Saturday, November 21, 2009


Background here with links.

UPDATE: That version is pirated. Chuck Jones e-mails:
The Payvand copy of the Persepolis Annual Report is an unattributed copy of what I posted here on November 12th. "Mine" is an authorized republication (with reformatting and hyperlinks added by me) of an article under copyright by the Oriental Institute.

No big deal really, but I thought I'd mention it any way.
Thanks for doing so.
MORE ON THOSE SUPPOSED SHROUD-OF-TURIN INSCRIPTIONS in Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek, which are starting to get some media attention. This is from the Scotsman:
Professor Frale has published a new book, The Shroud of Jesus the Nazarene, which claims an archaic script that appears on parts of the material was written by low-ranking Roman officials or mortuary clerks on a scroll or piece of papyrus to identify Christ's corpse.

Such a document would have enabled the relatives of a dead person to retrieve a body from a communal morgue, she suggested.

Scholars first noticed that there was writing on the shroud in 1978 but when the radiocarbon tests a decade later suggested that the shroud was a forgery, historians lost interest in the script, Dr Frale said.

She claimed the text also partially confirmed the Gospels' account of Jesus' final moments. A fragment in Greek that can be read as "removed at the ninth hour" may refer to Christ's time of death reported in the holy texts, she said.

On an enhanced image studied by Frale, at least seven words can be seen, fragmented and scattered on and around the face, criss-crossing the cloth vertically and horizontally.

The text also mentions that the man who was wrapped in the shroud had been condemned to death, she believes.

Professor Frale said the hidden text was, in effect, the "burial certificate" for Christ.

"I tried to be objective and leave religious issues aside," she said. "What I studied was an ancient document that certifies the execution of a man, in a specific time and place."

However Antonio Lombatti, anther historian who has written books about the shroud, said: "People work on grainy photos and think they see things. It's all the result of imagination and computer software."
I will look at the evidence with great interest when it becomes available and will maintain a skeptical open mind in the meantime. But I do note the rule of thumb that if it sounds too good to be true, it probably isn't so, which is widely applicable in life if you want to stay out of trouble.

Background here.
A MAP OF ARCHAEOLOGY SITES has won an award at the ASOR meetings, which are taking place here in New Orleans alongside of SBL:
Archaeologists publish first map of contested sites in Middle East
New online map reveals archaeological activity on Holy Land sites in the West Bank and East Jerusalem

By UCLA Newsroom November 20, 2009 Category: Research

A team of archaeologists from UCLA, USC, Israel and Palestinian territories has developed the first map detailing Israeli archaeological activity in the West Bank and Jerusalem – much of it never publicly disclosed.

The fully searchable online map, which serves as a window into thousands of years worth of archaeological sites in the Holy Lands, has won the 2009 Open Archaeology Prize from American Schools of Oriental Research, the main organization for archaeologists working in the Middle East.

The prize will be announced today at the organization’s annual meeting in New Orleans.

Friday, November 20, 2009

THE DEAD SEA is getting some publicity:
Dead Sea area next focus of IGTO

Written by Atara Beck (Jewish Tribune)
Wednesday, 18 November 2009

TORONTO – The Israel Government Tourist Office (IGTO) recently began focusing on developing a greater awareness of the Dead Sea/Tamar region, which, with its unique healing properties and magnificent surroundings, has attracted visitors for thousands of years.
At a recent breakfast hosted by the IGTO, Jerry Adler, manager, marketing and PR, told journalists that Israel’s ministry of tourism would conduct a public relations campaign for this initiative.

IAA: Israel's ancient wonders face ruin

By BEN HARTMAN (Jerusalem Post)

Israel's greatest archeological treasures are in danger of being destroyed by natural disasters and vandalism, and preventative measures must be taken, the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA) warned on Wednesday.

The statement came at the end of a three-day workshop in Acre called "Disaster Risk Reduction to Cultural Heritage," convened by the IAA and the Israel Commission for UNESCO. The event hosted experts from around the world in an effort to brainstorm ways to safeguard Israel's antiquity sites from destruction.

Canaanites the art collectors of their day

(USA Today Science Fair Blog)

The Canaanites get a bad rap in the Old Testament, but some may been among the first cosmopolitan art collectors, report archaeologists Thursday.

