New Discovery at Mt. Ebal: the earliest historical instance of the name of God

by Terry 20 Replies latest watchtower bible

  • markweatherill

    The text is evidently a prophecy relating to watchtower:

    Cursed, cursed, cursed.

    and was likely composed with today's true worshippers in mind:

    cursed by God YHW

    It seems to speak directly to those who remain loyal to the end:

    You shall die cursed.

  • HowTheBibleWasCreated

    That is NOT the earliest name of YHW The shashu pre-,date this over a century. Israel Finkelstein thinks this inscription is two centuries later anyway

  • Fisherman
    Pronouncing YWH as "Jehovah

    The Karaites today pronounce it


  • Sea Breeze
    Sea Breeze

    I think the real significance is the discovery of the altar itself. It bears witness to the accuracy of the biblical record of the EXODUS.

    Duet. 27:

    Therefore it shall be, when you have crossed over the Jordan, that on Mount Ebal you shall set up these stones, which I command you today, and you shall whitewash them with lime. 5 And there you shall build an altar to the Lord your God, an altar of stones; you shall not use an iron tool on them. 6 You shall build with whole stones the altar of the Lord your God, and offer burnt offerings on it to the Lord your God. 7 You shall offer peace offerings, and shall eat there, and rejoice before the Lord your God. 8 And you shall write very plainly on the stones all the words of this law.”

    Then Joshua built an altar unto the LORD God of Israel in mount Ebal - Joshua 8: 30

    Dr. Ken Johnson has a good podcast on this:

  • smiddy3

    Fisherman ,well shouldn`t they then pronounce it Yehowah ?The Knox Catholic Bible has Yahweh throughout the old testament .

  • BluesBrother

    Thank you Terry for an interesting post. I found this point worth noting….

    One of the epigraphers who studied the amulet noted that the quality

    of the inscription is extraordinary, and that the person who wrote it

    would have been perfectly capable of writing the entire Pentateuch.

    Most scholars believe that the Old Testament was written much later,

    in Persian times, based on the assumption that the early Israelites

    were illiterate. The amulet shows that they not only knew how to write,

    but that they were very good at it.”

  • Terry

    We hardly ever stop and apply a simple rule of thumb to matters of history/Bible/doctrine which is to say: certain mental illnesses consist of
    of obsessions, rituals, fixations of a highly aroused fixation on details.
    The lack of moderation is a red flag.
    What else is BigFoot and Elvis sightings, Virgin Mary grilled-cheese sandwich images, and Alien kidnapping but that?
    In moderation, it can be a fun mystery. In excess, it goes off the rails and takes over your life!
    FAITH and BELIEF by definition are mental states without evidence.
    In other words, they are not at all different from Superstition and wishful thinking.

    I was for many years a GOD-A-HOLIC and specifically a Jehovah-holic.
    For the love of God (literally) I went to prison at the age of 20 when the actual LAW said I could work in a hospital instead!! But NO - the GB whispered in my ear: "It is a compromise."

    When you try to find proof AFTER you believe and end up twisting everything in the exact shape of Jehovah instead of a corkscrew - you are addicted and compelled to let your life disintegrate around you while you try to roll 7.

    ARCHEOLOGY and PALEONTOLOGY may well be digging up evidence of just how crazy people in the past misspent their lives risking everything on a promise never kept by a mental image of Bigfoot in the sky.

  • Earnest

    While I welcome early evidence of Israel's occupation of Palestine and the use of the tetragrammaton, I think some caution should be exercised in accepting this report at face value. "Dr" Stripling, who directed the excavations, has no archaeological qualifications and the Associates for Biblical Research is a "christian apologetics ministry" so there may be some wishful thinking in the report.

    Essentially, we should wait for the "peer-reviewed paper presenting all the details" before reaching any conclusions, but even so, some claims are extraordinary. One of the epigraphers who studied the amulet noted that "the quality of the inscription is extraordinary, and that the person who wrote it would have been perfectly capable of writing the entire Pentateuch". They claim to have identified 40 letters on the inside of the amulet which include the word "curse" or "accursed" 10 times. That makes up 30 of the 40 letters. The remaining letters are used to write "God", "die" and "YHW". The Pentateuch is made up of 8,500+ words so the ability to write four words indicates some literacy but hardly qualifies them to write the Pentateuch.

    Apart from this consider what we actually know about the amulet. The amulet was not found in a stratified context and there doesn't seem to be anything other than the writing that can be used to date it. At the presentation there were no images shown of what the writing looked like, only a drawing by Gershon Galil. The writing, described as proto-alphabetic, could be early Hebrew but it could as easily be early Ugaritic, Phoenician, Aramaic, Akkadian or any Semitic language. It is possible the claims of what is written are accurate, but until the images are published and epigraphers have an opportunity to examine them, it will remain the product of wishful thinking of people dependent on the funding they get for their endeavours.

  • Terry

    Well, I finally learned (late in life) when I form an actual opinion on a subject outside my education or expertise I'm just another braying jackass :)
    I too shall wait for a "final analysis". There have been many pious frauds throughout history. How often has the discovery of Noah's Ark made the headlines over the years?

  • Etude

    Considering that the Israelites actually invented themselves and maneuvered to create a legacy story of themselves as a people, dispite it's age, the artifact may have been contrived to sustain an image. That's just a subjective opinion. But like all of us must do, we need to wait for a conclusion by the real experts on the matter.


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