A researcher at the University of Haifa in northern Israel has managed to decipher an ancient Hebrew inscription, proving that the Bible is as old as it says it is.
The inscription, made in ink on a small piece of clay, was found in the Elah Valley south of Jerusalem in 2008. It was quickly dated to the 10th century BC (during the reign of King David), but the language used in the inscription could not be definitively identified at the time.
But last week, Professor Gershon Galil succeeded in demonstrating that the text is in fact ancient Hebrew. Galil showed how many of the words used in the inscription were and remain unique to Hebrew.
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, making most of text hearsay rather than eye-witness accounts.
But the new inscription was found at what was a remote settlement in the 10th century BC, meaning that even small isolated communities had capable scribes.
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