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Of all the disappointments I have experienced in Qumran Studies—and there have been many—and mistakes I made in the struggle to free the Scrolls, this turned out perhaps to be one of the most painful and ill-considered . .” -- Robert Eisenman (The New Testament Code [2006], p.

During a dark time at Cornell Eisenman was there for me, making phone calls to colleagues at the University of Chicago helping to facilitate a transfer there.

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In this way, at Eisenman’s invitation, I became the first student in the world to view photographs of the previously unpublished Dead Sea Scrolls now made public.

It would be more accurate to say that the Zurich radiocarbon datings were compatible with the more precise palaeographic date estimates in the sense of not showing clear disagreements with them (which is not quite the same as the first claim, a subtle but important distinction).

Before the AMS datings at Zurich, the Qumran texts had been dated on the grounds of archaeology and palaeography (in addition to internal textual allusions to figures and events of the 2 century CE).

Therefore I knew that radiocarbon dating was likely to be a sensitive subject to Eisenman.

For this reason, though I was burning to discuss radiocarbon dating with Eisenman when I went out to California, out of consideration for his peace of mind I made a conscious point not to raise the subject or ask him about radiocarbon dating until after the “Nova” filming was completed.

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