Hot Debate on How the Alphabet Was Born

Posted in Biblical on December 22nd, 2013 by dhawkinsmo

From Biblical Archaeology Review 9/13/2012 … “In a landmark article in the March/April 2010 issue of BAR, Orly Goldwasser, professor of Egyptology at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, explained how the very first alphabet, from which all other alphabets developed, was invented by illiterate Canaanite miners in the turquoise mines of Serabit el-Khadem in the Sinai peninsula. Inspired by Egyptian pictorial hieroglyphs and a desire to articulate their own thoughts in writing, these Canaanites created 22 alphabetic acrophonetic signs scratched into the rock that could express their entire language.

But Goldwasser did not convince everyone. Anson Rainey, emeritus professor of Ancient Near Eastern Cultures and Semitic Languages at Tel Aviv University, promptly responded to the article with his doubts that this watershed moment in human culture had been brought about by illiterate miners. In his letter Rainey argues that the alphabet was surely created by “highly sophisticated Northwest Semites”; who inscribed countless papyrus sheets that have not survived.” LINK HERE

Rainey’s First Critique
Goldwasser’s First Rebuttal
Rainey’s Response
Goldwasser’s Second Rebuttal

How Illiterate Canaanite Workers Used Egyptian Hieroglyphics to Invent Alphabetic Writing

Posted in Biblical on December 15th, 2013 by dhawkinsmo

Last year sometime, I wrote an article about how the early form of Hebrew was a sort of hieroglyphic script. I learned this in a marriage seminar of all places put on by our church from Ken Nair and Life Partners Ministries. That article is found HERE. Recently someone challenged me on this saying that there is no evidence for this and that Dr. Frank Seekins was simply resurrecting an old discredited theory. Well, hold on. Not so fast. Here is a recent article (2010) in Biblical Archaeology Review that not only supports Seekins view, but also links Egyptian hieroglyphics, ancient proto-Sinaitic, paleo-Hebrew and modern alphabets like Greek and Latin.  Fascinating read.  Click HERE.  I for one would like to go back to using an alphabet something like the proto-Sinaitic.  As the article points out, seems like it would be easier for a kid in school to remember how to form a letter that is a picture of something rather than some abstract design of nothing-in-particular.  Speaking of “pictures of something”, would someone like to hazard a guess as to what the “something” is on the second row from bottom on the far left? :-0


God in Ancient China, Part II

Posted in Biblical on March 17th, 2012 by dhawkinsmo

Pastor Kong Hee gives a follow up talk to his Chinese New Year talk about God in Ancient China. Part I shows how the knowledge of the One True God, worshipped by Jews and Christians, was written into the ancient Chinese language. Now this video gives much more detail about the ancient Chinese worship and how closely it paralleled the worship of the Ancient Hebrews. Apparently, there was an emperor in China named Kang Xi who proclaimed Christianity to be the religion of the whole empire. I never knew this before. One of the most amazing things in this video is Pastor Hee’s claim that the birth, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ were all recorded in Chinese documents at the time they occurred. He gives references to the original works. That would be a very interesting follow up study.

Ancient Chinese and Ancient Hebrews Worshipped Same God

Posted in Biblical on March 17th, 2012 by dhawkinsmo

Awesome, amazing video about Genesis and the Chinese Language, presented by Pastor Kong Hee in Singapore (with Mandarin interpreter) … I was initially alerted to this video by two books by Ethel R. Nelson – “Discovery of Genesis” and “God’s Promise to the Chinese.” Pastor Hee is an excellent communicator and in my opinion does an outstanding job of explaining this topic. Recently I was able to watch this video with a native Chinese person who speaks Mandarin and who was able to verify the validity of this information.

Ancient Hebrew Hieroglyphics

Posted in Biblical on March 17th, 2012 by dhawkinsmo

Coolest Bible study ever … I never knew before that ancient Hebrew used hieroglyphics (word pictures) … I had always heard of Egyptian hieroglyphics, but never Hebrew (Chinese also uses hieroglyphics) … My study of this (thanks to Ken Nair and his “Life Partners” marriage seminar) helped me to finally understand (after 22 years of marriage) the wife’s primary role in a marriage … No it’s not cooking and cleaning and cheer leading … It is “revealing the enemy” (the enemy being un-Christlikeness) which wars against her husband. See pic at left. Ancient Hebrew on left, modern on right. Enjoy. Here’s the Amazon link for the book …LINK HERE. So the ancient Hebrew word “ezer” literally means “revealer of the ‘ax man’ or enemy”, the idea being a military setting. Quite a different sense from the KJV translation of “help meet” and the modern interpretations of this.  The wife is a “watchman” designed to detect the slightest bit of un-Christlikeness in her husband. And boy is my wife good at this! Wow. So now that I understand this, I can appreciate my wife’s role much better and actually benefit from it, instead of getting irritated when she reacts against something I do wrong. As Ken explains, she’s SUPPOSED to react like that. That’s how God designed her! Amazing stuff. I wish I had learned this 25 years ago!

