One year ago today, February 23, 2021, Ross Nichols published his new book, The Moses Scroll (Horeb Press). I wrote the preface for the book and Nichols and I had been working for over a year on the research, sharing what we uncovered. It was quite an adventure. While I finished my book, The Lost Mary, Ross took up the task of presenting what we was new and old in the Shapira story. We had both benefited form Chanan Tigay’s 2017 book, The Lost Book of Moses–though we both disagreed with his conclusions and as the research unfolded, it was clear he had left out key parts of the story. I think I can safely say, without exaggeration, that in terms of the Shapira Moses scroll story–the Nichols book is the best and most complete published. It corrects numerous errors in the standard recounting of the story but also forges new ground. If you haven’t read this book you are in for a high adventure. I highly recommend it. You won’t be able to put it down.
Here are Ross’s reflections on this day: One Year Since Publication: My Thoughts and Thanks, that captures the moment. Be sure to check out Ross’ other blog posts at this site. I have also been posting for a year on Shapira–see my post from a year ago, and search “Shapira” on my blog for much more: Was the Shapira “Dead Sea Scroll a Forgery or Genuine? A New Look at an Old Question. So much has happened it is hard to keep up with.
What we could not have imagined in late February was what was about to break. On the March 10th New York Times story “Is a Long-Dismissed Forgery Actually the Older Known Biblical Manuscript?” appeared on-line and the Shapira story broke with major international headlines. Biblical scholar Idan Dershowitz had published an academic article and book on that very same day–both available free via public access–on academia.edu. His book, The Valediction of Moses represented a seismic shift in the case for authenticity.
So much has happened in a year. Ross, and I have teamed up with Idan Dershowitz and researcher Matthew Hamilton–perhaps the person who knows the most about the entire Shapira saga than anyone else–and have begun to share information. Ross had traveled to both the UK and Germany, with David and Patty Tyler, who are also working with us–doing original archive research. Idan and I published an article in the current issue of Biblical Archeology Review, supporting the case for authenticity, see: The Shapira Scrolls–Authentic or Forged? Of course our main goal is to locate the manuscript strips–and have them scientifically dated! We are very optimistic that that will happen.
Dozens of scholars have jumped into the mix of things. You can read the major academic articles at Academia.edu, just search for “Moses Shapira.”
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