Biblical Archaeology

What Is the Oldest Hebrew Bible?


What is the oldest Hebrew Bible? That is a complicated question. The Dead Sea Scrolls are fragments of the oldest Hebrew Bible text, while the Aleppo Codex and the Leningrad Codex are the oldest complete versions, written by the Masoretes in the 10th and 11th centuries, respectively. The Ashkar-Gilson Manuscript falls in between the early scrolls and the later codices…

Bible History Daily seeks to answers the question.


Bible Archaeology

The Gabriel Stone Goes on Display in Jerusalem

Also called Gabriel’s Revelation. The Huffington Post reports in typical sensational fashion:

An ancient stone with mysterious Hebrew writing and featuring the archangel Gabriel is going on display in Jerusalem as scholars debate the inscription’s meaning.

The so-called Gabriel Stone, said to have been found 13 years ago in Jordan, features an unknown prophetic text from the time of the Second Jewish Temple.

The tablet made a splash in 2008 when an Israeli scholar theorized the inscription would revolutionize the understanding of early Christianity, claiming it referenced a messianic resurrection pre-dating Jesus.

Curators at the Israel Museum said on Tuesday that it’s the most important inscription found in the area since the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls.

The Israel Museum exhibit, opening Wednesday, also features ancient New Testament and Quran texts referencing the archangel Gabriel.

Wikipedia has more on the unprovenanced tablet here.



I Am Nothing Without Them

The French freestyle relay team stunned the world by winning the gold medal in the 4×100 meter contest by defeating the Americans.

But there was another surprise.

Fabien Gilot raised his arm in victory to reveal a moving tribute in Hebrew: אני כלום בלעדיהם, meaning “I am nothing without them.”

Gilot explained that it was a tribute to Max Goldschmidt, a Jewish grandfather figure.

Goldschmidt, who grew up in Germany and was an Auschwitz survivor, moved to France where he met Gilot’s grandmother. Despite not being his biological grandfather, Goldschmidt was an important and inspirational person in Gilot’s life, and “a grandfather in every way,” Michael Gilot, Fabien’s father, told YNet.

Goldschmidt passed away earlier this year.

This is not the only moving tribute to a Jewish figure at this year’s Olympic Games in London. The same day that Fabien Gilot revealed his Hebrew tattoo, the Italian delegation to the Olympics held a minute of silence with the Israeli team to commemorate the 11 victims of the 1972 Munich massacre.

Huffington Post



On Reading the Whole Bible

A note to Biblical academics:

I am always astonished to discover that there are some biblical academics who will admit that they have never actually read all of the Bible. Yet, it is often these very same academicians who harp on the absolute necessity of knowing the original languages. Don’t get me wrong. I am profoundly grateful for the opportunity to learn Hebrew and Greek. But for me and my house, if I had to choose between knowing the biblical languages or reading the whole counsel of Scripture in translation, the latter would be my choice hands down. Similarly, I am perplexed that there are some within the academy who have failed to read the entirety of the Scriptures and yet trumpet the importance of primary sources when it comes to biblical studies. Do they not realize that the Scriptures are the ultimate primary source? Can one really rightly claim to be a biblical scholar who has read all of the Gilgamesh Epic, Philo, or the Apostolic Fathers and yet have pages in their Bibles which have never passed in front of their eyes? I am stunned by those who can claim to keep up with their disciplines (e.g., NT, OT, the Prophets, Paul, etc.) because they read the most influential journals and the seminal monographs and yet cannot recall the last time that they have read some of the books of Scripture.

Ad fontes—back to the Bible.