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Showing posts with label Bible. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Bible. Show all posts

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Bible Possibly Written Centuries Earlier, Text Suggests


From LiveScience
By Clara Moskowitz

Scientists have discovered the earliest known Hebrew writing — an inscription dating from the 10th century B.C., during the period of King David's reign.

The breakthrough could mean that portions of the Bible were written centuries earlier than previously thought. (The Bible's Old Testament is thought to have been first written down in an ancient form of Hebrew.)

Until now, many scholars have held that the Hebrew Bible originated in the 6th century B.C., because Hebrew writing was thought to stretch back no further. But the newly deciphered Hebrew text is about four centuries older, scientists announced this month.

"It indicates that the Kingdom of Israel already existed in the 10th century BCE and that at least some of the biblical texts were written hundreds of years before the dates presented in current research," said Gershon Galil, a professor of Biblical Studies at the University of Haifa in Israel, who deciphered the ancient text.

BCE stands for "before common era," and is equivalent to B.C., or before Christ.

The writing was discovered more than a year ago on a pottery shard dug up during excavations at Khirbet Qeiyafa, near Israel's Elah valley. The excavations were carried out by archaeologist Yosef Garfinkel of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. At first, scientists could not tell if the writing was Hebrew or some other local language.

Finally, Galil was able to decipher the text. He identified words particular to the Hebrew language and content specific to Hebrew culture to prove that the writing was, in fact, Hebrew.

"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 ancient text is written in ink on a trapezoid-shaped piece of pottery about 6 inches by 6.5 inches (15 cm by 16.5 cm). It appears to be a social statement about how people should treat slaves, widows and orphans. In English, it reads (by numbered line):

1' you shall not do [it], but worship the [Lord].
2' Judge the sla[ve] and the wid[ow] / Judge the orph[an]
3' [and] the stranger. [Pl]ead for the infant / plead for the po[or and]
4' the widow. Rehabilitate [the poor] at the hands of the king.
5' Protect the po[or and] the slave / [supp]ort the stranger.

The content, which has some missing letters, is similar to some Biblical scriptures, such as Isaiah 1:17, Psalms 72:3, and Exodus 23:3, but does not appear to be copied from any Biblical text.


Monday, September 14, 2009

New Online Biblica Devotional Offers Support, Encouragement for Job Seekers


It's more than the loss of a paycheck.

When employees are laid off, they lose their sense of security, confidence, and professional identity. They lose their emotional equilibrium and struggle with sometimes-overwhelming fear, shame, depression, grief, anger, and insecurity. Worst of all, they lose a sense of hope for the future.

Individuals experiencing job loss need emotional and spiritual support to help them cope. For this reason, Biblica has created a free, online, downloadable resource, "Employing Hope: Rebuilding Life When You've Lost Your Job."

"We are experiencing an economic crisis unlike anything most of us have been equipped to handle," said Biblica Outreach Director Sues Hyde. "People need hope and encouragement to remain emotionally and spiritually strong in these tough times. Our hope at Biblica is that they'll use these resources and find them helpful, and that they'll feel comfortable sharing them with others in similar circumstances."

Twenty short Scripture-based readings and an introduction address the reality of unemployment while giving hope and encouragement through God's Word. Each one- to two-page devotional ties in applicable Scripture, gives reflection questions to consider, and suggests practical steps to take.

"Employing Hope" devotionals are located at www.biblica.com/outreach/unemployment. They can be downloaded as a pdf file, e-mailed to friends and family, and printed out for further study.


Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Student Discovers Fragment of World's Oldest Bible


From Catholic World News

Nikolas Sarris, a 30-year-old doctoral student, has discovered an additional fragment of the world’s oldest Bible in the binding of an eighteenth-century book at St. Catherine’s Monastery at Mount Sinai. The bulk of the Codex Sinaiticus, which dates from A.D. 350, was discovered at the monastery in the nineteenth century.

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