At the American Schools of Oriental Research meeting in New Orleans, Eric Cline of George Washington (D.C.) University and Assf Yasur-Landau of Israel's University of Haifa report the intriguing results this year from Tel Kabri, a vanquished Canaanite palace more than 3,500 years old.

So I guess this means that the Canaanites were not Philistines?

Sorry, Sorry! Couldn't resist.
ARAMAIC WATCH? The AP notes the claim of Vatican researcher Barbara Frale that she has found hitherto unnoticed Hebrew and Aramaic on the Shroud of Turin, including a reference to one Jesus of Nazareth. Sounds interesting, but I'll believe it when I see it. See also my comments on this story here.
MANDAEAN (MANDEAN) EXILES in Jordan discuss the plight of their community: "Dispersed by violence, an ancient community struggles to survive" (Jordan Times). Excerpt:
According to Mandaeans residing in Jordan, life in Iraq was difficult for them during the Saddam Hussein regime, under which the minority was forced to pay bribes, forcibly conscripted into the army and forbidden from teaching Mandaic, an ancient language related to Aramaic.

Many within the community were hopeful of their future following the US-led invasion in 2003, and many took jobs with the American military and contractors.

“We thought things were going to improve,” said Abu Kareem, who serves as the representative of Mandaeans in Jordan.

“We were wrong.”

As Iraqis saw their country fall along sectarian lines, minorities such as the Mandaeans became the frequent prey of militias.

Fatwas were issued declaring Mandaeans kuffar, or infidels. Mandaeans, known for their gold and jewellery craftsmanship, became frequent targets of kidnappings, with ransoms set as high as $100,000.

Since the US-led invasion, the Mandaean Human Rights Group has recorded around 180 killings, 275 kidnappings and 298 assaults and forced conversions within Iraq.

“Since 2003, the Mandaeans have been persecuted and specifically targeted by various components of religious fundamentalists and insurgents who have targeted the minorities of Iraq in general,” Laila Alroomi, of the Mandaean Human Rights Group, told The Jordan Times.

After his youngest son was kidnapped in Baghdad in 2004 due to his connections to the US army and held for a $30,000 ransom, Abu Kareem, one of thousands of Mandaeans facing the threat of violence, knew it was time to leave.

Return to the river

When the security situation in Iraq deteriorated, Jordan became a natural destination for Mandaeans, community leaders said.

The Jordanian government’s respect for minority rights and its proximity to the Jordan River, where the religion was founded, attracted many Mandaeans, according to Alroomi.

Some 5,959 Sabian Mandaeans have come through the Kingdom on to third party nations, according to UNHCR, while around 10,000 are estimated to remain in Syria and Jordan.

Upon their arrival in Jordan, the Mandaean community began holding ritual baptisms in Wadi Seer, they said. After a physical altercation between local residents and Mandaean worshippers, however, authorities encouraged the community to choose another place to worship, Abu Kareem said.

Now Mandaeans baptise in Wadi Shuaib, a site further from Amman and with poorer water quality, and must inform authorities one month in advance of any ceremony in order for protection to be provided.

The last Mandaean priest left Jordan for resettlement in early 2007, leaving followers unable to complete basic ritual ceremonies, or mark the five major holidays of the religion, they said.

Since then, resettlement has slowed, and some 1,139 UNHCR-registered Mandaeans in Jordan struggle to maintain their identity while keeping contact with the new diaspora.

Due to distrust and rising violence back home, the Mandaean community in Jordan avoids neighbourhoods in Amman known to house a significant Iraqi Shiite population, several Mandaeans told The Jordan Times.

Greater awareness of their religion is needed, they added.

“Although Mandaeanism was born in Jordan, people here have no idea what it is. Some think we are fire worshippers,” Abu Kareem noted.

“Once they realise we follow Adam, the prophet Ibrahim (Abraham), Zacharia and Yahya (John the Baptist), then they are accepting. We are people of the book too,” he stressed.
More on the Mandaeans here and here.
IN NEW ORLEANS. Got in last night, having entirely missed the Skynet-type air traffic controller outage on the East Coast.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

I'M OFF TO NEW ORLEANS for the annual meeting of the Society of Biblical Literature.

I will be presenting a paper there on "Practical Challenges in Publishing the More Old Testament Pseudepigrapha Project." You can download the paper as a pdf file here.