Luke: One of the Greatest Historians

Posted in Biblical on November 19th, 2011 by dhawkinsmo

Dr. LukeI recently got in a discussion about the historical reliability of the 4 Gospels and I realized that I really don’t know very much about this topic. So … I went to a source that has served me well in the area of Apologetics for many years – Josh McDowell, “Evidence That Demands a Verdict.” I’ve only just begun, but here’s one thing I found significant. It’s a statement by Sir William Ramsay.

“Luke is a historian of the first rank; not merely are his statements of fact trustworthy … this author should be placed along with the very greatest of historians.”[1]

He also wrote

“Luke’s history is unsurpassed in respect of its trustworthiness.” [2]

Who is Sir Willam Ramsay? According to McDowell he is one of the greatest archaeologists of all time. Here’s Wikipedia on him …

Sir William Mitchell Ramsay (15 March 1851, Glasgow –20 April 1939) was a Scottish archaeologist and New Testament scholar. By his death in 1939 he had become the foremost authority of his day on the history of Asia Minor and a leading scholar in the study of the New Testament.

William Ramsay paid particular interest in the New Testament events, particularly the Book of Acts and Pauline Epistles. When he first went to Asia Minor, many of the cities mentioned in Acts had no known location and almost nothing was known of their detailed history or politics. The Acts of the Apostles was the only record and Ramsay fully expected his own research to prove the author of Acts hopelessly inaccurate since no man could possibly know the details of Asia Minor more than a hundred years of the event. He therefore set out to put the writer of Acts on trial. He devoted his life to unearthing the ancient cities and documents of Asia Minor. After a lifetime of study, however, he concluded: ‘Further study…showed that the book could bear the most minute scrutiny as an authority for the facts of the Aegean world, and that it was written with such judgment, skill, art and perception of truth as to be a model of historical statement’ (The Bearing of Recent Discovery, p. 85). On page 89 of the same book, Ramsay accounted, ‘I set out to look for truth on the borderland where Greece and Asia meet, and found it there [in Acts]. You may press the words of Luke in a degree beyond any other historian’s and they stand the keenest scrutiny and the hardest treatment…’ When Ramsay turned his attention to Paul’s letters, most of which the critics dismissed as forgeries, he concluded that all thirteen New Testament letters that claimed to have been written by Paul were really his. [3]

[1] Ramsay, Sir W. M., The Bearing of Recent Discovery on the Trustworthiness of the New Testament. London: Hodder and Stoughton, 1915, p. 222.
[2] Ramsay, W. M., St. Paul the Traveller and the Roman Citizen. Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1962 (originally published in 1895), p. 81

Nelson Glueck Wins Again

Posted in Biblical on November 21st, 2008 by dhawkinsmo

A while back, I published an article about world famous archaeologist Nelson Glueck and his strong statement …

“As a matter of fact, however, it may be stated categorically that no archaeological discovery has ever controverted a Biblical reference. (Glueck, Nelson, Rivers in the Desert, New York: Grove Press, 1959, pp. 31-32.)

Glueck apparently also claimed to have found King Solomon’s mines in Faynan/Edom and got laughed at. But a recent discovery has vindicated him. Enjoy …

King Solomon’s Copper Mines?

ScienceDaily (Oct. 28, 2008) — Did the Bible’s King David and his son Solomon control the copper industry in present-day southern Jordan? Though that remains an open question, the possibility is raised once again by research reported in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

For years, scholars have argued whether the Edomites were sufficiently organized by the 10th to 9th centuries BCE to seriously threaten the neighboring Israelites as a true “kingdom.” Between the World Wars, during the “Golden Age” of biblical archaeology, scholars explored, as Levy describes it, with a trowel in one hand and Bible in the other, seeking to fit their Holy Land findings into the sacred story. Based on his 1930s surveys, American archaeologist Nelson Glueck even asserted that he had found King Solomon’s mines in Faynan/Edom. By the 1980s, however, Glueck’s claim had been largely dismissed. A consensus had emerged that the Bible was heavily edited in the 5th century BCE, long after the supposed events, while British excavations of the Edomite highlands in the 1970s-80s suggested the Iron Age had not even come to Edom until the 7th century BCE.

“Now,” said Levy, director of the Levantine Archaeology Lab at UCSD and associate director of the new Center of Interdisciplinary Science for Art, Architecture and Archaeology (CISA3), “with data from the first large-scale stratified and systematic excavation of a site in the southern Levant to focus specifically on the role of metallurgy in Edom, we have evidence that complex societies were indeed active in 10th and 9th centuries BCE and that brings us back to the debate about the historicity of the Hebrew Bible narratives related to this period.”…1027174545.htm

Yes, it sure does. Combine this kind of cool stuff with the ongoing demise of the Documentary Hypothesis, the Rise of the Rohl Chronology and such, and Biblical historicity advocates like me are finally starting to have fun again!

