Monday, January 11, 2010

When Was the Bible Really Written?

This is a welcome piece of evidence.  Hebraic writing is now confirmed as extant a minimum of four centuries earlier than previously known.  Cultural evidence and the textual material certainly supported that much of the material had been written in the late Bronze Age.  Much of it may well have not been written in Hebrew originally.  Yet at some point, Hebraic alphabet was created by peoples living on this coast as a response to the simultaneous development among the Phoenicians.  Recall that these peoples were in continuous contact and sharing family ties.  The emergence of a useable script would immediately cause the collection of a local assemblage of disparate texts to be transcribed into the local script and language.


I suspect that this all happed prior to the events of 1159 BCE which caused a major local economic disruption that scattered societies to the winds.  My reason for this is that there is no reporting of those events as a part of the textual content.  If we take the contents as pre 1159 BCE we are pretty well off.  We have the Philistines who are surely part of the copper trade and palace based imperium that established itself throughout the Mediterranean and was centered on Atlantis by Gibraltar.   We have already policed up the details in past posts. (Search this blog using ‘Atlantis’).


We now know Hebrew existed in the right time and place.


This also once again reminds us of an important consideration with archeological evidence.  Lack of evidence is not evidence of lack.  Too many scholars make this blunder.  Any piece of archeological evidence is most likely to be drawn from those time periods in which the use of the evidence was optimized and says almost nothing of the actual development of the evidence which would be naturally scant and usually located elsewhere.


We presently have no evidence to support a long prehistory for the development of the alphabet.  It may have been quite short.  It could also have been thousands of years old but exclusively used as a sacred media, leaving the rest to use a less effective script. I actually suspect the later to be true.  Again, we need to find a cave with buried texts on clay to figure all that out.  It would be remarkable if the legends of buried metallic texts were actually proven true someday and turned out to  be several thousands of years old.


I expect that the core texts of the bible were written no latter than the period between 1300 BCE and 1159 BCE.  This is actually a fairly brief period of time.  It allows the Hebrews to leave Egypt, establish themselves and become allied to the Phoenicians and thus inspired to produce their own script and to produce the texts.  Thereafter, the people became dug in and perhaps much more insular.   I am presently happy with the chronology.  Everyone is in the right place and time. I could almost write  a creditable history.



When Was the Bible Really Written?

By decoding the inscription on a 3,000-year-old piece of pottery, an Israeli professor has concluded that parts of the bible were written hundreds of years earlier than suspected.

The University of Haifa
A breakthrough in the research of the Hebrew scriptures has shed new light on the period in which the Bible was written.

By decoding the inscription on a 3,000-year-old piece of pottery, an Israeli professor has concluded that parts of the bible were written hundreds of years earlier than suspected.
The pottery shard was discovered at excavations at Khirbet Qeiyafa near the Elah valley in Israel -- about 18 miles west of Jerusalem. Carbon-dating places it in the 10th century BC, making the shard about 1,000 years older than the Dead Sea scrolls.
Professor Gershon Galil of the University of Haifadeciphered the ancient writing, basing his interpretation on the use of verbs and content particular to the Hebrew language. It turned out to be "a social statement, relating to slaves, widows and orphans," Galil explained in a statement from the University.

The inscription is the earliest example of Hebrew writing found, which stands in opposition to the dating of the composition of the Bible in current research; prior to this discovery, it was not believed that the Bible or parts of it could have been written this long ago.
According to Israeli newspaper Haaretz, current theory holds that the Bible could not have been written before the 6th century B.C.E., because Hebrew writing did not exist until then. 

English translation of the deciphered text:
1' you shall not do [it], but worship the [Lord].
2' Judge the sla[ve] and the wid[ow] / Judge the orph[an]
3' [and] the stranger. [Pl]ead for the infant / plead for the po[or and]
4' the widow. Rehabilitate [the poor] at the hands of the king.
5' Protect the po[or and] the slave / [supp]ort the stranger.

i} ts@al'> 
Meteorologists say that this is at its strongest for at least 60 years.

As a result, the jetstream – the high-altitude wind that circles the globe from west to east and normally pushes a series of wet but mild Atlantic lows across Britain – is currently running not over the English Channel but the Strait of Gibraltar.

However, according to Prof Latif and his colleagues, this in turn relates to much longer-term shifts – what are known as the Pacific and Atlantic ‘multi-decadal oscillations’ (MDOs). 

For Europe, the crucial factor here is the temperature of the water in the middle of the North Atlantic, now several degrees below its average when the world was still warming.
But the effects are not confined to the Northern Hemisphere. Prof Anastasios Tsonis, head of the University of Wisconsin Atmospheric Sciences Group, has recently shown that these MDOs move together in a synchronised way across the globe, abruptly flipping the world’s climate from a ‘warm mode’ to a ‘cold mode’ and back again in 20 to 30-year cycles. 

