Skip to comments.When Was the Bible Really Written?
Posted on 01/09/2010 5:55:26 PM PST by driftdiver
By decoding the inscription on a 3,000-year-old piece of pottery, an Israeli professor has concluded that parts of the bible were written hundreds of years earlier than suspected.
The pottery shard was discovered at excavations at Khirbet Qeiyafa near the Elah valley in Israel -- about 18 miles west of Jerusalem. Carbon-dating places it in the 10th century BC, making the shard about 1,000 years older than the Dead Sea scrolls.
English translation of the deciphered text:
1' you shall not do [it], but worship the [Lord]. 2' Judge the sla[ve] and the wid[ow] / Judge the orph[an] 3' [and] the stranger. [Pl]ead for the infant / plead for the po[or and] 4' the widow. Rehabilitate [the poor] at the hands of the king. 5' Protect the po[or and] the slave / [supp]ort the stranger.
(Excerpt) Read more at foxnews.com ...
If there were 99 theories about the origin of the Bible and they all agreed that before Moses the Hebrew sacred scriptures were passed down as an oral tradition since Hebrews couldn't write, and then 1 guy came up with a demonstration that Hebrews had writing a thousand years earlier, that would pretty much demolish that aspect of the other 99 theories.
One popular work of nearly half a century ago was Isaac Asimov's Guide to the Bible. It's a compendium of a large number of theories regarding Bible origins, theories about how writing was invented, when and where, as well as speculation about obscure stories in the Bible.
Not that Isaac was the world's best Biblical scholar but he was a decent writer. The only unfortunate aspect of this book is that when there was the slightest doubt Isaac took the dark side.
At the time this book was written the scholarly concensus was that Hebrews couldn't write until they got to Egypt and even then continued with the oral tradition until they got back to Caanan where they waited another 500+ years for the Babylonian captivity where the Arabs taught them how to write. These days Egyptian writing is known to be a development that took place long after Sumerian writing, and that by the time of Father Abraham, who spent most of his life wandering about what had been ancient Sumeria, writing was widespread in that same area. Today's scholars are pretty much forced to come up with ideas of why proto-Hebrews were incapable of picking up writing from their neighbors!
Isaac Asimov would no doubt be pleased with this particular archaeological find ~ which proves that Jews were smart back in the good old days ~ but he'd also be disappointed that virtually all the then current theories regarding Biblical scholarship were in serious error.
BTW, the folks who carry on the tradition of preparing handmade Torahs for use in synagogue worship also memorize the text they write. Basically no mistakes are allowed and if one is made they start over.
· Discover · Nat Geographic · Texas AM Anthro News · Yahoo Anthro & Archaeo · Google ·
· The Archaeology Channel · Excerpt, or Link only? · cgk's list of ping lists ·
The Hebrew âcanonâ aimed to exclude âChristianâ writings, which would include many Jewish apocalyptic writings, and many wisdom writings in the Septuigent.
Given that Mesopotamian writings includes lots of commercial records and that Canaan” was on the trade route between Egypt and the Fertile Crescent, that the alphabet probably began as a short-hand for merchants of the area, it hardly seems likely that the people of the area would not be literate and numerate. IAC, my feeling is that scholarships have been betrayed by their desire to treat the Bible as not a record of history events. They can do this because writing materials are quickly perishable.
You are correct in part. Christians found ready the Greek LXX for the gentile world. A summary can be found here.
The books of the Apocrypha were not included in the Hebrew Bible, nor were they regarded as canonical by the leaders of official Judaism anywhere. Even Jews who wrote in Greek at the beginning of our era, like Philo and Josephus, recognized only the Canon of the Hebrew Bible, although they used the Septuagint translation.. .
Our Lord and the apostles certainly did not regard the apocryphal books as part of Holy Scripture; the evidence is that they acknowledged as canonical only the books of the Hebrew Bible.
This is also comfirmed in part by a statement from the Apocryphal book of 2d Esdras, written in A.D. 100, showing that the twenty-four books of the Hebrew canon had been considered authoritative for a long time.
Regarding the effort to separate from Christianity and the LXX, there may have been components later but that didn't really pan out for quite a while later.
The Sumerian syllabary grew out of their use of ideographs. It is now believed that Egyptian hieroglyphics AND Shan Dynasty characters were developed by individuals who'd acquired knowledge of the earlier Sumerian work.
The Sumerian writing system was in work by 3400BCE, or 5,410 years ago! That's more than 1,000 years BEFORE Father Abraham (give or take a few). Given that "The Bible" necessarily starts there, it was probably a written document from the very first ~
I saw in looking up the dates for Abraham that some folks dispute when the various "stories" in Genesis were written (down) or "created" and date them as early as the 8th century BCE, or 2,750+/- years ago.
Anyway, the archaeological discovery reported in the lead story pretty much demonstrates that something having to do with Hebrew/Jewish religion was written down a long time ago. The various stories within Genesis are, in part, attested to having an extremely ancient origin because they are the "topics" of 7,000 year old pictoglyphs in Russia and Norway. Sumerian documents (clay tablets) clearly report trips to the far North by Sumerian nomads as far back as 6,000 years ago. That particular discovery fostered an enormous cult within the framework of the Nazi movement regarding what they thought was a demonstration of the supremacy of the Aryans. Little did they know the Sumerians, the Sa'ami and the ancient Hebrews had little to do with any Aryans!
