History of the SWBTS Collection


July 2009          Offer, through donor, to purchase the scroll fragments was proposed

2009-2011         Process of purchasing the original 8 scrolls

Sept. 2010         Digitization of the scrolls by the West Semitic Research (Dr. Bruce                                                          Zuckerman USC)

Nov. 2010          Dr. Ortiz joins the Board of Advisors for the Dead Sea Scrolls Foundation

Nov. 2011          The initial findings presented at the SBL Meetings

July 2012-         Dead Sea Scrolls and the Bible Exhibit at SWBTS
   Jan. 2013


Oct. 4, 2016      Paleographic report from Ada Yardeni

Jan. 2016          Some fragments loaned to the Indianapolis Children's Museum for the National                                 Geographic Sacred Journeys Exhibit

Oct. 2016          Some fragments loaned to the Mayborn Museum (Baylor University) for the                                         continuation of the National Geographic Sacred Journeys Exhibit

Aug. 2016         Three fragments sent to Germany for analysis

June 2017         The three fragments are picked up from and the other five fragments sent to                                         Germany for analysis

Aug. 8, 2017     Drs. Stokes and Crawford present an update on our research at the                                                         International SBL Conference on efforts to assess the authenticity and                                                   provenance

May 2018          The last five fragments picked up from Germany

Nov. 2018         Dr. Ortiz joins the Dead Sea Scroll Foundation Board of Directors

History of Research on the SWBTS Collection

  • In the fall of 2010, upon the acquisition of the DSS fragments, we developed a publication plan in which our Old Testament factory will translate a fragment assigned to them. We also originally engaged Dr. Peter Flint, a well-known DSS scholar, to assist the faculty and also supplement their translations with a scholarly analysis.
  • Dr. Ryan Stokes, Dr. Ortiz, and Dr. Flint were to oversee the editing and translation project and Dr. Flint visited the campus twice to work with our faculty in preparation for our first SBL presentation.
  • In November of 2011, our initial findings were presented at the annual SBL meeting.
  • From 2011 through 2013, research continued on the fragments, most of which was conducted by Dr. Flint. Nothing, however, was produced from this research.
  • In November of 2013, Dr. Ortiz met with Dr. Flint and Dr. Stokes in Chicago to address the lag in publication and a new plan was developed to incorporate other DSS scholars to help. This plan consisted of hosting a conference on campus and inviting these other DSS scholars to contribute; then publishing the proceedings along with our initial translations of the fragments.
  • In December of 2013, Dr. Ortiz met with Dr. Patterson to update him on the research and new plan. Dr. Patterson agreed as long as SWBTS faculty did not lose any credit, as well as approved the reassignment of Dr. Mudliar's fragment and any other new acquisitions.
  • In August and September of 2014, Dr. Stokes made multiple attempts to contact Dr. Flint in regard to the development of research and the conference.
  • In October of 2014, we learned that Dr. Flint was in the hospital after suffering from a mental breakdown and would be unlikely to resume his academic duties.
  • In November of 2014, a proposal was presented to administration to have Dr. Sidnie White Crawford, another well-respected DSS scholar, replace Dr. Flint as the outside scholar and consulting editor. Administration approved the proposal and the Tandy also made Dr. White Crawford a research associate.
  • In March of 2015, Dr. White Crawford met with research and publication team on campus.
  • In November of 2015, a meeting was held with Brill to discuss the publication of the SWBTS DSS fragments.
  • In 2016 and 2017, the scrolls were sent to Germany in two separate groups for analysis.
  • In 2017 and 2018, Drs. White Crawford, Ortiz, and Stokes reviewed the results of the analysis from Germany and seriously consider that some of our fragments could be fakes. Dr. Ortiz informally discussed this possibility with Dr. Patterson, who agreed to accept any official scholarly conclusions.