'They amount to massive rearrangements in the dominant patterns of the weather,’ he said yesterday, ‘and their shifts explain all the major changes in world temperatures during the 20th and 21st Centuries. 

'We have such a change now and can therefore expect 20 or 30 years of cooler temperatures.’

Prof Tsonis said that the period from 1915 to 1940 saw a strong warm mode, reflected in rising temperatures. 

But from 1940 until the late Seventies, the last MDO cold-mode era, the world cooled, despite the fact that carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere continued to rise. 

Many of the consequences of the recent warm mode were also observed 90 years ago. 

For example, in 1922, the Washington Post reported that Greenland’s glaciers were fast disappearing, while Arctic seals were ‘finding the water too hot’. 

It interviewed a Captain Martin Ingebrigsten, who had been sailing the eastern Arctic for 54 years: ‘He says that he first noted warmer conditions in 1918, and since that time it has gotten steadily warmer. 

'Where formerly great masses of ice were found, there are now moraines, accumulations of earth and stones. At many points where glaciers formerly extended into the sea they have entirely disappeared.’

As a result, the shoals of fish that used to live in these waters had vanished, while the sea ice beyond the north coast of Spitsbergen in the Arctic Ocean had melted. 

Warm Gulf Stream water was still detectable within a few hundred miles of the Pole.
In contrast, Prof Tsonis said, last week 56 per cent of the surface of the United States was covered by snow. 

‘That hasn’t happened for several decades,’ he pointed out. ‘It just isn’t true to say this is a blip. We can expect colder winters for quite a while.’

He recalled that towards the end of the last cold mode, the world’s media were preoccupied by fears of freezing. 

For example, in 1974, a Time magazine cover story predicted ‘Another Ice Age’, saying: ‘Man may be somewhat responsible – as a result of farming and fuel burning [which is] blocking more and more sunlight from reaching and heating the Earth.’

Prof Tsonis said: ‘Perhaps we will see talk of an ice age again by the early 2030s, just as the MDOs shift once more and temperatures begin to rise.’ 

Like Prof Latif, Prof Tsonis is not a climate change ‘denier’. There is, he said, a measure of additional ‘background’ warming due to human activity and greenhouse gases that runs across the MDO cycles. 

'This isn't just a blip. We can expect colder winters for quite a while'


But he added: ‘I do not believe in catastrophe theories. Man-made warming is balanced by the natural cycles, and I do not trust the computer models which state that if CO2 reaches a particular level then temperatures and sea levels will rise by a given amount. 

'These models cannot be trusted to predict the weather for a week, yet they are running them to give readings for 100 years.’ 

Prof Tsonis said that when he published his work in the highly respected journal Geophysical Research Letters, he was deluged with ‘hate emails’. 

He added: ‘People were accusing me of wanting to destroy the climate, yet all I’m interested in is the truth.’ 

He said he also received hate mail from climate change sceptics, accusing him of not going far enough to attack the theory of man-made warming.

The work of Profs Latif, Tsonis and their teams raises a crucial question: If some of the late 20th Century warming was caused not by carbon dioxide but by MDOs, then how much?

Tsonis did not give a figure; Latif suggested it could be anything between ten and 50 per cent.

Other critics of the warming orthodoxy say the role played by MDOs is even greater. 

William Gray, emeritus Professor of Atmospheric Sciences at Colorado State University, said that while he believed there had been some background rise caused by greenhouse gases, the computer models used by advocates of man-made warming had hugely exaggerated their effect.

According to Prof Gray, these distort the way the atmosphere works. ‘Most of the rise in temperature from the Seventies to the Nineties was natural,’ he said. ‘Very little was down to CO2 – in my view, as little as five to ten per cent.’

But last week, die-hard warming advocates were refusing to admit that MDOs were having any impact. 
In March 2000, Dr David Viner, then a member of the University of East Anglia Climatic Research Unit, the body now being investigated over the notorious ‘Warmergate’ leaked emails, said that within a few years snowfall would become ‘a very rare and exciting event’ in Britain, and that ‘children just aren’t going to know what snow is’. 

Now the head of a British Council programme with an annual £10 million budget that raises awareness of global warming among young people abroad, Dr Viner last week said he still stood by that prediction: ‘We’ve had three weeks of relatively cold weather, and that doesn’t change anything. 

'This winter is just a little cooler than average, and I still think that snow will become an increasingly rare event.’ 

The longer the cold spell lasts, the harder it may be to persuade the public of that assertion.

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