Hazon Gabriel: A Modern Forgery?
Justnes (Arstein)
Source: Forthcoming in Material Philology in the Dead Sea Scrolls: New Approaches for New Text Editions. Proceedings of the International Conference at the University of Copenhagen, 3–5 April, 2014. Edited by Kipp Davis and Trine Hasselbalch
Paper - Abstract

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Author’s Introduction

  1. The Hazon Gabriel (Vision of Gabriel), first published in March 2007, has thus far taken both media and scholars by storm.
  2. In this article I will address several problematic issues concerning the text — its origin, material, content, genre, language — and argue that the text in all probability is a modern forgery.
  3. Despite the fact that several forgeries have been exposed in recent years (the Ivory Pomegranate, the Moussaieff Ostraca, the Jehoash Inscription, and the Jesus’s wife fragment and its “sister-in-law”), the scholarly community continues to receive unprovenanced material with enthusiasm.
  4. It is already more than ten years since Christopher A. Rollston, one of the world leading epigraphers, wrote: "Rollston (Christopher A.) - The Crisis of Modern Epigraphic Forgeries and the Antiquities Market". Little seems to have changed since Rollston wrote this, and the issue might actually be more pressing today than ten years ago.
  5. The situation for the field is serious, and has been so for quite some time. Obviously, there are forgers “out there” — some of them probably colleagues — with both the skills and the will to produce highly credible forgeries.

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