Also, last month I gave a paper on "The More Old Testament Pseudepigrapha Project" at New College at the University of Edinburgh, which gives an up-to-date survey of the whole project. You can download it as a pdf file here and the handout that goes with it here.

Both are also available on the More Old Testment Pseudepigrapha Project website.

At SBL I am also on a panel of the Early Jewish and Christian Mysticism Group which is reviewing Christopher Rowland and Christopher R.A. Morray-Jones, The Mystery of God: Early Jewish Mysticism and the New Testament (noted earlier here), but I will be working from scrawled notes for that one and will not post anything here.

Look for me again late tonight or on Friday.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

MAUREEN DOWD gets more flack for her recent comments on Goldman Sachs:
Maureen Dowd mines an anti-Semitic theme
The New York Times columnist crosses a line in her condemnation of Goldman Sachs.

by Menachem Z. Rosensaft and Jason H. Dolinsky

November 13, 2009 (New Jersey Jewish News)

We do not believe New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd to be an anti-Semite. Nor is she either stupid or unaware of the potential impact of her words. Thus, the blatantly anti-Semitic insinuations in her column of November 11 about the profiteering of what she refers to as “blood-sucking banks” are especially appalling.


Blankfein is living refutation of another stereotype that all Jews or investment bankers are smart. Still, his insensitive, bordering on moronic, comments do not give Ms. Dowd the right to revive and recirculate a number of vicious and dangerous anti-Semitic stereotypes. She contrasts the “cycle of greed and concupiscence” of what she calls “Goldmine Sachs” (hint, hint) with the “virtuous” Protestant Ethic and The Spirit of Capitalism. And just to be certain that no one should miss her point, she concludes by emphasizing that “the bankers who took government money and then gave out obscene bonuses are the same self-interested sorts Jesus threw out of the temple.”

Background here.
THE GNOSTIC GOSPELS from Nag Hammadi have apparently been adapted into a musical:
Mary of Magdala” a thought-provoking musical

by Elysia Conner (Casper Journal)
Tuesday, November 17, 2009 4:54 PM MST

As the apostle Peter lowers his friend from the cross, he should show understanding and redemption, playwright James Olm said. No, director Richard Burk countered, the redemption shouldn’t come for another three days. A theological discussion ensues, with a few opinions from other collaborators.

It’s just another night of rehearsal for “Mary of Magdala,” written by Casper College music professor James Olm and New York actor Shad Olsen.

They aren’t just rehearsing for the performance; they are creating the piece in a developmental workshop.

The musical depicts the life of Mary Magdalene and Jesus based on the Gnostic Gospels found in Egypt in 1945, Olsen said.

That said, there is very little about the content of the musical:
The play will be controversial, Olm predicted.

“I would just want audiences to come with an open mind and an open heart and be ready to think differently about things that you’ve thought for a long time,” Olsen said.

According to the lead actors, it’s a love story, a love through God’s love and through wisdom.

“It’s about unconditional love,” Susan Burk said, who plays the wise midwife who mentors Mary as a young woman and encourages her to follow her destiny.

It’s also a story about the patriarchal society and how unjust it was to women and how unjust it was to history.

“She almost lives in me now,” Olm said “She has suffered for 2,000 years unjustly, being unjustly portrayed.”
We also learn that – besides Mary – Jesus, the apostle Levi (i.e., Matthew?), Pilate, the high priest Annas, the soldier who crucifies Jesus, the Holy Spirit, and some demons are among the cast of 14. I see nothing much of the actual content of the Gnostic Gospels in the description and it may be that it has been homogenized away into a p.c. God-is-love-and-hates-patriarchy message. It would be fun to see a performance that took the demiurgic anti-cosmism and docetism of the Gnostic texts seriously, but that may be too much to ask.

Related item on The Last Temptation of Christ (which does play with such themes) here.
NEWS ON AN OYXRHYNCHUS FRAGMENT that was sold to a private collector in 2003:
New artifact added to Ink & Blood

By Andy Powell
[Gadsden] Times Staff Writer

Published: Tuesday, November 17, 2009 at 8:03 p.m.
Last Modified: Tuesday, November 17, 2009 at 8:19 p.m.

For archaeologists, at least, one generation’s trash can be a future generation’s great treasure.

What is considered to be the third oldest portion ever found of the Gospel of John has been added to the Hardin Center’s exhibit, “Ink & Blood: Dead Sea Scrolls to Gutenberg,” on exhibit through Dec. 23.