New Dead Sea Tablet Sheds Light on the Jewish Messiah

Posted in Biblical, Christianity/America on July 11th, 2008 by dhawkinsmo

I am an avid reader of Joel Rosenberg’s blog and you should be too. Joel Rosenberg is the author of the uncannily accurate predictive fiction works, The Last Jihad, The Ezekiel Option, The Copper Scroll and Dead Heat, all runaway best-sellers.

Yesterday, he highlighted and commented on an article which appeared in Haaretz (a leading Israeli daily newspaper).  From Joel’s blog

The Messiah stories are particularly interesting to me. Iran, as I mentioned the other day, is running a new documentary TV series on Jewish, Christian and Islamic eschatology (End Times theology), consistent with President Ahmadinejad’s on-going call for the Muslim world to prepare for the “imminent” arrival of the Islamic Messiah, known as the Mahdi. The Israeli archaeological community, meanwhile, is currently abuzz over the discovery of a ancient stone tablet dated not long before the birth of Jesus that strongly suggests that religious Jews of the day were expecting the coming of a Messiah who would suffer, die, and be resurrected three days later. Most Rabbis and other Jewish scholars have long argued that the death and resurrection of a Jewish Messiah was a “Christian” invention, not part of long-established Jewish thought or Biblical teaching. But a front-page story in Haaretz, a leading Israeli newspaper, just a few days ago has a lot of people asking: Are Jews really supposed to believe their Messiah will actually die and rise again, and was this really Orthodox religious thinking before the time of Jesus?

The Israeli archaeological community, meanwhile, is currently abuzz over the discovery of a ancient stone tablet dated not long before the birth of Jesus that strongly suggests that religious Jews of the day were expecting the coming of a Messiah who would suffer, die, and be resurrected three days later. Most Rabbis and other Jewish scholars have long argued that the death and resurrection of a Jewish Messiah was a “Christian” invention, not part of long-established Jewish thought or Biblical teaching. But a front-page story in Haaretz, a leading Israeli newspaper, just a few days ago has a lot of people asking: Are Jews really supposed to believe their Messiah will actually die and rise again, and was this really Orthodox religious thinking before the time of Jesus?

The Budding Discipline of Geomythology

Posted in Biblical, Creation/Evolution, Genesis Flood on February 4th, 2008 by dhawkinsmo

noahsark_meister_150.jpgMyths are not the only records that scientists should take notice of. They should also take notice of one of the most carefully recorded and transmitted collection of records on the planet — the collection of documents we now call “The Holy Bible.”

There’s a new scientific discipline out there called “Geomythology.” What is it? And how does it work? Here’s the article that alerted me to it … “Tracking Myth to Geological Reality” …

Science 4 November 2005:
Vol. 310. no. 5749, pp. 762 – 764
DOI: 10.1126/science.310.5749.762

Tracking Myth to Geological Reality

Kevin Krajick*

Once dismissed, myths are winning new attention from geologists who find that they may encode valuable data about earthquakes, volcanoes, tsunamis, and other stirrings of the earth

More and more geoscientists are willing to combine their work with such stories these days, in a budding discipline called geomythology. Read more »

Oxford Provost Says Documentary Hypothesis is in “Sharp Decline”

Posted in Biblical on January 9th, 2008 by dhawkinsmo

nicholson_book.gifIn The Pentateuch in the Twentieth Century: The Legacy of Julius Wellhausen (1998), Ernest Nicholson says the following …

By the end of the decade [1970s], however, and continuing throughout the 1980s and into the present decade [1990s], one major study after another, like a series of hammer blows, has rejected the main claims of the Documentary Theory and the criteria on the basis of which they were argued. Winnet’s view, for which he expected few if any converts, is now in the driving-seat, so to speak, and those who adhere to the Documentary Theory are very much on the defensive. As a result, Pentateuchal research since the mid-1970s has become a mirror image of what it was in the years following the publication of Wellhausen’s study of the composition of the Pentateuch in the mid-1870s: whereas at that time the Documentary Theory which he had so persuasively argued was in the ascendant, commanding ever increasing support, today it is in sharp decline–some would say in a state of advanced rigor mortis–and new solutions are being argued and urged in its place. (p. 95-96)

This author still is an advocate of the DH, but the recent convulsions have caused him to modify his positions somewhat.

If you are a Questia subscriber as I am, you can read the book yourself here …

And one of those “new solutions” is some form of tablet theory. Not necessarily Wiseman’s … his has some problems. But some form resembling it.