It would be hard to believe ancient people who had access to writing did not, in fact, write down their sacred stories as soon as possible.
I'm not yet ready to defend ancient proto-Hebrew/Sumerian/Sa'ami contact circa 5000BCE, but Celiac disease, or wheat gluten intolerance has been "traced" to the Sa'ami. That particular problem means you can't safely eat wheat, barley or rye.
The earliest "Passover" rules include the prohibition of the consumption of wheat, barley or rye during the appropriate period ~ that's what "Kosher for Passover" means ~ wheat, barley and rye are, of course, acceptable under Kosher, but they may not be consumed for a period of time every year.
That's pretty much the world's most ancient still extant ceremony. It's my suspicion that the caste of Scribes introduced the prohibition when they accreted to Abraham's party.
A good argument can be made that the Sa'ami languages pre-date all Finno-Ugric languages, and actually contributed some grammatical features to Germanic and other Indo-European languages. At the same time Sa'ami is the only extant relative of any sort to ancient Sumerian, and both have features demonstrating a probable Dravidian origin (for the languages if not the people speaking them).
Finding Sa'ami stories among the cultural baggage of the Hebrews is actually not all that surprising. And finding Sumerians associated with both isn't surprising either.
Not as cut and dried as you say. In any case, the Bible that most gentile Christians would have knowledge of, and predispose them to the God of the Jews, was the LXX. That the Church was not wedded to the Hebrew tongue is shown by the fact that the whole New Testament was written in Greek, excepting Matthew, and indeed by the fact that Our Lord is known to the world by a Greek name. From the beginning, the Church in Jerusalem was divided between Greek speakers and “Hebrew” speakers.
I do believe I inferred that.
That the Church was not wedded to the Hebrew tongue is shown by the fact that the whole New Testament was written in Greek, excepting Matthew, and indeed by the fact that Our Lord is known to the world by a Greek name.
Lets be factual - the very first Christians were Jews. That the NT was written in Greek (some argue Matthew was originally Hebrew or Aramaic) is founded upon the simple fact that by the time they were written, gentile converts were the predominant group in the Church and Greek was the common, established language across the Mediterranean region. The Church was no longer centered in Israel, but scattered all over the Greek speaking world.
As far as Jesus being known by a greek name, that is not entirely correct. Jesus in the Greek is Iesous (pronounced ee-ay-sooce'), making it an english transliteration of the Greek. The Greek inturn is transliterated from the Hebrew Yeshua - and its use is not uncommon within Christianity either.
Finally, there is good evidence to suggest that Jesus Himself was trilingual - Hebrew, Greek and Aramaic
From the beginning, the Church in Jerusalem was divided between Greek speakers and Hebrew speakers.
This conflict had nothing to do with the 'language' the bible was eventually passed down to us in - but carryovers from the Jewish heritage of considering Hellenists as less worthy, which took some time to root out of Christianity.
The Holy Land was trilingual, with Hebrew as the sacred language. Lots of Greek-speakers. My guess is that the Holy land was probably about the same
linguistically as the rest of the region from the coast to Mesopotamia with Syriac being the language of the countryside and Greek the city language. Inevitable since Alexander conquered the region 300 years before. The two influences constantly clashed.
Lots of good links in this thread.
Lectionary Statistics - How much of the Bible is included in the Lectionary for Mass? (Popquiz!)
Pope calls Catholics to daily meditation on the Bible
What Are the "Apocrypha?"
The Accuracy of Scripture
US Conference of Catholic Bishops recommendations for Bible study
CNA unveils resource to help Catholics understand the Scriptures
The Dos and Donts of Reading the Bible [Ecumenical]
Pope to lead marathon Bible reading on Italian TV
The Complete Bible: Why Catholics Have Seven More Books [Ecumenical]
Beginning Catholic: Books of the Catholic Bible: The Complete Scriptures [Ecumenical]
Beginning Catholic: When Was The Bible Written? [Ecumenical]
The Complete Bible: Why Catholics Have Seven More Books [Ecumenical]
U.S. among most Bible-literate nations: poll
Bible Lovers Not Defined by Denomination, Politics
Dei Verbum (Catholics and the Bible)
Vatican Offers Rich Online Source of Bible Commentary
Clergy Congregation Takes Bible Online
Knowing Mary Through the Bible: Mary's Last Words
A Bible Teaser For You... (for everyone :-)
Knowing Mary Through the Bible: New Wine, New Eve
Return of Devil's Bible to Prague draws crowds
Doctrinal Concordance of the Bible [What Catholics Believe from the Bible] Catholic Caucus
Should We Take the Bible Literally or Figuratively?
Glimpsing Words, Practices, or Beliefs Unique to Catholicism [Bible Trivia]
Catholic and Protestant Bibles: What is the Difference?
Church and the Bible(Caatholic Caucus)
Pope Urges Prayerful Reading of Bible
Catholic Caucus: It's the Church's Bible
How Tradition Gave Us the Bible
The Church or the Bible
Since the 18th Century it has been the practice of “Enlightened” scholars to deny the great antiquity of Scripture. The point being to accuse its writers of having created fiction rather than reality.
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