The fragment, which is the size of about half a page, is a portion of the Gospel of St. John 8:14-22.

It has Greek writing on the front and the back and has the number “74” on one side.

Exhibition director Dillon Poss said, “It is the oldest document in the world with a page number that we know of.”

He said the fragment was found in a third-century trash dump that was uncovered in Egypt in the late 1800s.

“That’s really the gold mine for archaeologists,” Poss said. “When they have that, they have everything in the community.”

The fragment originally was owned by Colgate University. It was sold to raise funds.

Poss said the fragment was found in Oxyrhynchus, Egypt, and is know as the Oxyrhynchus Papyrus or P39. Poss said when it was found, it was the oldest known fragment of the Gospel of John


Poss said the Oxyrhynchus Papyrus had been part of the exhibit at its last stop. It had been returned to its owner on the West Coast before being brought here for the remainder of the exhibit’s stay.

I first reported on the sale of the fragments here in 2003 (not sure why the numbering of the John fragment is different there) and noted the surfacing of the John fragment in the Ink and Blood exhibition here in 2005. Others were sold to Macquirie University in Australia (see here). At least the whereabouts of this important fragment of the Gospel of John is still known, and I hope that means that scholars will still be able to study it when they need to.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

PHOENICIAN WATCH: Here's news on the 7th International Congress on Phoenician and Punic Studies which recently was held in Tunisia (noted earlier here).
Hammamet hosts 7th International Conference on Phoenician and Punic studies

The coastal town of Hammamet is hosting these days the 7th international congress of “life, religion and death in the Phoenician and Punic world”.

The event is organized by the National Heritage Institute (INP) and the National Agency for Revival of Heritage and Cultural Development as well as the Research Unit: Punic Carthage and culture dissemination.


More than 300 researchers and experts from 22 countries representing 52 universities from Western and Arab countries namely Tunisia, Morocco, Algeria, Greece, Lebanon, Libya, the Netherlands, Cyprus, Japan, the United States, Spain, and Italy took part in the event.


The event will be an occasion to reveal new heritages discovered by archeologists in the Punic site in the Sahel region of Kerkouane and statues of pottery were discovered in EL Djem dates back to the Punic era.
Tunisia - Participants in International Congress on Phoenician and Punic Studies congratulates President Ben Ali


Participants in the 7th International Congress on Phoenician and Punic Studies paid tribute to President Zine el Abidine Ben Ali for the attention he lavishes on material and intangible heritage, historical monuments, archaeological sites, museums and researches, as well as culture and youth centres, the 8th point of the Head of State's new electoral programme.

Phoenician historical research center opens in US

[Lebanon] Daily Star staff
Tuesday, November 17, 2009

BEIRUT: A new body has been established in the US to research ancient Phoneician history. Habib Chamoun, president of the newly incorporated Phoenician International Research Center for The Study Of Canaanite, Phoenician And Punic History (PIRC), announced the official establishment of the group during his address to the 16th World Lebanese Cultural Union World Congress in Mexico City, that ended on October 26. ...
The website is at and the full press release about this Center is here. This looks to be a popular rather than specialist enterprise.
Italian 3 D movie re-enacts Trasimeno battle between Rome and Carthage

A remarkable 3D movie screened on Tuesday at the 7 th international conference on Phoenician and Punic studies in Hammamet, retraces Hannibal’s journey through the Alps and his victory at the Trasimemo Battle in 217 BC where he defeated the Roman army led by Flaminius.

The film dubbed “Annibale al Trasimeno” was directed by Luca Palma and Ernesto Vigneri. The film was followed by a debate on the latest theories concerning the battle, which was used as a platform for a scientific documentary featuring the costumes and armors used at the time.

A trailer for the film is at the bottom of the article as well as here. Note also the Vin Diesel movie on Hannibal which is currently in the works.

Finally – tangentially related – here's a recent travel piece in the Financial Times on Tunisia and its Phoenician and Punic heritage:
History’s mark on Tunisia

By John Julius Norwich

Published: November 6 2009 23:23 | Last updated: November 6 2009 23:23

Everybody, perhaps, has their own Tunisia. For many, it is the sheer exoticism of north Africa, hundreds of miles further to the west yet infinitely more oriental than the Middle East: the brilliant blue doorways set in dazzling white walls, the elderly gentlemen with their little round red hats and long robes – which always seem to stop a bit too high, revealing anticlimac­tic ankle-socks. For some, the lure may be the cobalt sea of the Barbary Coast, home to the great corsair captains of the 15th and 16th centuries. Others feel the call of the desert in the far south, or of the west’s oases and palm groves, or the beaches of Hammamet and Cape Bon. But for us, Tunisia began with Carthage.

