BBC -- Chanan Tigay is the author of The Lost Book of Moses: The Hunt for the World’s Oldest Bible, and a professor at San Francisco State University.
“My visit to Wadi Mujib (believed to be what was known in the Bible as Arnon) was the first step in my journey to solve a century-old mystery,” Tigay writes.
“That story began in 1883, when Moses Wilhelm Shapira, an antiquities dealer from Jerusalem, showed up on the doorstep of London’s British Museum claiming to have in his possession the oldest biblical manuscript in the world, a set of scrolls inscribed with the Book of Deuteronomy, the fifth and final of the Five Books of Moses, which together with Prophets and Writings comprise the Old Testament. He claimed the manuscript had been discovered by nomadic Bedouin tribesmen in a cave overlooking Wadi Mujib. The text, Shapira noted, was remarkably different from that used in churches and synagogues, suggesting that the version believed to have been passed down from God to Moses had, in fact, been altered by human hands.”