Friday, 31 October 2008

New Inscription Proves ...

You thought I had disappeared from the planet didn't you? Just thought I’d extract myself for a few minutes from the Kings commentary I’m immersed in writing to comment on this one.

Archaeologist Yossi Garfinkel claims to have discovered (well actually one of his volunteers) the oldest Hebrew inscription found so far on a piece of broken pottery unearthed at Hirbet Qeiyafa in the Judean foothills. While the text is impossible to read from the photo I’ve seen, and probably won't be published for months or years, I can confidently state that it provides irrefutable proof
1) that it is definitely Hebrew written by an Israelite, proving their literacy at around 1000 BC;
2) that the Hebrews were illiterate and it must be by a Canaanite or Philistine;
3) that we can read and translate the text with confidence;
4) that the text is too faded to do more than pick out a few letters;
5) that it is from the time of King David and proves the whole of the biblical account of the conquest, settlement and early monarchy;
6) that it could not possibly be from the time of David because no such king ever existed and the conquest and settlement are later inventions.

And that is only what the experts will say. As for what popular Christian apologists, Zionists, anti-Zionists and others will make of it, well that’s beyond me.

The commentary is going well, thanks for asking. I’m looking forward to the ETS and SBL conferences in a couple of weeks.


Pete Moore said...
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Pete Moore said...

I like it John - and this touches on an issue that keeps bobbing up in 'Historical Studies'. Historians love proving things - as do we all - and yet often evidence from history is scanty at best. If you really examine the basis for numerous historical theories, they are mostly supposition! But I suppose it gets boring if the outcome of every investigation is 'we don't really know!' Add to that of course our genuine passion for pet ideas (our ideologies) and you end up with the kind of nonsense that you have parodied in your post.
Now of course I need to make clear one caveat: none of this skepticism ought to apply when it comes to the historical investigation of sources for preaching... Calvin's for example!