Virtually nothing remains of the old Phoenician Carthage of Hannibal and the Punic Wars. The city had cost Rome perhaps one-quarter of a million of her best men; no wonder the statesman Cato the Elder ended every speech he made with the words Delenda est Carthago, “Carthage must be destroyed”. In 146BC it was; not one stone was left atop another.


Monday, November 16, 2009

ERIC CLINE'S RECENT BOOK, Biblical Archaeology: A Very Short Introduction, is featured in a London Times article:
Evidence for kings David and Solomon
Until 15 years ago, there was no extra-biblical documentary mention of even the House of David as ruling in Judea

Norman Hammond, Archaeology correspondent

“King David and King Solomon lived merry, merry lives,

With many, many concubines and many, many wives.

But when old age crept after them, with many, many qualms,

King Solomon wrote the Proverbs and King David wrote the Psalms.”

There are several versions of this anonymous rhyme, but the problem, some biblical archaeologists argue, is that there is little evidence that either king existed: archaeological remains have been assigned to their reigns on the basis of cryptic verses in the Old Testament, and then used to “prove” the date of similar buildings at other sites.

Until 15 years ago, Professor Eric Cline notes in a new book, there was no extra-biblical documentary mention of even the House of David as ruling in Judea. The fragmentary Tel Dan Stele, found reused as building material at a site in what is now northern Israel in 1993-94, provided the first evidence outside the First Book of Kings.

Professor Cline has a recent online essay on the same topic, which is noted here.

(Times article via Joseph I. Lauer's list.)

This webpage is a partial publication of the work of a research project (“The Meaning of Ancient Jewish Quotations and Allusions for the Textual History of the Hebrew Bible”) which is sponsored by the Jubiläumsfonds der Österreichischen Nationalbank and is conducted at Vienna University’s Institute for Jewish Studies by Armin Lange (director) and Matthias Weigold. We would like to take the opportunity to express our gratitude to both the Jubiläumsfonds for financing our work and to the staff of Vienna University’s Institute for Jewish Studies for supporting us.

Ancient Jewish texts often quote or allude to Scriptures. The research project “The Meaning of Ancient Jewish Quotations and Allusions for the Textual History of the Hebrew Bible” tries to study the textual history of the Hebrew Bible before the destruction of the Jerusalem Temple in 70 c.e. in light of quotations of and allusions to passages of the Hebrew Bible in Second Temple Jewish literature. One of the main tasks of the project is to identify and locate the quotations of and allusions to scriptures in ancient Jewish literature. While we continue to search for quotations and allusions, this webpage makes first results of our work available to the scholarly public. Feedback is warmly welcome (please refer to
(Via the Agade list.)
CAMBYSES' LOST ARMY FOUND? David Meadows takes this one apart over at Rogue Classicism.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

THE TALMUD on Dangers of bathing:
What was so dangerous about a bathhouse? Roman bathhouses had a hot room, the caldarium, which was built on pillars. The area below the caldarium, called the hypocaust was connected to a furnace and heated the floor of the caldarium. If the floor of the caldarium collapsed, the bathers would fall into the hypocaust and die.

This was a real danger as is apparent from the continuation of the talmudic passage: Rabbi Abahu entered a public bathhouse and the floor beneath him gave way. Fortunately for Rabbi Abahu and the other bathers, a miracle happened and instead of falling into the hypocaust below, he was left standing on one of the pillars. From that perch, Rabbi Abahu managed to save 101 men with his one arm.
Plus, strategies for outwitting the Satan.

UPDATE: Reader Sarah Roberts e-mails:
Mention could also be made of the statement in Irenaeus via Polycarp of Smyrna regarding John of Ephesus encountering the "heretic" Cerinthus in a public path: "Let us flee, lest the bath fall in while Cerinthus, the enemy of the truth, is there".
Yes it could. I hadn't thought of that one.
Unusual Partners Study Divisive Jerusalem Site

Published: November 14, 2009

JERUSALEM — At the heart of this contested city, the holy site known to Jews as the Temple Mount and to Muslims as Haram al-Sharif, or Noble Sanctuary, has become, for many, the epicenter of the conflict between Israel, the Palestinians and the wider
The mere mention of the place stirs passions and memories of centuries of bloodshed. Its alternative names evoke the depth of religious devotion and the competing claims.

