OLD TESTAMENT & The History of Egyptian Hieroglyphs and the Rosetta Stone

by Vladislav Tchakarov, The Collector, December 27, 2019.

…Although the ancient Egyptian script does looks complicated, it is actually quite clear and simple. There were three main groups of signs that include logograms, phonograms, and definitive signs. Logograms were used to depict morphemes while phonograms were used to depict sounds. Definitive signs were used to aid the two other groups and make them clearer.

The Ancient Egyptian script consisted of only consonants which is the case with all ancient scripts from the Pre-Dynastic and Early Dynastic periods of Egypt. Undoubtedly, they used vowels in spoken language for pronunciation. Nevertheless, they did not include any in their writing system which made it extremely difficult for archeologists and historians to pronounce the hieroglyphs. This lead to the creation of a reading protocol which was used artificially to interpret the words. This explains why most people think that Egyptians used vowels in their script.

The ancient Egyptian writing system consisted of about 700 characters. Hieroglyphics were mainly used for religious as well as solemn purposes. They continued to be used in Egypt until about 400 AD, after which they were replaced by Coptic, another form of written language.

Coptic alphabet
Coptic alphabet

At first, there were 24 letters that were borrowed from the Greek writing system. Later on, they added six more that represented specific Egyptian sounds. Today, these two scripts have long been forgotten and the official language in Egypt is Arabic.

The Rosetta stone

Scientists and archeologists had little success in the interpretation of ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs until the Rosetta stone was discovered in 1799 on accident by soldiers in Napoleon’s army.

The Rosetta stone is a fragment of a large black basalt stone engraving found near the city of Rosetta in the Nile Delta. The same text is engraved on the stone in two languages but in three ancient scripts – Egyptian hieroglyphic, demotic and Greek. This was because, at that time, these were the three scripts that Egyptians used.

Both the demotic script and the ancient Greek language were well known to 19th-century Egyptologists who worked on deciphering the stone. As the text in the vernacular and the Greek language coincided, the significance of the Egyptian characters became clear.

The discovery and translation of this text are very important because it helps to interpret many other early written sources of ancient Egyptian civilization.

Rosetta Stone Text Decryption

All three texts refer to a decree adopted by the Memphis council of priests. It confirmed the royal cult of Ptolemy V of Egypt, one year after his coronation. The text on the Rosetta stone begins with a great appraisal for the achievements and dominions of Ptolemy V.

Read more at … https://www.thecollector.com/the-history-of-egyptian-hieroglyphs-and-the-rosetta-stone/?utm_source=Flipboard&utm_medium=REFERRAL&utm_campaign=storyboards

ARCHAEOLOGY & Do some cisterns in the Negev date back to the time of Abraham? #Abraham #preaching #OldTestament #JerusalemPostNewspaper

by Rosella Tercatin, The Jerusalem Post, 7/16/20.

“From Egypt, Abram went up into the Negev, with his wife and all that he possessed, together with Lot. Now Abram was very rich in cattle, silver, and gold. And he proceeded by stages from the Negev as far as Bethel, to the place where his tent had been formerly, between Bethel and Ai.” (Genesis 13:1-3, translation Serfaria.org)

Ancient water cistern in the Negev.
(photo credit: Courtesy)

For many years, researchers have been puzzled by the question of how the Negev desert was home to settlements and communities in ancient times, in spite of its inhospitality and aridity. Now a group of researchers from the Ben-Gurion University has, for the first time, devoted attention to the ancient cisterns scattered around the highlands of the desert – its driest region – which might hold the key to understand some of the secrets of human life in the area several thousand years ago.As explained in a paper recently published in the Journal of Archaeological Science, among the findings of the study was that some of the simplest structures might not, as has been assumed, date back only to the Iron Age beginning around 1200 BCE, but to the previous Bronze Age, which covered over two millennia between 3500 and 1200 BCE. According to the prevalent biblical interpretation, the second millennia BCE also marked the time of the life of the Jewish patriarch Abraham, who according to the Bible journeyed through the desert on more than one occasion.

Read more here … https://m.jpost.com/israel-news/culture/do-some-cisterns-in-the-negev-date-back-to-the-time-of-abraham-635240

BIBLICAL CULTURES & Gaining an understanding of life during Old Testament cultural shifts

Commentary by Dr. Whitesel: The following excerpt is from an interview Ben Witherington published with Wheaton College Old Testament scholar Sandra Richter. Dr. Richter explains that we today often miss the full message of the Old Testament because we don’t understand the cultural shifts in Old Testament culture from tribe to monarchy to exiles to Hellenized and then Romanized culture. Read this excerpt and then check out the full interview at the accompanying link.

How can we can gain a better understanding of (Old Testament) life in a tribal culture?

[L]et me make it very clear that I’m not asking Christians to become
tribal. The culture in which the story of redemption is communicated
shifts regularly. We start off with tribal nomads, we move to a
monarchy, we move to an exiled province, and then we move to the
Hellenized, Romanized culture of the New Testament. So we’re not about
canonizing their culture; we’re just about understanding their culture.

I always wind up with audiences saying “Oh, so we should mimic the way
they structure their economy, or the way they blessed their children.”
I’m like no, no, no–you cannot become a pastoral nomad. You can’t do
that. (laughs) Not in today’s economy. But you need to understand it.

[T]he whole first chapter of … “Epic of Eden,” is about tribal culture
and what it means to be patriarchal … and how this value system
shaped all of Israel’s history, even into the New Testament, so that
when Jesus names God as Father, he’s actually operating out of a
patriarchal mindset. And when he speaks about his father’s house, in
John 14:2, he’s talking about the family compound. And when he speaks of
having come as the firstborn to share his inheritance with us, this is
all tribal law–he has some very specific cargo that he’s trying to
communicate to us. So our job is … to do our best to understand it so
we can get a handle on the message.

Read more: http://www.beliefnet.com/columnists/bibleandculture/2010/11/on-the-richter-scale-sandy-richter-in-the-news.html#ixzz3m1a0P9K6

APOLOGETICS & Old/New Testaments’ Portrayals of the Heavenly Father

By Dan Kimball, 4/27/14 “There is one God and the key in seeing the whole story of the whole Bible not just isolated stories…”

More from Kimball, “Writing a chapter in the ‘Crazy Bible?’ book looking at the way there is a perception that the Old Testament shows a different God than the New Testament. There is one God and the key in seeing the whole story of the whole Bible not just isolated stories. This Simpsons episode illustrated this with Homer holding a photo of God and as he would angle it, the image changed as he would say ‘vengeful God’ “loving God… Just watched the whole episode. Quite fascinating… There is a church that worships in a bowling alley in it.”

Read more at … http://instagram.com/p/oegLIFrrpa/