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Bible written earlier than thought: researcher

world Updated: Jan 12, 2010 13:15 IST
PTI
Bible

An Israeli researcher has deciphered the earliest known Hebrew biblical inscription which "proved" that the Bible had been written hundreds of year earlier than thought.

It also testified that the Kingdom of Israel existed in 10th century BCE.

Previously, a wide range of respected academics had insisted that the Bible could not possibly have been written before the 6th century BC due to widespread illiteracy, but Prof Gershon Galil from the University of Haifa in northern Israel proved them wrong.

Galil, who deciphered the inscription made in ink on a small piece of clay, said: "It indicates that the Kingdom of Israel already existed in the 10th century BC and that at least some of the biblical texts were written hundreds of years before the dates presented in current research."

The earliest known inscription was found in the Elah Valley south of Jerusalem in 2008 but the language used in it could not be deciphered at the time, Jerusalem Post reported.

"This text is a social statement, relating to slaves, widows and orphans. It uses verbs that were characteristic of Hebrew, such as asah ("did") and avad ("worked"), which were rarely used in other regional languages," Galil said.

An Israeli researcher has deciphered the earliest known Hebrew biblical inscription which "proved" that the Bible had been written hundreds of year earlier than thought.

It also testified that the Kingdom of Israel existed in 10th century BCE.

Previously, a wide range of respected academics had insisted that the Bible could not possibly have been written before the 6th century BC due to widespread illiteracy, but Prof Gershon Galil from the University of Haifa in northern Israel proved them wrong.

Galil, who deciphered the inscription made in ink on a small piece of clay, said: "It indicates that the Kingdom of Israel already existed in the 10th century BC and that at least some of the biblical texts were written hundreds of years before the dates presented in current research."

The earliest known inscription was found in the Elah Valley south of Jerusalem in 2008 but the language used in it could not be deciphered at the time, Jerusalem Post reported.

"This text is a social statement, relating to slaves, widows and orphans. It uses verbs that were characteristic of Hebrew, such as asah ("did") and avad ("worked"), which were rarely used in other regional languages," Galil said.

Particular words that appear in the text, such as almanah ("widow") are specific to Hebrew and are written differently in other local languages, the researcher said.