Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary professor of archaeology Steven Ortiz told CNN that “he believes several fragments purchased by the seminary since 2010 may not be authentic.”
More from CNN:
“We suspect that maybe three of our 10 fragments are forgeries,” Ortiz said. “The seminary trustees are asking: What are we doing with our scrolls?”
Ortiz said his seminary has sent eight of its fragments to the Bundesanstalt für Materialforschung und -prüfung (BAM), the same German laboratory that tested the Museum of the Bible’s fragments. The test results were inconclusive with three of the seminary’s fragments, Ortiz said, and they are awaiting further results.
Ortiz and other experts say even tiny fragments of the Dead Sea Scrolls can fetch six figures, depending on their perceived historical, and, for some evangelicals, spiritual value.
“My biggest concern with any of the academic institutions buying these scrolls is that they excite the market, and when you excite the market, you excite forgers.”
Baptist Press reported this week on the fragments owned and displayed by the Museum of the Bible in Washington D.C., that were recently deemed forgeries. Those fragments have been pulled from display. We covered this story and talked with New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary archaeology professor Daniel Warner earlier this week. You can hear our report on this week’s episode:
We will continue to follow this story as it develops.