"Yahwism under the Achaemenid empire" conference

Discussion about the Hebrew Bible, Septuagint, pseudepigrapha, Philo, Josephus, Talmud, Dead Sea Scrolls, archaeology, etc.
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Re: "Yahwism under the Achaemenid empire" conference

Post by neilgodfrey »

This comment is dedicated especially to SG who initiated this thread. Thank you, SG, for the notice of this conference. I have found the presentations most informative. Here is a snippet, including the accompanying slide, from the presentation by Finkelstein -- his presentation on Yehud in the PERSIAN era...

The video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8T21U7tBCB8

The accompanying slide:

persian period.png
persian period.png (38.87 KiB) Viewed 67 times

From about the 28:30 minute position:
. . . . Late monarchic Judah became a writing society. This was probably the outcome of the century when Judah was dominated by Assyria and was incorporated into the sphere of the Assyrian global economy administration and culture.

This impressive evidence for scribal infrastructure in Judah disappeared - I repeat - disappeared after the 586 BC destruction. In the Babylonian and Persian period the southern highlands show almost no evidence of Hebrew - underline Hebrew - inscriptions. In fact the only meagre evidence comes from a few letters on a few Yehud coins which date from the fourth century. And coins can hardly attest in my opinion to general scribal activity.

This means that not a single Hebrew inscription is known from the period between 586 and 350, not an ostracon, nor a seal, not a seal impression, nor a bulla. In short, there is no evidence for Hebrew writing culture in Yehud.
Finkelstein further addressed the argument that perhaps the authors of the Pentateuch were a tiny clique confined to an isolated room somewhere....
One could argue for production of literary works on papyri in the temple. This is possible of course. Though I find it extremely difficult that nothing of this activity leaked to other media of writing.

I’m not suggesting here that the knowledge of Hebrew writing disappeared altogether becaue such a statement would contradict the revival of Hebrew in the Hasmonean era second century Hasmonean state. But scribal activity declined dramatically. . . .
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