Haaretz has reported on a new study in the latest issue of the Israel Exploration Journal (Vol. 73, No. 2) that includes several articles questioning the identification of the Mt. Ebal lead tablet as a curse tablet. Aren Maeir and Christopher Rollston claim there is no inscription to be seen, while Amihai Mazar suggests the tablet is a common fishing net -sinker. Unfortunately, Mazar does not provide a plausible explanation for how a fishing net -sinker came to be in a Late Bronze Age cultic context on the top of a mountain that is inland away from water. Moreover, the Haaretz article has numerous inaccuracies. One ought not be surprised that there are alternative theories for the identification of the lead tablet. This is a healthy part of academic debate and the reason why peer-reviewed articles are important. We also anticipate that there will be further articles published pushing back against the articles recently published in the Israel Exploration Journal.
BRYAN WINDLE’S RESPONSE TO THE ARTICLES IN THE ISRAEL EXPLORATION JOURNAL, ALONG WITH SCOTT STRIPLING’S RESPONSE TO THE HAARETZ ARTICLE:
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