November 11, 2019

Press Release

Museum of the Bible Contributes to Scientific Discoveries Featured in NOVA Documentary

Washington, D.C., November 11, 2019 On November 6, 2019, a PBS NOVA episode, “Dead Sea Scroll Detectives,” highlighted Museum of the Bible’s investigation into the authenticity of five of its Dead Sea Scrolls fragments. The show narrated the process of the museum’s inquiry into the fragments, which began in April 2017 and is ongoing. Following the results of scientific and scholarly examination, which was sponsored by the museum of its own initiative, Museum of the Bible confirmed that the fragments under investigation showed characteristics inconsistent with an ancient origin.

In a statement to the public, Dr. Jeffrey Kloha, Chief Curatorial Officer for Museum of the Bible, said, “We have reached the conclusion that at least some of the fragments do show characteristics that are inconsistent with an ancient origin; that they were produced more recently, much more recently, than 2,000 years ago. We’ve chosen not to display those fragments because scholars and scientists have determined that these are legitimate questions.”

Museum of the Bible committed significant resources to the scientific investigation of the Dead Sea Scrolls fragments, sponsoring this research to bring the best possible results to the public.

Kloha affirmed that  “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. 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.”

Museum of the Bible remains committed to transparency, to sponsoring cutting-edge research on our artifacts, to sharing as much information as possible about our collection, and to cooperating with other institutions that have acquired similar items. We are proud to sponsor the scientific testing of all 16 Dead Sea Scroll fragments and, once testing is complete in the near future, will share these results with the public.

Click here to watch a portion of the feature.



Museum of the Bible is an innovative, global, educational institution whose purpose is to invite all people to engage with the history, narrative and impact of the Bible.

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