Hobby Lobby-Owned Museum of the Bible Has Been Displaying 16 Forgeries of the Dead Sea Scrolls
The Museum of the Bible in Washington D.C. — owned by Hobby Lobby’s Green family — has been displaying 16 historic Dead Sea Scrolls (the oldest known surviving copies of the Hebrew Bible) that are forgeries (VIDEO BELOW).
Vox reported in 2017 about Hobby Lobby’s illegal purchases and problematic Dead Sea Scrolls:
Hobby Lobby admitted to having illegally imported ancient Near Eastern cuneiform tablets — labeled, somewhat unconvincingly, as ‘spare tiles’ — to Hobby Lobby stores in 2010 and 2011 and agreed to pay a $3 million fine and forfeit the antiquities in question. Meanwhile, questions abound about other Dead Sea Scrolls in the collection, some of which may very well be forgeries.
CNN reported in 2018 that five of the Dead Sea Scrolls were fake:
Some scholars accused the Greens of buying too many artifacts too quickly, without being sure exactly where they came from, or who had owned them in the past.
“They made it widely known that they were buying everything,” said Joel Baden, a professor at Yale Divinity school and co-author of “Bible Nation,” a new book about the Greens.” Every antiquities seller knew the Greens were buying everything and not asking questions about anything.”
Now, National Geographic reports that all 16 are fake:
[I]ndependent researchers funded by the Museum of the Bible announced that all 16 of the museum’s Dead Sea Scroll fragments are modern forgeries that duped outside collectors, the museum’s founder, and some of the world’s leading biblical scholars.…
To find out more about its fragments, the Museum of the Bible reached out to Loll and her company, Art Fraud Insights, in February 2019 and charged her with conducting a thorough physical and chemical investigation of all 16 pieces...
Loll quickly assembled a team of five conservators and technicians. From February to October, the team periodically visited the museum and pulled together their findings. By the time their report was finalized in November 2019, the researchers were unanimous. All 16 fragments appeared to be modern forgeries.
First, the team concluded that the fragments were seemingly made of the wrong material. Nearly all the authentic Dead Sea Scrolls fragments are made of tanned or lightly tanned parchment, but at least 15 of the Museum of the Bible’s fragments were made of leather, which is thicker, bumpier, and more fibrous.