A Trial on Identity Theft, With Scholarly Discourse

Historians in the News

...Raphael Haim Golb, a 50-year-old real estate lawyer, seemed at times to take on the role of everything but criminal defendant as he testified in his own defense on Monday in State Supreme Court in Manhattan.

Mr. Golb faces charges that he stole the identity of and impersonated a New York University professor and others who disagreed with his father’s theories about the origin of the Dead Sea Scrolls in an effort to discredit them.

Mr. Golb spent much of his nearly three hours on the witness stand defending the theory of his father, Norman Golb, a professor at the University of Chicago, that the scrolls were kept in various libraries in Jerusalem until they were hidden during the Roman war of A.D. 67 to 73 in the caves where they were found more than a half-century ago. Others, including Lawrence H. Schiffman, the N.Y.U. professor whom Mr. Golb is accused of impersonating, contend that the scrolls, among the earliest surviving biblical documents, were written by a Jewish sect known as the Essenes who lived near the caves....

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