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Re:Writing Biblical History

John on November 10, 2005 at 1:24 am

An archeologist working in Israel named Ron Tappy has discovered a complete alphabet carved into a stone dating to the 10th century. Why is this significant? Liberal Biblical scholars have long argued that much of the Bible could not be historically accurate because the Hebrew people had no written language until perhaps the 5th century BC.

This 40 pound stone appears to demolish that idea. Since the appearance of the full alphabet on the stone indicates it was likely used for teaching, some class of Hebrews were in fact literate in the 10th century. The 10th century was a very significant period in the history of Israel. It was time of David and Solomon. What this discovery strongly suggests is that David’s Psalms, for instance, were not transferred orally for 300-500 years before they were written down. Instead, they were likely recorded contemporaneously as David spoke them, perhaps even written down by David himself.

It should be noted that the same minimalist scholars who reject the written tradition of scripture also rejected the existence of David himself until his name was found inscribed on a monument. Here is another recent discovery from the time of David.

In short, the discovery of this alphabet stone is a big deal for those who believe in the historical accuracy of the Bible. In that regard, my favorite quote comes from a professor at the University of Arizona:

This is a great discovery because it embarrasses the hell out of the skeptics…

Update: Ancient pottery shard found with the name Goliath written on it! Shard dates to 950BC.

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Category: Archaeology |

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