Since its grand opening in November 2017, the Museum of the Bible has housed the Dead Sea Scrolls, which were discovered near the Dead Sea back in the mid 1900s. These scrolls are a vital part of history for Christianity, as they hold the earliest existing copies of books from the Hebrew Bible, and have deepened our understanding of the Scriptures as a whole.
But turns out, five out of 16 of these scrolls being held at the museum are fakes. Questions about their authenticity were raised two years ago by a few museum-funded scholars, but weren’t analyzed until recently.
When a team of experts analyzed the museum’s fragments and found “characteristics inconsistent with ancient origin,” they decided to pull them from the museum. They are no longer up for display.
Jeffrey Kloha, chief curatorial officer for the museum, said they wished the results had been different, but this is a big learning opportunity.
“Though we hoped the testing would render different results, this is an opportunity to educate the public on the importance of verifying the authenticity of rare biblical facts, the elaborate testing process undertaken and our commitment to transparency,” he shared in a press release.