Apparently there’s a Museum of the Bible in Washington, DC which is only shocking to me considering that after a quick Google Maps search I’ve come to learn it was mere blocks away from one of my favorite brunch spots in the city I lived in for nearly five years, and I’m now mourning the hours I could have spent perusing the ancient wonders it contains while buzzed off my ass on bottomless mimosas.
Or, alleged ancient wonders is probably a better way to put it, now that we’ve learned that the 16 fragments of the Dead Sea Scrolls the museum has on display are actually fake as fuck.
According to National Geographic, a 200 page report released Friday details how the forgeries came to be discovered and clarifies that while they’re definitely fake they’re still definitely forged on ancient leather, so at least that’s something. Right?
There was a lot of Fancy High Tech Science that went into unearthing the truth of the scrolls but somewhere down the line, at least for one piece in question, collectors might have run into a Can You Ever Forgive Me? situation wherein they were sold a piece, specifically of Genesis, from a dealer who had previously been accused defrauding collectors. Honestly, not the strongest start when you’re aiming for accuracy.
The museum is now considering revising its exhibit to shift the focus from the scrolls themselves to how they uncovered the forgery, which is exactly the kind of spin I’d expect to come out of DC. “I was hoping to have one real [fragment],” said Jeffrey Kloha, the museum’s chief curatorial officer, “because then you could show, Okay, here’s a real one, here’s a fake, can you tell the difference?” Unfortunately, they don’t have one real one because again, they’re all absolutely fake, so they might have to get creative in their approach.
Should they need something of interest to display instead of fradulent old leather someone scribbled on with not-old-enough ink, I would gladly offer up my fourth-grade diary, which I can confirm is 100% percent real and can have verified by my parents who once completely violated my trust by reading it without my knowledge. Sure, it may not be “the most important biblical discovery of the last century,” but I had perfect penmanship so it’s definitely going to be easier to decipher. And while it might not include portions of the oldest known surviving copies of the Hebrew Bible, it does include some very suspect poetry I once wrote about a girl who lived down the street from me even though I was an Obvious Homosexual at the time, so it’s very much anthropological in its own way.
I’m not saying it’s as important as the Dead Sea Scrolls, I’m just saying it’s more fun to read so the offer stands Museum of the Bible, it’s yours if you want it!