Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Putting Morton Smith's 'Delay' in Interpreting his Discovery in Context

Morton Smith formally published the contents of his discovery in 1958 and commented on the forty two delay in releasing the Qumran material in 1989. In a newspaper article from that year we read:

A smouldering controversy among Bible scholars has burst into the open over the long delay in publishing the rest of the Dead Sea Scrolls. Although the first century manuscripts were found forty two years ago, fewer than half have been published, and some researchers in ancient religious history say they are fed up with waiting.

"It's disgraceful," said historian Morton Smith of Columbia University, charging that the scrolls editors have "sat on the material for years," keeping it from other scholars and the public. [Waycross Journal Herald, June 30, 1989]

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