Friday, September 23, 2011

Mykytiuk on biblical persons in NWS inscriptions

LAWRENCE MYKYTIUK has e-mailed to let me know that an article of his from 2010 is available for free online:
Corrections and Updates to "Identifying Biblical Persons in Northwest Semitic Inscriptions of 1200-539 B.C.E."

Lawrence J. Mykytiuk, Purdue University

This article updates the cutoff point for the inscriptions treated in the book mentioned in the title, which was mid-2002, to July 31, 2008. It evaluates 32 proposed identifications (IDs) of biblical persons in ancient Near Eastern inscriptions of 1200-539 B.C.E. All 32 IDs or non-IDs are listed and indexed at the end.


This article does two things. First, it corrects things in the book, Identifying Biblical Persons in Northwest Semitic Inscriptions of 1200-539 B.C.E. (2004), abbreviated IBP below:
• Regarding potential forgeries, the article applies the principles for treatment of unprovenanced inscriptions set forth in Christopher A. Rollston, “Non-Provenanced Epigraphs II: The Status of Non-Provenanced Epigraphs within the Broader Corpus of Northwest Semitic,” Maarav 11 (2004): 71–76.
• It disqualifies proposed IDs in eight (8) inscriptions that are forgeries or probable forgeries, notably including the two bullae frequently attributed to the biblical Baruch.
Second, it evaluates 32 proposed identifications (IDs) of biblical persons in inscriptions of 1200-539 B.C.E. Doing this updates the book, IBP, from its original coverage through mid-2002, to July 31, 2008. In order to evaluate these proposed IDs, it uses the protocols set forth in the book, IBP, pp. 9-89. Resulting IDs and non-IDs appear in six categories of strength or weakness, from unmistakable to disqualified.
• Constructively, it makes eleven strong, reasonable, or possible IDs of biblical persons in provenanced Northwest Semitic inscriptions and two reasonable IDs in inscriptions written in other languages (one in Egyptian hieroglyphics and one in Babylonian Akkadian).
• It gives page-by-page corrections to the book, IBP, if they affect IDs. These corrections end with a summary of the results of the book as corrected by this article on pp. 125-126. A summary and an index only of the results in the article appear on pp. 126-132.


Hebrew Bible, Old Testament, biblical historicity, historical reliability of the Old Testament, identifying biblical persons, palaeography, Semitic paleography, Semitic inscriptions, Hebrew inscriptions, Northwest Semitic epigraphy, epigraphic Hebrew, epigraphic Aramaic, Melqart stele, Ahab, Ahikam, Ahiqam, Ahaziah, Azzur, Balaam, Bala‘am, Baruch, Berekyahu, Bar-hadad, Ben-hadad, Beor, Be‘or, David, Esarhaddon, Gedaliah, Pashhur, Gemariah, Gemaryahu, Goliath, Hadadezer, Hanan, Hazael, Igdaliah, Immer, Joash, Jehoash, Jehucal, Jucal, Yehukal, Yukal, Jerahmeel, Josiah, Mikneiah, Miqneiah, Nebo-sarsekim, Rab-saris, Neriah, Shaphan, Shelemiah, Zechariah

Published in:

Maarav 16.1 (2009): 49–132.

Date of this Version
You can download the article as a PDF file from the linked web page. The article is long, detailed, and very technical, but you can read a summary of his conclusions on pp. 126-30.

Professor Mykytiuk and I had a discussion of this subject at PaleoJudaica back in 2004 (here and here; note also related later posts here and here). He now agrees with my initial instinct that the Baruch bullae should be treated as forgeries.