Historians in Israel have made an AMAZING discovery! After examining handwriting of 2,600-year-old Hebrew, scientists believe the Bible is even older than was previously believed.
As the Times of Israel notes, “Handwriting analysis of 2,600-year-old Hebrew texts indicate literacy in Kingdom of Judah widespread before exile, suggesting seminal text could have been written then.”
From The Times of Israel:
High-tech handwriting analysis of First Temple period writings inscribed on pottery shards indicates the Bible may have been written earlier than some scholars believe, Tel Aviv University researchers have found.
Most scholars agree that key biblical texts were written in the 6th century BCE, during the Babylonian exile after the destruction of the First Temple.
But a collection of military orders written in ancient Hebrew dated to the end of the First Temple period uncovered in the Negev Desert is shedding new light on the age of the oldest biblical texts.
With the help of sophisticated imaging tools and complex software, Tel Aviv University researchers determined the series of 2,600-year-old inscriptions were written by at least six different authors, indicating that literacy in the Kingdom of Judah may have been far more widespread than commonly believed.
This finding, published Monday in the US journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, makes it possible for the earliest books of the bible to have been written before the exile and during the First Temple period, TAU archaeology professor Israel Finkelstein said.
“There’s a heated discussion regarding the timing of the composition of a critical mass of biblical texts,” said Finkelstein, who led the team of researchers together with physics professor Eliezer Piasetzky. “But to answer this, one must ask a broader question: What were the literacy rates in Judah at the end of the First Temple period? And what were the literacy rates later on, under Persian rule?”
Known as the Arad ostraca, the writings were discovered in the ruin of an ancient Judahite military fortress near the Negev city in the 1960s, and mainly consist of mundane military orders including commands regarding the movement of troops and the provision of supplies for the small garrison stationed there.
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