King's Evangelical Divinity School

9 January 2010

Interesting Find on Two Counts

A short story in Israel's Haaretz newspaper just caught my yesterday. It concerns an inscription, written in ink on clay, which was recently deciphered by a scholar at Haifa University. Upon analysis, it appears to be an early form of Hebrew which conceivably pushes the writing of the Old Testament much further back than previously thought by biblical scholars, from around the 6th century BC to around or near the time of King David, thus calling into question well over a century of biblical criticism.

Interesting stuff, not only because it challenges all that old higher criticism stuff about the age of the Old Testament, but also because if authentic the inscription provides yet another piece of archaeological evidence of a Jewish kingdom in the region long before Islam or an Arab population. You may think this is a given (it is, of course), but unfortunately not only is temple denial in the ascendancy, but the legitimacy of the Jewish state is also often absurdly challenged by some Muslims and Palestinian Authority officials on the basis that a biblical Jewish state is a Zionist myth and never existed! For example, see a report about a PA TV programme by a Jerusalem website here and by Palestinian Media Watch here. If you want evidence from the horse's mouth simply do a search for "20 Zionist Myths Exposed", compiled by M.B. Qumsiyeh, a West Bank scientist and university lecturer (a classic example of the dangers of dabbling in disciplines far removed from one's specialist area and the ensuing tosh it can produce.)

Anyway, the Haaretz story can be found here, while the analysis of the inscription was also reported and expanded upon by the Jerusalem Post here. No doubt the archaeological and literary analysis will be debated for some time before any kind of consensus is reached.

Take my poll on Christian responses to the State of Israel. See top-right of this page.


Stuart said...

Ooh lovely post, I covered this news but certainly not as well you have.

May I cross-post you again?

Calvin L. Smith said...

Stuart, please do cross post from my site whenever you like. No need to ask, just include a link to the original post somewhere. And thanks for the kind words.


Stuart said...

Music to my ears Calvin :)

Yeze said...

Reminds me of that poem and response:

How odd/of God/to choose/the Jews

But odder still
Are those who choose
the Jewish God
Yet spurn the Jews

Stuart said...

Oh, that is a wonderful little poem...