Skip to comments.Deciphered etching sheds new light on Bible's origin
Posted on 01/10/2010 10:16:56 AM PST by NYer
Did the writing of the Bible begin as far back as the 10th century B.C.E., during the time of King David? That is four centuries earlier than Biblical scholars currently believe - but an inscription recently deciphered by a scholar at Haifa University indicates that for at least some books of the Bible, the answer may be yes.
The inscription, written in ink on clay, is the earliest yet found in Hebrew. It was discovered about 18 months ago in a dig at Khirbet Qeiyafa, near Emek Ha'ela. While it was quickly dated, its language remained uncertain until Prof. Gershon Galil was able to demonstrate that it was an early form of Hebrew - containing roots commonly found in Hebrew, but which are very rare in other Semitic languages.
The content, Galil said, "which relates to slaves, widows and orphans," is typical of the Biblical text, but reflects ideas virtually unheard of in the surrounding cultures.
Galil said this discovery disproves the current theory, which holds that the Bible could not have been written before the 6th century B.C.E., because Hebrew writing did not exist until then.
Moreover, he added, the inscription was found in what was then a minor, outlying community - so if scribes existed even there, Hebrew writing was probably sufficiently well developed to handle a complex text like the Bible.
(Excerpt) Read more at haaretz.com ...
the dating thing dont make me angry, what gets me going is NO ONE found a verse in the OT that thiese passages correspond to!
That means it AINT the Word of God.
That’s true, but it was cited only as evidence of the existance of Hebrew. If the words were divinely inspired, that case remains to be made.
There is no doubt in my mind that the Iliad and the Odyssey were based on actual occurrences and actual people.
Perhaps there is confusion about whether there is ONE YHvH or three gods.
Another artifact of the Roman church from around 500 CE. shalom b'SHEM Yah'shua HaMashiach
Perhaps there is confusion about whether there is ONE YHvH or three gods.
oh no it didn’t, read the very first line!
It completely says it is the Bible
btw, your posting isn’t the first time I seen this, all other articles said the same thing, they act like it’s the Bible just because it says nice things, only when you do a Bible search, none of that is in any recognizable order of any passage
You’re right, it does, and clearly doesn’t make the case. Or even attempt to link the sentiments.
When I was in the Seminary, I actually had a Priest as an instructor taht used that term. He wore a Tau cross, and rarely wore his collar, so that tells you which side of the aisle he voted for.
Based on actual people, sure, but enhanced with many fictional elements.
There is no shortage of left-wing Catholic "scholars" who developed a lot of stupid things. However, it is the historical and traditional opinion of the Catholic Church that the Pentateuch was written by Moses at least in essential parts, -- perhaps the part where Moses's death is described was added later, or assistants helped in some way.
“Galil said this discovery disproves the current theory, which holds that the Bible could not have been written before the 6th century B.C.E., because Hebrew writing did not exist until then.”
I had never heard that claim before, concerning the use of earliest known Hebrew writing as a basis for the plausible beginning of the religious belief system we now refer to as Judaism.
Before Abraham and his descendants (that is in the time of Adam, Noah etc.), it is difficult to place most biblical characters in specific language-identifiable groups, other than the Middle East generally.
But what we now refer to as Judaism, as a systematic presentation of a common set of beliefs about God, begins with Abraham in Mesopotamia, in an ancient town known to have existed north of present-day Baghdad in Iraq (where Abraham was born and grew to adulthood) - centuries BEFORE the 6th century BC/BCE.
The tribes that later founded Israel, Judea and Samaria developed the written form of “Hebrew” later on, as did other Semitic tribes who developed other scripts, like the more generalized Aramaic, which in both written and spoken form had similarities with Hebrew - similarities that remain in some of the other languages still spoken in the Middle East.
In, sum - Abraham most likely pre-existed the written script of “Hebrew”. That does not mean that the religious roots of Judaism, in Abraham, and in his ancestors, were non-existent, as a set of beliefs, prior to the 6th century BC/BCE.
From Abraham and until Moses, the religion of “the Hebrews” was predominately passed on in the oral traditions of the people. Written recordings of them were most likely few and most often not on imperishable materials. That is true of the majority of Middle East ancient societies, which is why, whether from Abraham and his people, or others of his day, written records of the time are rare and when found are found most frequently in the form of records kept by the rulers and those that worked for them; usually not artifacts of the common people or others not in positions of high status.
None of that proves any lack of continuity of religious belief from the Hebrews of the 6th century BC/BCE back to Abraham, nor back to Abraham’s ancestors. The lack of a single continuous same-written-language “paper trail” is not evidence of a lack of a trail in peoples beliefs.
Thanks NYer and Fractal Trader.
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I’ve known many Orthodox Jews who have used the designation for many, many years.
I’ve known of a few instructors who threatened to flunk students if they used BC and AD.
Not to quibble with the author, but some scholars already believed the original writing went much further back. These authors, though, believe the Bible is true, and are therefore discounted by most of academia.
Without getting too far into it, their reasoning is that the early chapters of Genesis were written on tablets rather than in scroll form, and that these tablets were handed down from generation to generation. The accounts of the generations interspersed through the first chapters of Genesis were the separation points of these individual accounts. These scholars also speculate (please note, speculate) that when Esau traded his birth right to Jacob for a bowl of soup that he was swapping the family histories (which would have included all the previous generations) to Jacob.
Remember that not that long ago, scholars claimed Moses could not have written the first five books of the Bible because writing hadn't been invented in Moses time, and thus claimed the first five books of the Bible were only oral histories.
Gen 31:46 Jacob said to his kinsmen, "Gather stones." So they took stones and made a heap, and they ate there by the heap.
Gen 31:47 And Laban called it Jegarsahadutha: but Jacob called it Galeed.
Gen 31:48 And Laban said, This heap is a witness between me and you this day. Therefore was the name of it called Galeed;
I checked this passage because of statements by Biblical scholars that insertion of Chaldean (Aramaic) text into these passages was proof that Genesis was written after the claimed dates.
What I found was that the only Aramaic term was Jegarsahadutha. The rest of the passage is in Hebrew. Laban was not of the line of Abraham, Jacob was. Laban called the pile of stones the Aramaic term for "heap of testimony" while Jacob called it the Hebrew term for "heap of testimony."
If the account had actually only been oral, and written down centuries later, how likely is it that the detail of Laban and Jacob calling the pile of stones "heap of testimony" in their native tongues would be considered important enough to be remembered, and how likely is it that the correct terms would be used?
Thanks for the ping. This does show that a written form of archaic Hebrew existed that long ago, and it is consistent with Hebrew admonishments to act justly though it doesn’t precisely match any passage in the present Hebrew Bible.