The history behind the Copper Scroll and the true story of Jim Barfield’s quest for its treasure.
Whether the objects are of legend or history, certain ancient mysteries arrest the imaginations of every generation. These antiquities refuse to be forgotten by the human spirit—hidden sufficiently to evade discovery, but historically prominent enough to leave a smattering of clues. Many explorers have fallen prey to fortune’s siren call, spending their lifetimes searching for the artifacts that promise to alter human history.
The Copper Scroll Project is a relative newcomer to the modern treasure hunt. Part of the Dead Sea Scrolls collection, the Copper Scroll is unlike any of the leather and papyrus documents, though not simply for its copper plates. The relic reads like a coded map, listing dozens of hiding spots where tithes and vessels thought to be secreted from the Jewish Temple were stored for safekeeping. More than fifty years after archaeologists found this unique artifact in a cave near Qumran, four adventurers have dared to chase after the scroll’s priceless relics.
“A unique introduction not only to a famous biblical mystery but to the world of American Christian interest in Israel, which remains opaque or bewildering to many outsiders, and is often caricatured.”—Matti Friedman, author of The Aleppo Codex
“Equal parts mystery, treasure hunt and erudite elucidation of biblical history.”—Chanan Tigay, author of The Last Moses
“Neese’s narrative pacing and story-telling is masterful. She gets the political and religious nuances of contemporary Israel.”—Elliot Jager, Jerusalem-based author and former editorial page editor at The Jerusalem Post