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The Challenges of Ketef Hinnom: Using Advanced Technologies to Reclaim the Earliest Biblical Texts and Their Context

Gabriel Barkay, Marilyn J. Lundberg, Andrew G. Vaughn, Bruce Zuckerman and Kenneth Zuckerman
Near Eastern Archaeology
Vol. 66, No. 4 (Dec., 2003), pp. 162-171
DOI: 10.2307/3557916
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3557916
Page Count: 11
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Abstract

The two paleo-Hebrew Ketef Hinnom inscriptions are famous for being our oldest biblical manuscripts. (Yet they contain even more readings than the famous priestly blessing of Numbers 6.) The present analysis provides the most reliable readings to date. They clarify two points of dispute: the date and nature of the artifacts. The authors support the thesis that these inscriptions constitute amulets with apotropaic functions and date them to the end of the seventh or the beginning of the sixth century BCE. Just as important, readers will find here an inside look at how epigraphers use state of the art technology to bring new readings to light.

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