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Pottery Shard May Vindicate Bible

Discussion in 'Faith and Religion' started by tulianr, Jan 28, 2014.

  1. tulianr

    tulianr Don Quixote de la Monkey

    An ancient pottery shard seems to support the Biblical story of King Solomon and shows he was running a pretty complex operation 3,000 years ago—at least according to one Israeli scholar. "We are dealing here with real kings, and the kingdom of David and Solomon was a real fact," Gershon Galil tells Fox News.

    He bases this on the "Ophel inscription," the oldest alphabetical writing ever found in Israel. Galil translates the 8 letters on a clay-jug fragment as yah-yin chah-lak, or "inferior wine." This, he says, was the cheap stuff given to laborers who built the young city of Jerusalem. Galil says this indicates an advanced bureaucratic system that could label wine, note where it came from, store it, and so on, reports the Archaeology News Network.

    Galil dates the shard to the middle of the 10th century BCE, which places the Jews in Jerusalem earlier than scholars have believed, to a time when the Bible says King Solomon ruled. Galil takes this as proof that Solomon ordered the building of the First Temple.

    Others have said Judean King Hezekiah had it built in Solomon's name, a notion Galil dismisses. "If Obama were to achieve something, he would not claim that Bush did it," he said. "It's not in human nature!" But scholars are still debating the meaning of the inscription, Fox News notes.

    The Archaeology News Network: Ancient Hebrew inscription refers to lousy wine

    Pottery Shard May Vindicate Bible: Scholar - Ancient 'Ophel inscription' could prove the story of King Solomon
    Mindgrinder and Yard Dart like this.
  2. fmhuff

    fmhuff Monkey+++

    People will be standing before the LORD himself on the judgment day and still debating the veracity of the Bible.
  3. Minuteman

    Minuteman Chaplain Moderator Founding Member

    Even if you discount all the mystical portions of the bible, scholars are finding that it is a fabulous historical record. The Archeologists spade has proven time and time again the accuracy of it.
    D2wing likes this.
  4. chelloveck

    chelloveck Diabolus Causidicus

    It seems that Gershon Galil's take on the 'Ophel inscription' has gotten some traction via Fox News...and who wouldn't be impressed with his analogously sarcastic remark about the logic of Obama not crediting G Dubya for a monument Obama had putatively constructed. Somewhat ironic, when it it comes to giving due credit to others. (There is an open letter to Galil on the subject http://qeiyafa.huji.ac.il/galil.asp ).

    I do wonder if Galil has extended his translation of the shard, and the conclusions that he draws from it, well beyond what the evidence actually might reasonably suggest.

    For an alternative evaluation of the shard, please consider Christopher Rollston's examination of the evidence. (summarised below).

    George Athos of Moore Theological College (Sydney University, Australia) had the following to say...

    The discoverers of the Ophel Pithos at the dig site, had this to say in the abstract in their scholarly submission to the Israel Exploration Society's Israel Exploration Journal.

    Other than Galil, most of the evaluation done by archaeology researchers is quite conservative and tentative...seeking more evidence before arriving at firm conclusions...However, Galil seems quite comfortable leaping to a number of conclusions that would seem to be rather speculative at this stage.

    Last edited: Feb 1, 2014
    tulianr likes this.
  5. Minuteman

    Minuteman Chaplain Moderator Founding Member

    Umm. I'm having trouble getting the point of your post Chell. The open letter cited chastises Gershon Galil for not properly identifying and giving due credit to the person who translated the inscription. It states that the translation is basically correct and that it is indeed of Hebrew origin. So what inference are we supposed to draw from that?

    Then you cite another letter from Christopher Rollston, (the recently fired and disgraced professor who has become the darling of the left for his promotion of liberal positions.) Nonetheless the most damning thing he has to say is that Galil could be right. Although he personally happens to disagree with him. The date of his refute is not given, it would be quite coincidental and suspicious if it were recent. Prof. Galil's report came out in 2010. Could Rollston be trying to stir up and insert himself into a debate to take the focus off of himself?

    So basically, everything Prof. Galil said and his conclusions have not been refuted or disproved in the 4 years since he first published them. The only refute coming from a disgraced and fired leftist professor who is injecting himself into a debate against a well respected scholar at a time when he himself is being marginalized and embroiled in controversy.

    Really having trouble seeing the relevance there.
  6. tulianr

    tulianr Don Quixote de la Monkey

    Thanks for doing some further investigating on this story. I find myself agreeing with George Athas in the With Meagre Powers article, in that "Either way, it’s significant to find this small evidence of at least a modicum of literacy in the Judean highlands at this time..."

    It would be great if it did turn out to be from the time of the Israelite kingdom. There is so little archeological evidence to shed light on the period; but only time, and further digging, will tell. Regardless, the find is certainly provocative, as is evidenced by the many conflicting opinions concerning its provenance.
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2014
    Minuteman likes this.
  7. -06

    -06 Monkey+++

    To quote someone of irrefutable character---"what difference does it make". One either believes on faith or does not. To be to the point--there is not one speck of evidence refuting the Biblical stories of early Judaism. Excavations into "tells"(old city mounds) has backed every word about cities/areas/etc. named in the OT.
    D2wing likes this.
  8. Minuteman

    Minuteman Chaplain Moderator Founding Member

    The most significant case of archeology proving the biblical accounts is in the story of the Hittite empire. Science was adamant that it was only myth and that no evidence existed of a large empire matching that description at that time. That the reference could only be about some relatively small tribe that the Israelites came in contact with. And they were right. There was no evidence, at that time. Later excavations revealed the existence and widespread influence of this great empire. The cities of Jericho, Erech, and Ur were all thought to be biblical exaggerations and or allegorical if not mythical. Yet all of these the archeologists spade has uncovered, exactly where the bible recorded them being. In fact many archeologist study the bible and use it as a reference when excavating in that part of the world.
    An interesting factoid, oil was discovered in the Middle East because a geologist had read of the pitch used to caulk Noah's Ark and he started searching for tar deposits in the region.
    Like I said earlier, even if you discount all of the spiritual aspects of it the biblical account has proven to be remarkably accurate as an historical record of the ancient world.
    D2wing, BTPost and tulianr like this.
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