JD: It looks like Israel should be the recipient of all of your digs, all the items that you find but is that the case?
RP: Well of course the political rhetoric is one thing and the actual possession is another. Right now Israel maintains control. This is the heritage of the Jewish people. I was interviewed a number of years ago by a student from Berkeley who was actually working for the Atlantic Monthly. When his article came out he entitled it Pseudo Archeologist Plunders the West Bank. And the reason for that is because the Palestinian claim that all those lands belong to them and all the finds in those lands therefore are there’s. They’ve made a claim for the Dead Sea Scrolls as belonging to the Palestinians. But as I told him when he asked about Palestinian remains I said, well there’s nothing here except Jewish remains and Roman remains and unfortunately the Palestinians weren’t here to leave remains and so we don’t have anything.
JD: The scrolls are more than just a desire for an archeologist like you and your family to be able to find. It’s a part of our Bibles background and heritage today and key for us as Christians to know how God wants us to live and what his plan for the future is as well is it not?
RP: Yes, that’s correct. The motivating factor for me because of my faith and my allegiance to the scriptures as God’s inspired word is to find more things that shed light on it to help us understand it better. To give us the oldest copies we have so we can have a reliable text that we can all have confidence in. I don’t have a great deal of interest in Indian artifacts or Chinese artifacts. My love is the Bible. That’s what I think we need to know more about and that’s what is the greatest benefit to men. So anything that takes that I want to give my life to and part of that involves this archeological endeavor.
JD: Randy Price with the details behind the Palestinian effort to steal the Dead Sea Scrolls from the Jewish people of Israel through political means.