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The Lost Book of Moses : The Hunt for the World's Oldest Bible
by Chanan Tigay


Overview -

One man s quest to find the oldest Bible scrolls in the world and uncover the story of the brilliant, doomed antiquarian accused of forging them.

In the summer of 1883, Moses Wilhelm Shapira archaeological treasure hunter and inveterate social climber showed up unannounced in London claiming to have discovered the oldest copy of the Bible in the world.  Read more...


 
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More About The Lost Book of Moses by Chanan Tigay
 
 
 
Overview

One man s quest to find the oldest Bible scrolls in the world and uncover the story of the brilliant, doomed antiquarian accused of forging them.

In the summer of 1883, Moses Wilhelm Shapira archaeological treasure hunter and inveterate social climber showed up unannounced in London claiming to have discovered the oldest copy of the Bible in the world.

But before the museum could pony up his 1 million asking price for the scrolls which discovery called into question the divine authorship of the scriptures Shapira s nemesis, the French archaeologist Charles Clermont-Ganneau, denounced the manuscripts, turning the public against him. Distraught over this humiliating public rebuke, Shapira fled to the Netherlands and committed suicide.

Then, in 1947 the Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered. Noting the similarities between these and Shapira s scrolls, scholars made efforts to re-examine Shapira s case, but it was too late: the primary piece of evidence, the parchment scrolls themselves had mysteriously vanished.

Tigay, journalist and son of a renowned Biblical scholar, was galvanized by this peculiar story and this indecipherable man, and became determined to find the scrolls. He sets out on a quest that takes him to Australia, England, Holland, Germany where he meets Shapira s still aggrieved descendants and Jerusalem where Shapira is still referred to in the present tense as a Naughty boy . He wades into museum storerooms, musty English attics, and even the Jordanian gorge where the scrolls were said to have been found all in a tireless effort to uncover the truth about the scrolls and about Shapira, himself.

At once historical drama and modern-day mystery, The Lost Book of Moses explores the nineteenth-century disappearance of Shapira s scrolls and Tigay's globetrotting hunt for the ancient manuscript. As it follows Tigay s trail to the truth, the book brings to light a flamboyant, romantic, devious, and ultimately tragic personality in a story that vibrates with the suspense of a classic detective tale.

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Details
  • ISBN-13: 9780062206411
  • ISBN-10: 0062206419
  • Publisher: Ecco Press
  • Publish Date: April 2016
  • Page Count: 368
  • Dimensions: 9.3 x 6.3 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds


Related Categories

Books > Religion > Antiquities & Archaeology
Books > History > Expeditions & Discoveries
Books > Biography & Autobiography > Adventurers & Explorers

 
Publishers Weekly Reviews

Publishers Weekly® Reviews

  • Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
  • Review Date: 2015-12-14
  • Reviewer: Staff

This concise volume documents the little-known story of Moses Wilhelm Shapira, a discredited antiquities treasure hunter who, in 1883, made an amazing announcement. He claimed to have obtained several scrolls that contain a very early version of the book of Deuteronomy, authenticated as dating back to the time of Moses. Such a discovery, if genuine, would revolutionize biblical studies. Scholars have denied Mosaic authorship of this fifth book of the Pentateuch. And although these scrolls do not contain the complete book of Deuteronomy as contained in our modern Bibles, such a discovery would cause a major reconsideration of Mosaic authorship. The subsequent discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls caused scholars to reexamine Shapiras scrolls. Journalist Tigay takes us through the story of Shapiras shame, his discovery, and his suicide, tracing each step of this complex and curious story across Europe and through the Middle East. In the end, Tigay offers a dynamic and satisfying account of a strange, remarkable man whose discovery could turn the world of biblical scholarship on its head. (Mar.)

 
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