Tuesday, August 20, 2013

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3,000-year-old Text Sheds Light on Biblical History

(via FoxNews)

image1A few characters on the side of a 3,000-year-old earthenware jug dating back to the time of King David have stumped archaeologists until now -- and a fresh translation may have profound ramifications for our understanding of the Bible.

Experts had suspected the fragmentary inscription was written in the language of the Canaanites, a biblical people who lived in the present-day Israel. Not so, says one expert who claims to have cracked the code: The mysterious language is actually the oldest form of written Hebrew, placing the ancient Israelites in Jerusalem earlier than previously believed.

"Hebrew speakers were controlling Jerusalem in the 10th century, which biblical chronology points to as the time of David and Solomon," ancient Near Eastern history and biblical studies expert Douglas Petrovich told FoxNews.

"Whoever they were, they were writing in Hebrew like they owned the place," he said. 

 

"It is just the climate among scholars that they want to attribute as little as possible to the ancient Israelites."  - Doug Petrovich

First discovered near the Temple Mount in Jerusalem last year, the 10th century B.C. fragment has been labeled the Ophel Inscription. It likely bears the name of the jug's owners and its contents.

If Petrovich's analysis proves true, it would be evidence of the accuracy of Old Testament tales (TALES???  they start with an assumption it’s tales???). If Hebrew as a written language existed in the 10th century, as he says, the ancient Israelites were recording their history in real time as opposed to writing it down several hundred years later. That would make the Old Testament an historical account of real-life events.

According to Petrovich, archaeologists are unwilling to call it Hebrew to avoid conflict.

"It's just the climate among scholars that they want to attribute as little as possible to the ancient Israelites," he said.

Needless to say, his claims are stirring up controversy among those who do not like to mix the hard facts of archaeology -- dirt, stone and bone -- with stories from the Bible.

Tel Aviv University archaeologist Israel Finkelstein told FoxNews.com that the Ophel Inscription is critical to the early history of Israel. But romantic notions of the Bible shouldn't cloud scientific methods -- a message he pushed in 2008 when a similar inscription was found at a site many now call one of King David's palaces.

At the time, he warned the Associated Press against the "revival in the belief that what's written in the Bible is accurate like a newspaper."

Today, he told FoxNews.com that the Ophel Inscription speaks to "the expansion of Jerusalem from the Temple Mount, and shows us the growth of Jerusalem and the complexity of the city during that time." But the Bible? Maybe, maybe not…

--- Read the whole thing.  But keep in mind the opening bias, that the Torah (or bible) must be “tales” – the other option is too scary to consider.

3 comments:

Avi said...

Historians are acting perfectly rational when they do not accept historical accuracy from a single source. There is very little proof that most of the figures in TaNaCH existed or that events described therein actually ocurred. And it's very silly to take umbrage at this position. It's logical. Jewish identity is not based on logic; it is based on belief. If you believe TaNaCH, what matter if someone else doesn't? Is your faith marred by others' disbelief?

Akiva said...

The umbrage is a starting bias that TaNaCH sources are NOT accurate. If you start with a "don't know" or some neutral position - I'm fine with that. But the majority of biblical archeologists start with "made up stories - not real until excessively proven otherwise", and nowadays being frequently shocked that facts are being uncovered aligning with TaNaCH.

MAOZ said...

(Probably unintentionally) funny statement that Finkelstein warned against "belief that what's written in the Bible is accurate like a newspaper."

Makes me wonder what newspaper he reads, and with what level of naive credulity.

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