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Thread: Archeology oopses

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    tWebber lee_merrill's Avatar
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    Archeology oopses

    "The discovery of the Ebla archive in northern Syria in the 1970s has shown the Biblical writings concerning the Patriarchs to be viable. Documents written on clay tablets from around 2300 B.C. demonstrate that personal and place names in the Patriarchal accounts are genuine. The name "Canaan" was in use in Ebla, a name critics once said was not used at that time and was used incorrectly in the early chapters of the Bible. The word "tehom" ("the deep") in Genesis 1:2 was said to be a late word demonstrating the late writing of the creation story. "Tehom" was part of the vocabulary at Ebla, in use some 800 years before Moses. Ancient customs reflected in the stories of the Patriarchs have also been found in clay tablets from Nuzi and Mari."

    "The Hittites were once thought to be a Biblical legend, until their capital and records were discovered at Bogazkoy, Turkey. Many thought the Biblical references to Solomon's wealth were greatly exaggerated. Recovered records from the past show that wealth in antiquity was concentrated with the king and Solomon's prosperity was entirely feasible. It was once claimed there was no Assyrian king named Sargon as recorded in Isaiah 20:1, because this name was not known in any other record. Then, Sargon's palace was discovered in Khorsabad, Iraq. The very event mentioned in Isaiah 20, his capture of Ashdod, was recorded on the palace walls. What is more, fragments of a stela memorializing the victory were found at Ashdod itself."

    "Another king who was in doubt was Belshazzar, king of Babylon, named in Daniel 5. The last king of Babylon was Nabonidus according to recorded history. Tablets were found showing that Belshazzar was Nabonidus' son who served as coregent in Babylon. Thus, Belshazzar could offer to make Daniel 'third highest ruler in the kingdom' (Dan. 5:16) for reading the handwriting on the wall, the highest available position. Here we see the 'eye-witness' nature of the Biblical record, as is so often brought out by the discoveries of archaeology."

    (Bryant Wood)
    "What I pray of you is, to keep your eye upon Him, for that is everything. Do you say, 'How am I to keep my eye on Him?' I reply, keep your eye off everything else, and you will soon see Him. All depends on the eye of faith being kept on Him. How simple it is!" (J.B. Stoney)

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    tWebber shunyadragon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lee_merrill View Post
    "The discovery of the Ebla archive in northern Syria in the 1970s has shown the Biblical writings concerning the Patriarchs to be viable. Documents written on clay tablets from around 2300 B.C. demonstrate that personal and place names in the Patriarchal accounts are genuine. The name "Canaan" was in use in Ebla, a name critics once said was not used at that time and was used incorrectly in the early chapters of the Bible. The word "tehom" ("the deep") in Genesis 1:2 was said to be a late word demonstrating the late writing of the creation story. "Tehom" was part of the vocabulary at Ebla, in use some 800 years before Moses. Ancient customs reflected in the stories of the Patriarchs have also been found in clay tablets from Nuzi and Mari."

    "The Hittites were once thought to be a Biblical legend, until their capital and records were discovered at Bogazkoy, Turkey. Many thought the Biblical references to Solomon's wealth were greatly exaggerated. Recovered records from the past show that wealth in antiquity was concentrated with the king and Solomon's prosperity was entirely feasible. It was once claimed there was no Assyrian king named Sargon as recorded in Isaiah 20:1, because this name was not known in any other record. Then, Sargon's palace was discovered in Khorsabad, Iraq. The very event mentioned in Isaiah 20, his capture of Ashdod, was recorded on the palace walls. What is more, fragments of a stela memorializing the victory were found at Ashdod itself."

    "Another king who was in doubt was Belshazzar, king of Babylon, named in Daniel 5. The last king of Babylon was Nabonidus according to recorded history. Tablets were found showing that Belshazzar was Nabonidus' son who served as coregent in Babylon. Thus, Belshazzar could offer to make Daniel 'third highest ruler in the kingdom' (Dan. 5:16) for reading the handwriting on the wall, the highest available position. Here we see the 'eye-witness' nature of the Biblical record, as is so often brought out by the discoveries of archaeology."