Many of those contradictions are encapsulated in a new book, “Where Heaven and Earth Meet: Jerusalem’s Sacred Esplanade,” to be published here on Monday. The book is a collection of essays by renowned scholars on the history, archaeology, aesthetics and politics of the place that Jews revere as the location of their two ancient temples, and that now houses the Al Aksa Mosque, the third holiest site in Islam.

The illustrated 400-page book, in English, appears at a time of heightened tensions over the coveted site. Most extraordinarily, its authors and co-sponsors include Israeli and Palestinian experts and institutions, giving an unfettered platform to Muslims, Christians and Jews.

This is quite a remarkable cooperative project.

Then there's this:
The book was years in the making and required exceptional tact on the part of the co-editors, Oleg Grabar of Princeton University, and Benjamin Kedar of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Mr. Kedar came up with the neutral term “sacred esplanade” in the title. “It was the compromise,” he said. “It should be acceptable to all.”
Sacred Esplanade Watch?
BOOK REVIEW: This book has been getting controversial press for a while. I haven't read it so I can't comment either way.
The Invention of the Jewish People

Review by Simon Schama (Financial Times)

Published: November 13 2009 23:34 | Last updated: November 13 2009 23:34

The Invention of the Jewish People
By Shlomo Sand
Translated by Yael Lotan
Verso £18.99, 398 pages
FT Bookshop price: £15.19

From its splashy title on, Shlomo Sand means his book to be provocative, which it certainly is, though possibly not in the way he intends. Its real challenge to the reader is separating the presentation of truisms as though they were revolutionary illuminations and the relentless beating on doors that have long been open, from passages of intellectual sharpness and learning.

Sand’s self-dramatising attack in The Invention of the Jewish People is directed against those who assume, uncritically, that all Jews are descended lineally from the single racial stock of ancient Hebrews – a position no one who has thought for a minute about the history of the Jews would dream of taking.

... But it is a long time since any serious historian argued that following the destruction of the Second Temple, the Romans emptied Judea. But what the Romans did do, following the Jewish revolt of AD66-70 and even more exhaustively after a second rebellion in AD135, was every bit as traumatic: an act of cultural and social annihilation – mass slaughter and widespread enslavement. But there was also the mass extirpation of everything that constituted Jewish religion and culture; the renaming of Jerusalem as Aelia Capitolina, the obliteration of the Temple, the prohibition on rituals and prayers. Sand asserts, correctly, that an unknowable number of Jews remained in what the Romans called Palestina. The multitudes of Jews in Rome had already gone there, not as a response to disaster but because they wanted to and were busy proselytising.

All this is true and has been acknowledged. But Sand appears not to notice that it undercuts his argument about the non-connection of Jews with the land of Palestine rather than supporting it. Put together, the possibility of leading a Jewish religious life outside Palestine, with the continued endurance of Jews in the country itself and you have the makings of that group yearning – the Israel-fixation, which Sand dismisses as imaginary. What the Romans did to the defeated Jews was dispossession, the severity of which was enough to account for the homeland-longing by both the population still there and those abroad. That yearning first appears, not in Zionist history, but in the writings of medieval Jewish teachers, and never goes away.

One comment:
Scholarly consensus now places the creation of the earliest books of the Old Testament not in the 6th or 5th centuries BC, but in the 9th century BC, home-grown in a Judah which had been transformed, as Israel Finkelstein has written “into a developed nation state”
I think it's a stretch to talk about a "scholarly consensus" on this subject at all. There are certainly scholars who think the books in the Hebrew Bible originate in the exile and later, while others still think in terms of a pre-exilic origin for some of them. I think at least some of the texts have their basis before the exile, chiefly because the Hebrew they are written in looks more pre-exilic than not in comparison to epigraphic Hebrew. With the possible exception of some poetic texts (and this too is controversial), I think it is difficult to make a philological argument for origins of any of the texts as early as the the ninth century BCE, although I wouldn't rule the possibility out either.