Valuable Evidence Found in Debate on Hebrew Scriptures

A tiny tablet has been found most likely confirming the name of one character in the Biblical book of Jeremiah. It is unfortunate that the Telegraph headlines it as Tiny tablet provides proof for Old Testament, though the text of their article is more accurate. Biblical archeologists generally do not go out attempting to prove that the Old Testament as a whole is true, and single connections to historical data do not prove the historicity of the whole.

What this tablet does appear to do is provide some challenge to the Biblical minimalist position, and suggests that the setting of the book of Jeremiah is precisely what it claims it to be, a document contemporary to the exile.

In the comments on the Telegraph story, one commenter asks how much third party evidence needs to be found to validate the Old Testament. That’s simply the wrong question. Historians and archeologists will continue to examine each document and each incident according to the evidence available.

Peter Kirk also provided a good perspective on this discovery.

HT: In the Word.

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  1. Thanks for providing this link to your excellent notes. My Akkadian has deteriorated to the “one sign at a time” level, so I won’t try to get into the technicalities.

    For those who might miss it, the direct link to John Hobbins’ article is here.

    He makes some more precise points about the historical and textual value of this find.

  2. Hi, Henry — Did you see that Christopher Heard mentioned you in his blog yesterday: . Also see his earlier discussion on the tablet and the comments that were posted. I emailed you the link. Regards, Marjorie

  3. Yes, got those, and I had read the material on his blog, but thanks for sending them to me. They are the sort of thing I don’t like to miss, but often due simply because of my schedule.

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