    (Bryant Wood)
    I will respond more on this, but this is clearly an overstatement of the importance of the Elba archive concerning the early origins of the OT texts. Yes the OT texts are set in history and do contain historical facts, geography, and historical figures. These finds do demonstrates that the origin of much of the Pentateuch included the origin of the Hebrew language evolved from Sumerian, Babylonian, Canaanite, and Ugarit texts, and it still stands that the Pentateuch was compiled, edited and redacted from these sources and Hebrew traditions ~1000 - 600 BCE. There is no potential eyewitness testimony before possibly about ~1000 - 700 BCE. The Hebrews had access to this material over time, and during the compilation of the texts of the OT.

    No oops here, and this has been around since the 1970's.
    Last edited by shunyadragon; 03-13-2019 at 04:21 PM.
    Glendower: I can call spirits from the vasty deep.
    Hotspur: Why, so can I, or so can any man;
    But will they come when you do call for them? Shakespeare’s Henry IV, Part 1, Act III:

    go with the flow the river knows . . .

    Frank

    I do not know, therefore everything is in pencil.

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    tWebber shunyadragon's Avatar
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    Most of this at present is memory from my previous study of the academic references concerning the Elba library. One error that many apologists jumped the gun on is on early translations and interpretations they concluded that the Sumerian was close to hebrew and the translated some place names and names of persons to the Hebrew equivalent, but the Sumerian language is more than 1,000 years apart from Hebrew, and more accurate academic translations have corrected this. Hebrew evolved as a variant of a Canaanite language.
    Last edited by shunyadragon; 03-13-2019 at 05:43 PM.
    Glendower: I can call spirits from the vasty deep.
    Hotspur: Why, so can I, or so can any man;
    But will they come when you do call for them? Shakespeare’s Henry IV, Part 1, Act III:

    go with the flow the river knows . . .

    Frank

    I do not know, therefore everything is in pencil.

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    tWebber lee_merrill's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by shunyadragon View Post
    Most of this at present is memory from my previous study of the academic references concerning the Elba library. One error that many apologists jumped the gun on is on early translations and interpretations they concluded that the Sumerian was close to hebrew and the translated some place names and names of persons to the Hebrew equivalent, but the Sumerian language is more than 1,000 years apart from Hebrew, and more accurate academic translations have corrected this. Hebrew evolved as a variant of a Canaanite language.
    One would think place names would come into another language pretty much as-is, though, like the adopted place names we have in English from Native American languages.

    Blessings,
    Lee
    "What I pray of you is, to keep your eye upon Him, for that is everything. Do you say, 'How am I to keep my eye on Him?' I reply, keep your eye off everything else, and you will soon see Him. All depends on the eye of faith being kept on Him. How simple it is!" (J.B. Stoney)

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    tWebber shunyadragon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lee_merrill View Post
    One would think place names would come into another language pretty much as-is, though, like the adopted place names we have in English from Native American languages.

    Blessings,
    Lee
    This is not the case, because the names in the Sumerian cuneiform do not translate to the Hebrew names in the final analysis. Closer relationship to names with the Canaanite, and Ugarite languages.

    This article gives a general summary. I will provide more detailed references.

    Source: https://www.washingtonpost.com/archive/politics/1979/12/09/ebla-tablets-no-biblical-claims/89f81380-1350-415a-b836-570cfec84b68/?noredirect=on&utm_term=.02ab7851fdaf



    When 11,000 clay tablets dating from 23 centuries before Christ were unearthed in northern Syria three years ago, biblical scholars around the world rejoiced that ancient proof had been found for the Old Testament.

    "The tablets were being hailed as a find equal in importance to the Dead Sea Scrolls," said Dr. Robert Biggs, professor of Assyriology at the University of Chicago's Oriental Institute. "The claims being made for these tablets created a sensation in biblical circles."

    But three years of intense study and debate among scholars changed all that. No longer are biblical claims made for the 11,000 clay tablets of Ebla, the ancient Sumerian city whose palace was destroyed by fire around 2300 B.C.

    "In my opinion, parallels with the Bible are quite out of the question at this stage," Biggs told a recent gathering of science writers sponsored by the Council for the Advancement of Science Writing. "People who are looking to the Ebla tablets for proof of the authenticity of the Bible are going to be sorely disappointed."

    © Copyright Original Source

    Last edited by shunyadragon; 03-14-2019 at 07:12 PM.
    Glendower: I can call spirits from the vasty deep.
    Hotspur: Why, so can I, or so can any man;
    But will they come when you do call for them? Shakespeare’s Henry IV, Part 1, Act III:

    go with the flow the river knows . . .

