The story of Canada's attempt to purchase the greatest manuscript discovery of the twentieth century.
The discovery in 1947 of the first pieces of the Dead Sea Scrolls, biblical texts dating from the time of Jesus, grabbed headlines around the world and catalyzed as many controversies and conspiracy theories over their ownership as debates about their place in Christianity and Judaism. Years later McGill University and the Vatican were among the first institutions to buy a significant selection of these texts from Jordan in order to protect them from the black market. Canada's Big Biblical Bargain recounts the nearly forgotten story of the complicated purchase of these texts by McGill University and the reasons they never arrived. Providing many vibrant details, the authors examine the intrigue surrounding the Dead Sea Scrolls and debunk many of the myths about them, including allegations of the Vatican's involvement in hiding the texts from scholars, the possibility that they contained earth shattering revelations, and the actual status of the infamous international editorial committee who limited access to the texts. A fascinating account of international relations, religious negotiation, and scholars, Canada's Big Biblical Bargain reveals another part of the fascinating tale of the Dead Sea Scrolls.