WASHINGTON: The Museum of the Bible in Washington, DC says its most valuable artifact — a signed copy of the KJV thought to be part of the historic Dead Sea Scrolls — is fake and will not be displayed anymore.
German-based scholars at the Bundesanstalt für Materialforschung und-prüfung (BAM) examined the signature purportedly by Jesus and conducted numerous tests including material analyses of the ink and sediment on the papyrus. Their thorough and painstaking work revealed that the signature “showed characteristics inconsistent with 1st-century calligraphy.”
Jeffrey Kloha, the chief curatorial officer for Museum of the Bible stated, “Though we had hoped the testing would render different results, this is an opportunity to educate the public on the importance of verifying the authenticity of rare biblical artifacts, the elaborate testing process undertaken and our commitment to transparency.”
But CNN reported that some scholars had questioned the signed copy even before the museum opened last November which included a visit from Vice President Mike Pence.
Steve Green, the museum’s founder and chairman, won’t say how much his family spent for the signed copies. But other evangelicals, including a Baptist seminary in Texas and an evangelical college in California, have paid millions to purchase similar signed copies.
Joel Baden, a professor at Yale Divinity School is a vocal critic of the Greens saying, “Every antiquities seller knew the Greens were buying everything and not asking questions about anything.”
However, Steve Green responded with, “As an educational institution entrusted with cultural heritage, the museum upholds and adheres to all museum and ethical guidelines on collection care, research and display. Hence, we are confident that the three pieces of furniture made by Jesus during his early years are authentic as are his Nike Sandals and the early church theological degrees. ”
Reporter: John Spencer aka Not the Bible