    Frank

    I do not know, therefore everything is in pencil.

  6. #6
    tWebber shunyadragon's Avatar
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    More details from the same article:

    Source: https://www.washingtonpost.com/archive/politics/1979/12/09/ebla-tablets-no-biblical-claims/89f81380-1350-415a-b836-570cfec84b68/?noredirect=on&utm_term=.02ab7851fdaf


    A typical misreading of the tablets, Biggs said, involved what some scholars thought was a reference to Sodom and Gomorah on the same tablet with what they took to be references to biblical patriarchs.

    "At least one well-known biblical scholar took the early interpretation as evidence of the historical reality of the two cities," Biggs said. "But alas, it turned out that corrections in reading the names have eliminated the names of the patriarchs and that in any case they did not occur on the same tablet with what was supposed to be Sodom and Gomorrah."

    Widely reported two and three years ago were the stories of the flood and creation that were supposed to have been inscribed on the tablets of Ebla. The creation story now turns out to be four lines of poetry in which not a single word has been translated. The flood story has now been reduced to a single word translated as "water."


    Three years ago, numerous scholars claimed a word translated from the tablets as "Ya" was an abbreviation for "Yahweh" the Old Testament name for God. Closer scrutiny of the tablets shows that "Ya" was used frequently to denote "he" and occasionally the letter "e."

    Other cuneiforms in the tablets were originally translated to read Abraham and David, two patriarchs of the Old Testament that some scholars took as proof of their existence. Closer looks by scholars of the Sumerian language, which closely resembles "Eblaite," point out that the names matched up for the two patriarchs were so common they could refer to anybody.

    The same scholars said that "Ya" could be a short version of a familiar first name, comparable to John or William. Said Biggs: "There are some scholars who now believe that 'Ya' is nothing more than our equivalent of Johnny and Billy. It's quite clear that unwarranted conclusions were drawn concerning the similarities between personal names at Ebla and names occurring in the Old Testament."

    © Copyright Original Source

    Glendower: I can call spirits from the vasty deep.
    Hotspur: Why, so can I, or so can any man;
    But will they come when you do call for them? Shakespeare’s Henry IV, Part 1, Act III:

    go with the flow the river knows . . .

    Frank

    I do not know, therefore everything is in pencil.

  7. #7
    tWebber lee_merrill's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by shunyadragon View Post
    This is not the case, because the names in the Sumerian cuneiform do not translate to the Hebrew names in the final analysis.
    Well, how so? And Sumerian cuneiform is related to Hebrew:

    Source: Ancient Hebrew

    The tablets were written with a cuneiform script, like Ugarit, but the language, as discovered by Giovanni Pettinato, the chief epigrapher for the Ebla excavation, was a Semitic language related to Canaanite, Phoenician, Ugarit and Hebrew, and came to be called Eblaite.

    Many other names, some thought to have been late in origin, that are found in the Hebrew Bible are also found in the Archives of Ebla including;

    Hebrew Eblaite
    --------- ---------
    Eber Ebrium
    Abimelek Abu-malik
    Canaan Ka-na-na
    Adam A-da-mu
    Yitro (Jethro) Wa-ti-ru
    Yonah (Jonah) Wa-na

    Source

    © Copyright Original Source



    Blessings,
    Lee
    "What I pray of you is, to keep your eye upon Him, for that is everything. Do you say, 'How am I to keep my eye on Him?' I reply, keep your eye off everything else, and you will soon see Him. All depends on the eye of faith being kept on Him. How simple it is!" (J.B. Stoney)

  8. #8
    tWebber shunyadragon's Avatar
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    This article goes into the problems of trying to conclude a direct relationship between the Sumerian Elba texts and the Hebrew OT text The complete article goes into more detail concerning the problem of over reaching interpretations of linking the Elba cuneiform texts to the Hebrew text of the OT.

