Recently on The Cale Clarke Show, world-renowned biblical scholar Dr. Craig A. Evans joined Cale to deliver some international, breaking news about the Dead Sea Scrolls that has not yet been heard or published anywhere else.
For context, the Dead Sea Scrolls are hand-written copies of books of the Old Testament and related writings in Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek that were found in a cave on the northwestern shore of the Dead Sea and are widely regarded as one of the most important archaeological discoveries of the 20th century. They are about 1,000 years older than the texts that were previously thought to have been the oldest copies of the Hebrew Bible.
Dr. Evans, who founded the Dead Sea Scrolls Institute at Trinity Western University, began by explaining the background for the ground-breaking discovery he was about to announce. About 20 years ago, a famous collector of ancient manuscripts named Martin Schøyen said in an interview that he would be willing to pay a significant amount of money for the fragments of certain biblical books, including the Book of Deuteronomy and the Book of Enoch (not part of the canon). Coincidentally, just a few years later, fragments of the exact books he named surfaced. Some found this timely discovery suspicious and that gave way to suppositions that the fragments were fake.
For those who believed the scrolls were genuine, this was an exciting discovery, so academic and educational institutions across the world began purchasing these ancient manuscripts. Among the buyers were the Green Family, Azusa Pacific University, Martin Schøyen, and the Southwest Baptist Theological Seminary. These fragments sold for hundreds of thousands to millions of dollars and for good reason. They were integral pieces in Hebrew and Christian history, and they could be preserved in the institution of one’s choosing, as long as one could afford the price tag.
However, several years later, articles began coming out from several learned establishments and they were all saying the same thing: The new fragments are fake. Based on testing, they had determined that the leather was in fact thousands of years old, but the writing had only been applied very recently. They had found that some of the ink on the leather had been applied over layers of dirt and over cracks in the leather, suggesting that this leather was aged long before it was ever written on.
This was incredibly embarrassing, costly, and a complete disaster for the buyers, especially the Green family. The Greens, owners of Hobby Lobby, are a very affluent, devoutly Christian family that has donated millions towards the construction, maintenance, and completion of the Museum of the Bible in Washington, D.C. They have purchased thousands of objects of interest for the museum over the years, but this one was looking like a mistake.
But that’s not where the story ends. Dr. Evans has recently learned of shocking news regarding the validity of these Dead Sea Scrolls and the story behind it:
“Well, I had the opportunity to, and I’m going to respect his privacy because he’s going to make this announcement himself in a very learned, authoritative history of the Dead Sea Scrolls which should be published next year, but this fellow is the head of a major international organization that funds and preserves and does everything to protect the Dead Sea Scrolls. This is an international organization. It’s a who’s who of scholars and donors and so on for scrolls. He told me, in person yesterday, that these studies are flawed, that these are not fakes, that they in fact came from a Palestinian family who gathered the scrolls originally from the Bedouin who found them in the caves. I’m talking about the well-known Kando.
Well, I was told, in no uncertain terms, that these fragments are genuine, and they have come from Kando’s family collection. After the 6-Day war in 1967, the family had taken all of their scroll fragments, fearing their confiscation at the hands of Yigael Yadin and other Jewish authorities, and put them in a safe deposit box in Switzerland. They’re still there! It’s kind of like a Canadian would say, an RRSP, or as an American would say, a 401 or 403(k). It’s basically their retirement plan. They’re worth millions of dollars! So, when Martin Schøyen said twenty years ago, boy, I’d pay a lot of money for these certain fragments, they went through their collection and picked out fragments to order, and that explains the coincidence.
And so, these are genuine, they’re from Kando’s ancient collection, and this is going to become common knowledge in 2022. I was stunned because you wanted me on your program today, Cale. I thought, well you know what? Cale Clarke on The Cale Clarke Show will be the guy who scoops this story. You are the first to make this public.”
And just like that, the most exciting archaeological discovery of the 20th century has also become the most exciting archaeological discovery of the 21st century, and it broke right here on The Cale Clarke Show on Relevant Radio®. These Dead Sea Scrolls are precious cargo because they tell a story, both through the words written on their ancient leather and through their journey from earth-shattering artifacts, to fakes, and back again.
Listen to the segment below:
And find the whole interview with Dr. Craig A. Evans here: Breaking News on Archaeological Discoveries
Tune in to The Cale Clarke Show weekdays at 5pm CT