Who Wrote the Dead Sea Scrolls Emails? Lawyer Charged With Impersonating NYU Professor

golbsmalllhsA lawyer is in the midst of a bizarre case that intersects criminal law and academia. Raphael Golb, 49, is accused of impersonating a rival of his father, Norman Golb, a leading expert on the Dead Sea Scrolls and University of Chicago professor. Norman Golb (left) is the author of “Who Wrote the Dead Sea Scrolls?” and is a rival of NYU Professor Lawrence Schiffman (right).

Golb is accused of not just impersonating Lawrence Schiffman, a New York University professor, but sending emails to Schiffman’s colleagues confessing to plagiarism.

Norman Golb, a professor of Jewish history and civilization at Chicago, insisted “This has everything to do with the politics of the scrolls.”

The emails were not particularly clever, but the son is a real estate lawyer out of his element. One read “That plagiarism stuff that I was accused of a long time ago, I did do it but I hope you’ll cover for me,”

Like all good academic blood feuds, this one is refreshingly arcane. Golb rejects the view that the scrolls are the work of a single Jewish sect, but rather believes that they are a collection of several different sects. Sounds like fighting words.

For the full story, click here and here.

10 thoughts on “Who Wrote the Dead Sea Scrolls Emails? Lawyer Charged With Impersonating NYU Professor”

  1. I wouldn’t in any way account myself an expert on the scrolls, just an interested observer of the debate, but my own opinion (which I guess would be more accurately called speculation) on the authorship is that whether or not they are the work of a single sect or multiple ones depends on how you define the term “work of.”

    As a comparison, the Hebrew Bible as we know it encompasses at least three separate traditions which at some point were re-written and combined into what was intended to be a single narrative. (Some have even tried to name the actual person who did it.) So is the Hebrew Bible a single work or a combination of several works?

    In a similar way, in reading about the scrolls and the dispute I’ve come to suspect that they were a recombination of the beliefs of other sects into what what regarded as a harmonious (at at least sufficiently harmonious to make it work) whole.

  2. marie,

    If it’s any consolation there are fewer now too.


    I have to say I like the cut of your icon. Anyone who hangs out with drinking robots on a crime spree is okay in my book.

  3. marie Nothing. There is (at least) one person who has decided that the comments section of this blog is the place for him to cut and past the same nonsense over and over again.

  4. Excuse me, but what does all this blather have to do with the Dead Sea Scrolls or the case in question?

  5. “Buddha, we are all tired of your ignorance & stupidity.

    Please stop posting here.”

    Now that’s a case of projection.

  6. Liberal MSNBC, home of Keith FATSO Olbermann wants you to grade Barack Obama:


    If you were grading Barack Obama on his performance as president, what would he get? (68,236 responses)

    He gets an A

    He gets a B

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  7. Buddha, we are all tired of your ignorance & stupidity.

    Please stop posting here.

  8. Ironically, I’m actually slightly familiar with the scrolls. This article was both amusing and educational since I wasn’t aware of the school of thought that the scrolls had multiple authors. I had been taught that they had been written by the Essene Sect. So thanks Professor Turley. 🙂

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