    Source: http://drmsh.com/joseph-farrells-150-year-learning-curve-on-yahweh-and-cuneiform-texts/



    Since I also get email about Yahweh showing up in the Ebla texts and Ugaritic material (both incorrect as well), I thought I’d add the note below from another scholar trained in cuneiform, Karel van der Toorn. He writes in DDD:

    The cult of Yahweh is not originally at home in Palestine. Outside Israel, Yahweh was not worshipped in the West-Semitic world—despite affirmations to the contrary (pace, e.g. G. GARBINI, History and Ideology in Ancient Israel [London & New York 1988] 52–65). Before 1200 BCE, the name Yahweh is not found in any Semitic text. The stir caused by PETTINATO (e.g. Ebla and the Bible, BA 43 [1980] 203–216, esp. 203–205) who claimed to have found the shortened form of the name Yahweh (‘Ya’) as a divine element in theophoric names from Ebla (ca. 2400–2250 BCE) is unfounded. As the final element of personal names, -ya is often a hypocoristic ending, not a theonym (A. ARCHI, The Epigraphic Evidence from Ebla and the Old Testament, Bib 60 (1979) 556–566, esp. 556–560). MÜLLER argues that the sign NI, read yà by Pettinato, is conventionally short for NI-NI = ı̀-lɩ́, ‘my (personal) god’; it stands for ilı̄ or ilu (MÜLLER 1980:83; 1981:306–307). This solution also explains the occurrence of the speculated element *ya at the beginning of personal names; thus dyà-ra-mu should be read either as DINGIR-lɩ́-ra-mu or as dilix-ra-mu, both readings yielding the name Iliramu, ‘My god is exalted’. In no list of gods or offerings is the mysterious god *Ya ever mentioned; his cult at Ebla is a chimera.

    Yahweh was not known at Ugarit either; the singular name Yw (vocalisation unknown) in a damaged passage of the Baal Cycle (KTU 1.1 iv:14) cannot convincingly be interpreted as an abbreviation for ‘Yahweh’ (pace, e.g., DE MOOR 1990:113–118). . . . The earliest West Semitic text mentioning Yahweh—excepting the biblical evidence—is the Victory Stela written by Mesha, the Moabite king from the 9th century BCE. The Moabite ruler recalls his military successes against Israel in the time of Ahab: “And →Chemosh said to me, ‘Go, take Nebo from Israel!’ So I went by night and I engaged in fight against her from the break of dawn until noon. And I took her and I killed her entire population: seven thousand men, boys, women, girls, and maid servants, for I devoted her to destruction (hḥrmth) for Ashtar-Chemosh. And I took from there the ʾ[rʾ]ly of Yahweh and I dragged them before Chemosh” (KAI 181:14–18). Evidently, Yahweh is not presented here as a Moabite deity. He is presented as the official god of the Israelites, worshipped throughout Samaria, as far as its outer borders since Nebo (נבה in the Mesha Stela, נבו in the Bible), situated in North-Western Moab, was a border town. . . .

    There are two Egyptian texts that mention Yahweh. In these texts from the 14th and 13th centuries BCE, Yahweh is neither connected with the Israelites, nor is his cult located in Palestine.3 The texts speak about “Yahu in the land of the Shosu-beduins” (tʒ šʒśw jhwʒ; R. GIVEON, Les bédouins Shosou des documents égyptiens [Leiden 1971] no. 6a [pp. 26–28] and no. 16a [pp. 74–77]; note WEIPPERT 1974:427, 430 for the corrected reading). The one text is from the reign of Amenophis III (first part of the 14th cent. BCE; cf. HERMANN 1967) and the other from the reign of Ramses II (13th cent. BCE; cf. H. W. FAIRMAN, Preliminary Report on the Excavations at ʿAmārah West, Anglo-Egyptian Sudan, 1938–9, JEA 25 [1939] 139–144, esp. 141). In the Ramses II list, the name occurs in a context which also mentions Seir (assuming that sʿrr stands for Seir). It may be tentatively concluded that this “Yahu in the land of the Shosu-beduins” is to be situated in the area of Edom and Midian (WEIPPERT 1974: 271; AXELSSON 1987:60; pace WEINFELD 1987:304). In these Egyptian texts Yhw is used as a toponym (KNAUF 1988:46–47). Yet a relationship with the deity by the same name is a reasonable assumption (pace M. WEIPPERT, “Heiliger Krieg” in Israel und Assyrien, ZAW 84 [1972] 460–493, esp. 491 n. 144).4

    © Copyright Original Source

    Last edited by shunyadragon; 03-15-2019 at 04:02 PM.
    Glendower: I can call spirits from the vasty deep.
    Hotspur: Why, so can I, or so can any man;
    But will they come when you do call for them? Shakespeare’s Henry IV, Part 1, Act III:

    go with the flow the river knows . . .

