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 In Part Two, Dr. Scott Stripling joins us in the studio again to discuss the most important archaeological discovery in the history of Associates for Biblical Research: the Mount Ebal Curse Tablet. We'll discuss wet sifting, curse tablets, the origin of the lead, what the tablet reads, and its implications for the study of the Bible and the origin of the alphabet itself.

Dr. Scott Stripling joins us in the studio to discuss the most important archaeological discovery in the history of Associates for Biblical Research: the Mount Ebal Curse Tablet. Over these four episodes, we’ll discuss the background of the discovery, the importance of Mt. Ebal, the context in which the tablet was found, what the tablet reads, and its implications for the study of the Bible and the origin of the alphabet itself.

The ancient Hebrew inscription in proto-alphabetic script consists of 48 letters and is centuries older than any known Hebrew inscription from ancient Israel.

It reads:

You are cursed by the god yhw, cursed.

You will die, cursed – cursed, you will surely die.

Cursed you are by yhw – cursed.

The defixio came to light in December 2019 when Scott Stripling, ABR’s Director of Excavations and the Director of the Archaeological Studies Institute at The Bible Seminary in Katy, Texas, led an ABR team to wet sift the discarded material from Adam Zertal’s excavations (1982–1989) on Mt. Ebal. Stripling formed a collaboration with four scientists from the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic and two epigraphers (specialists in deciphering ancient texts): Pieter Gert van der Veen of Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz and Gershon Galil of the University of Haifa. The scientists employed advanced tomographic scans to recover the hidden text. In collaboration with Stripling, Galil and van der Veen deciphered the proto-alphabetic inscription.

According to Stripling, “These are well known in the Hellenistic and Roman periods, but Zertal’s excavated pottery dated to the Iron Age I and Late Bronze Age, so logically the tablet derived from one of these earlier periods. Even so, our discovery of a Late Bronze Age inscription stunned me.”

Almost immediately Galil recognized the formulaic literary structure of the inscription: “From the symmetry, I could tell that it was written as a chiastic parallelism.” Reading the concealed letters proved tedious, according to van der Veen, “but each day we recovered new letters and words written in a very ancient script.”

Daniel Vavrik and his colleagues from Prague ensured the accuracy of the raw data which the team interpreted. According to Deuteronomy 27 and Joshua 8, Mt. Ebal was the mountain of the curse. Joshua 8:30 indicates that Joshua built an altar on Mt. Ebal. The defixio derived from previously excavated and discarded material from a structure Zertal believed was Joshua’s altar.

An academic, peer-reviewed article is completed and will be published soon. The collaborative team consists of Scott Stripling, Gershon Galil, Ivana Kumpova, Jaroslav Valach, Pieter Gert van der Veen, Daniel Vavrik, and Michal Vopalensky.

More information can be found at: ABR Researchers Discover the Oldest Known Proto-Hebrew Inscription Ever Found

Dr. Jonathan Moore joins us again for part two of our discussion about Joshua’s Conquest of Canaan. We’ll be talking about the city of Ai, the Mount Ebal Curse Tablet, the destruction of Hazor, and ABR’s dig at Shiloh. Don't miss it!

Dr. Jonathan Moore joins us for a two-part episode on Joshua’s Conquest of Canaan. He will provide us with an overview of the Israelite entrance into the land of Promise. He’ll also be outlining the archaeological evidence connected to the destruction of Jericho in Joshua 6. Don’t miss these topics and more!

Dr. John Meade of the Text and Canon Institute joins us again to discuss his co-authored book, “Scribes and Scripture.” We will explore the history of Scripture: writing, copying, canonizing, and translation. This book will help you better appreciate not only the stories in the Bible, but the story OF the Bible. Hear more about “Scribes and Scripture” on Digging for Truth.

Dr. John Meade of the Text and Canon Institute joins us to discuss his co-authored book, “Scribes and Scripture.” Perhaps you have asked yourself questions like: Why are there so many translations? Are copies of the text reliable? Who choose which books are in the Bible? Dr. Meade will be answering these questions and more.

Bryan Windle joins us as we explore the top ten archaeological discoveries from 2022. Each year produces many great discoveries, and 2022 was no different. Inscriptions, tombs, a curse tablet, a new method for dating the Shroud of Turin, and even a lice comb are part of the list. Would you like to know more? Then don’t miss the top ten archaeological discoveries from 2022 on Digging for Truth!

NOTE: at the 13:41 mark, Mr. Windle misspoke and intended to say that the new study confirms the dating of the Shroud of Turin to the first century, not the Middle Ages.

Bryan Windle joins us to count down the top ten discoveries related to the book of Daniel. The Bible says Daniel was written in the 6th century BC. Critics say Daniel was written in the 2nd century BC, and then the author pretended to predict events that had already come to pass. Was Daniel a pretender, or a prophet who was given visions of the future by the God of Scripture? Find out on this powerful episode of Digging for Truth!

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