"This is an earthquake in biblical study":

Discussion in 'Off-Topic Discussions' started by Lerner, Mar 24, 2022.

  1. Lerner

    Lerner Well-Known Member

    "This is an earthquake in biblical study": 3,200-year-old "curse" from "Cursed Mountain Ebal" [Deut.27] was exposed
    Initial report:
    You can see below the text that has been deciphered so far. There is still text in the decoding process.
    It is important to remember that this text is found on Mount Ebal which is according to the books of Deuteronomy and Joshua, the mountain of the curse.
    The top image is the word "Y" and "H" as it appears on the plaque. This is a proto-Hebrew Canaanite script written from left to right, a script that fits the years 1500 BC to 1000 BC.
    Also the lead from which the lead is made was created in the region of Greece at the end of the Bronze Age.
    Amazing find!

    Attached Files:

  2. Dustin

    Dustin Well-Known Member

  3. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    The article says curse tablets were very common back then. Possibly Bronze Age past-due notices? :)
  4. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    Tiny 2x2 tablets filled with writing - the very first SD cards?
  5. nosborne48

    nosborne48 Well-Known Member

    Times were rough back then...I don’t think they had progressed much beyond DOS 3.1
    Lerner and Johann like this.
  6. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    True. IIRC 3.3 (the good one) had just come out. And right then, that blessed FLOOD messed things up!
  7. Lerner

    Lerner Well-Known Member

    This descovery keeps dialog going among the minimalists and maxamalists professors.

    Clearly though, people could (and did) write in those times. 1200 to 1400 BC.
    The script is posibly Sinaytic pre proto Hebrew.
    Last edited: Apr 5, 2022
  8. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    Yes - the article states that. Writing itself goes back WAY before these tablets. From the Temple of Wiki:

    "Scholars generally agree that the earliest form of writing appeared almost 5,500 years ago in Mesopotamia (present-day Iraq). Early pictorial signs were gradually substituted by a complex system of characters representing the sounds of Sumerian (the language of Sumer in Southern Mesopotamia) and other languages."

    In fact, we know the names of authors maybe 1,000 years before the tablets in the article:

    "The earliest literary authors known by name are Ptahhotep (who wrote in Egyptian) and Enheduanna[26] (who wrote in Sumerian), dating to around the 24th and 23rd centuries BCE, respectively."

    Best I've seen - comprehensive account of many early writing systems - here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_writing
    SteveFoerster likes this.
  9. Lerner

    Lerner Well-Known Member

    Many Biblical and Mid East scholars who research the Bible origins are arguing about the biblical texts and their original script.
    Some who belong to minimalist group clamed that Hebrew script came later then 10 C BC.

    This what I meant about writing abilities of inhabitans of these parts of the land.
    The point is how the discovery affects the narrative of Joshuah erecting altar on that mount and traditions etc.

    Abram story and his origins from Mesopotamia.

    My point was not about first writing capabilities of mankind but the Biblical minimalist vs maximalist debate.
  10. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    OK. Point taken.
  11. nosborne48

    nosborne48 Well-Known Member

    Sheesh people. Look at Deut. 28. G-d uses this technique. There is ABSOLUTELY NOTHING NEW here. In traditional synagogues, I'm told, these lines are read quickly and in an undertone to avoid frightening the people. Well, they ARE pretty frightening.

    Since I guess DI has a community of ancient language scholars, I have a question that has bothered me for years. I have a nodding familiarity with Torah Hebrew (quite different from Medieval Hebrew and even more different from Israeli Hebrew) and a slighter acquaintanceship with Talmudic Aramaic. I understand that Aramaic was a very common tongue in the Near East through Roman times and even after, more commonly spoken than Hebrew. Is Bible Hebrew a dialect of Aramaic?
  12. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    Not a scholar, here, Nosborne48 as you doubtless know. But I renewed my acquaintance with Rabbi Googleberg :) and I think we can answer that:

    (1) "Aramaic was the language of Jesus, who spoke the Galilean dialect during his public ministry, as well as the language of several sections of the Hebrew Bible, including parts of the books of Daniel and Ezra, and also the language of the Targum, the Aramaic translation of the Hebrew Bible."

    So, it appears from that, that they are separate languages and both are used in the Hebrew Bible

    (2) Britannica gives the origin of Aramaic and says Hebrew and Aramaic are closely related languages. Nobody said a word about "dialect."

    "Aramaic language, Semitic language of the Northern Central, or Northwestern, group that was originally spoken by the ancient Middle Eastern people known as Aramaeans. It was most closely related to Hebrew, Syriac, and Phoenician and was written in a script derived from the Phoenician alphabet."

    Continues here, with origins and history of Aramaic language:

    (3) Good article here says basically the same. Hebrew and Aramaic are the only two Northwestern Semitic languages still spoken today.

    Hope this helps. Appears to be two related languages - not dialect.
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2022
  13. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    BTW - I've heard and seen versions of the Lord's Prayer in Aramaic and Biblical Hebrew, side by side.
    Related? Oh, definitely. Dialect? I can see (and hear) why people might think so. But the mavens say "neyn." :)
  14. nosborne48

    nosborne48 Well-Known Member

    Well...but there might be political or cultural reasons for saying that. Anyway if you ever deal with Talmud you will see that the similarities are evident. Of course, that’s Jewish Aramaic which might borrow heavily from Hebrew so who knows.
  15. nosborne48

    nosborne48 Well-Known Member

    Related note...years ago I visited the famous De Young Museum and looked at some of the larger scraps of the Dead Sea Scrolls. Yikes! I could READ words here and there!
    Johann likes this.
  16. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    I'm glad. Must have been an inspiring, revelatory experience. I once had a similar one, FAR less happy - with a Quebec parking ticket. I recognized words like "amende" (fine) "coupable" (guilty) and $50.

    Maybe the Aramaic-Hebrew thing is like German and Yiddish. One has lots of the other in it, but they're definitely separate languages. Farsteh'? ;)
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2022
  17. nosborne48

    nosborne48 Well-Known Member

    Surprising, anyway. It's a very clean script, easier to read than modern Torah script. Something like Rashi script I guess but I could never thought Rashi was particularly easy to read. I should point out again that I'm talking about a word or phrase here and there not reading it like a newspaper!
  18. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    Yes, I understand. There have been other dialect / language controversies - some ongoing, e.g. the one between Catalan and Valencian. Scholars and lay-people on both sides, one maintaining Valencian is a separate language and the other that it's a dialect of Catalan. Our late member, Abner, was of Valencian heritage.

    I really have no clue as to the Hebrew-Aramaic question. One thing, though - Aramaic was originally the language of a people who were not Jews. (at least, I don't think they were -were they?) So - a separate language still, or did Jews make such frequent use of it and change it to suit their own conventions that it became more like a dialect of Hebrew?

    Nu... :)
  19. nosborne48

    nosborne48 Well-Known Member

    This is really, really nothing new...the 4,000 year old stele of Hammurabi in the Louvre has a blessings and curses se tion at the end following all the "laws". I didn’t know that before now but I'm not surprised.

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