the late Professor Solomon Zeitlin appointed me as his literary executor. Sorting out his old papers I found the enclosed, which I deem important for you to publish immediately in light of your remarks on “Zeitlin and the Scroll’s Authenticity” in the September 1977 issue of BAR (Queries & Comments, BAR 03:03).

Sidney B. Hoenig Rockaway Park, New York

On the BBC Broadcast of February 10, 1957 one well known archaeologist said, “When one or two scholars now living, including Professor Zeitlin, have passed away, then the controversy will be completely at an end so far as the dating of the Scrolls is concerned.”

Scholars are mortals, but why should the archaeologists and the theologians wait until I pass away to refute my arguments? If the scholars who maintain the antiquity of the Scrolls finally contravene my arguments in a scholarly manner I shall readily admit that I have been mistaken. But under no circumstances will the case be lost by default. Conscience will not be silenced. People die but the truth lives. It cannot be suppressed forever.

—Solomon Zeitlin

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