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docyabut2

Message decoded: 3,000-year-old text sheds

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A few characters on the side of a 3,000-year-old earthenware jug dating back to the time of King David has 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.

Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/science/2013/07/31/3000-year-old-inscription-translated-biblical-history/#ixzz2afPZYX5t

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A few characters on the side of a 3,000-year-old earthenware jug dating back to the time of King David has 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.

Read more: http://www.foxnews.c.../#ixzz2afPZYX5t

Not that fundamentalist Christian Fox News would have /any/ motivation to shore up disproven versions of biblical history.

--Jaylemurph

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From the link:

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.

Read more: http://www.foxnews.c.../#ixzz2akLlq7Tb

In fact, no it wouldn't, since we have no existing fragments of any writings from the Torah from that period. It only opens up the possibility.

Also, that possibilitty was opened in 2008, so the above blurb from Fox is simply incorrect (Fox themselves even reported on this earlier finding at the time.)

Please note (from 2010):

Professor Gershon Galil of the department of biblical studies at the University of Haifa has deciphered an inscription dating from the 10th century BCE (the period of King David's reign), and has shown that this is a Hebrew inscription. The discovery makes this the earliest known Hebrew writing.

Source

Harte

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Posted (edited)

From the link:

In fact, no it wouldn't, since we have no existing fragments of any writings from the Torah from that period. It only opens up the possibility.

Also, that possibilitty was opened in 2008, so the above blurb from Fox is simply incorrect (Fox themselves even reported on this earlier finding at the time.)

Please note (from 2010):

Source

Harte

Just to add: as long as the esteemed prof does not show that the above shard actually contains a biblical verse concluding that the bible existed already at that time is slightly adventurous. It just proves that a language akin to Hebrew existed at the time (which could have been any of the regional dialects). And some scholars are not very convinced about that either.

Edited by questionmark

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Just to add: as long as the esteemed prof does not show that the above shard actually contains a biblical verse concluding that the bible existed already at that time is slightly adventurous. It just proves that a language akin to Hebrew existed at the time (which could have been any of the regional dialects). And some scholars are not very convinced about that either.

"Akin to Hebrew" is the important point. Hebrew is just one dialect among many in the Semitic family. To prove beyond a doubt that the characters are Hebrew, it would have to demonstrate particular verb forms or other linguistic constructs that are identifiably ancient Hebrew. The article seems to relay that the characters might be a name, which would be plausible given the ceramic context, and a name alone would not establish the characters as Hebrew.

I'm not outright saying it's impossible, but I'm suggesting caution in how far to take the article as well as the professor himself.

A good chunk of the article also expresses obvious skepticism, which is a healthier route to take.

Maybe the characters are nothing more than a freshness date for olive oil. :w00t:

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