Dear ABR Family,
Unless you have been in a coma the past two weeks, you are aware that ABR held a press conference at the Lanier Theological Library where I announced that we had deciphered the writing on the inside of a folded lead tablet (defixio) recovered from the Mount Ebal Dump Salvage (MEDS) project which I directed in December 2019. Here are the links to the press conference and the follow-up Q&A a few days later:
Press Conference: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GUzBXZdpfLo
In response, I have done at least 100 interviews. Frankly, I lost track of the exact number. While some scholars have expressed skepticism, most scholars have reacted positively. Here are two recent examples:
Jeremiah Johnston: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QJzXLM7ZDQU
Craig Evans: https://www.houstonchronicle.com/neighborhood/katy/article/Katy-archaeologist-reveals-new-details-about-17059786.php
As I write, I am aboard my return flight to Houston from New York City where I was a guest on Eric Metaxes’ very popular show. Eric has 7 million people in his audience. Additionally, the find made The Drudge Report, Babylon Bee, CBN, TBN, ABC, FOX and countless other outlets.
The ramifications of this curse tablet from Mt. Ebal, the mountain of the curse, are enormous. First, it synchronizes with the account of the covenant renewal ceremony in Joshua 8. Second, it proves that there was an alphabetic script with which Moses and Joshua could have written the earliest biblical books. Third, it dismantles the Documentary Hypothesis, which claims that scribes wrote different portions of the early biblical writings centuries apart. The aftershocks of this find will reverberate for decades.
In the midst of this firestorm, I am working on the academic article with my epigraphers, Peter van der Veen from the university of Mainz and Gershon Galil from the University of Haifa, and preparing for a huge summer excavation at Shiloh, starting May 23. To date, 120 people are registered. Details are at digshiloh.org. If you are in the Houston area, I encourage you to visit the Joshua, Judges, and Jesus exhibit at The Bible Seminary.
As Scott and the ABR dig team prepares to leave for Israel (now about 125 volunteers!) we ask you to commit to pray for them daily while they are in the field from May 14 through June 25. This includes pre and post dig tours, the Shiloh excavation and site restoration work. Please pray for provision, safety, and good health for all participants, and for the Lord to bring glory to His name with each appointed discovery that is made. And finally, pray for wisdom for Scott Stripling as he and others from the ABR leadership team interact with the media regarding Shiloh and our incredible discovery at Ebal. We are grateful for your support and prayers!
Scott Lanser and Henry Smith