    Frank

    I do not know, therefore everything is in pencil.

  9. #9
    tWebber shunyadragon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lee_merrill View Post
    Well, how so? And Sumerian cuneiform is related to Hebrew:

    Source: Ancient Hebrew

    The tablets were written with a cuneiform script, like Ugarit, but the language, as discovered by Giovanni Pettinato, the chief epigrapher for the Ebla excavation, was a Semitic language related to Canaanite, Phoenician, Ugarit and Hebrew, and came to be called Eblaite.

    Many other names, some thought to have been late in origin, that are found in the Hebrew Bible are also found in the Archives of Ebla including;

    Hebrew Eblaite
    --------- ---------
    Eber Ebrium
    Abimelek Abu-malik
    Canaan Ka-na-na
    Adam A-da-mu
    Yitro (Jethro) Wa-ti-ru
    Yonah (Jonah) Wa-na

    Source

    © Copyright Original Source



    Blessings,
    Lee
    Could not bring up the reference, but the website is not a neutral academic site. It is strongly biased Christin site with question articles that do not reflect current academic research concerning the Elba cuneiform.

    As cited upon more complete academic study of the Elba cuneiform texts these names are not found in the Elba cuneiform texts.
    Glendower: I can call spirits from the vasty deep.
    Hotspur: Why, so can I, or so can any man;
    But will they come when you do call for them? Shakespeare’s Henry IV, Part 1, Act III:

    go with the flow the river knows . . .

    Frank

    I do not know, therefore everything is in pencil.

  10. #10
    tWebber shunyadragon's Avatar
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    More from the same reference:

    Source: http://drmsh.com/joseph-farrells-150-year-learning-curve-on-yahweh-and-cuneiform-texts/


    To be honest, I was a bit surprised that Farrell had put this sort of material in a book. Dr. Farrell has a PhD in Patristics (early church fathers – Greek writers, specifically, though that field requires Latin). He isn’t a biblical studies scholar or a Semitic languages expert. While he’s out of his element (as we all are when we stray outside our field of expertise), I have no explanation for the shoddy research that he published in this regard. When I see material that’s 150 years out of date, I expect a Zecharia Sitchin sighting, not Joseph Farrell. It’s actually a bit disconcerting since I’ve found his research on WWII exotic science and Nazi survival mythology (or not) so interesting and (usually) well-founded (yes, I do cross-check what I read in any given place). I guess when it comes to biblical studies or Semitics or (some forms?) of Christianity he has some axe to grind. That’s no excuse in any regard. All I can say here is that if his work on “Yahweh” troubles anyone, it can safely be ignored.

    S. Dalley, “Yahweh in Hamath in the 8th Century BC: Cuneiform Material and Historical Deductions,” Vetus Testamentum 40:1 (Ja 1990), p 21-32, at page 22. Dalley is referring to the turn of the first millennium BC – ca. 1000 B.C. S=Other scholars disagree with Dalley’s argument in this article that Yahweh was worshipped in Syria in the 8th century BC.

    I don’t expect readers to be able to digest all the cuneiform and high-browed language discussion. I post the article to show readers that the rebuttal exists. Basically, Driver concluded then what 150 years of scholarship has since validated: the divine name occurs outside the Hebrew Bible, but Delitzsch’s ideas — and so, Farrell’s — have no merit.

    Note that this is no biblical surprise, either, as this name for the God of the patriarchs was first announced in the biblical story of Israel in Midian at the burning bush – Exod. 3:1-14; cp. Exod 6:3.

    K. van der Toorn, “Yahweh,” ed. Bob Becking and Pieter W. van der Horst, Dictionary of Deities and Demons in the Bible (Leiden; Boston; Köln; Grand Rapids, MI; Cambridge: Brill; Eerdmans, 1999), 910–912.

    © Copyright Original Source



    Most sources document 'Yahweh' as a home grown name of God by Hebrew/Canaanite hill tribes of the Palestine region.
    Last edited by shunyadragon; 03-15-2019 at 04:20 PM.
    Glendower: I can call spirits from the vasty deep.
    Hotspur: Why, so can I, or so can any man;
    But will they come when you do call for them? Shakespeare’s Henry IV, Part 1, Act III:

    go with the flow the river knows . . .

    Frank

    I do not know, therefore everything is in pencil.

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