Sunday, February 25, 2018

Bloggers on the Isaiah Bulla

THE ISAIAH BULLA has gone under the scrutiny of Hebraist and epigrapher bloggers since the announcement of its discovery last week. Here are some recent blog posts on it.

ROLLSTON EPIGRAPHY: The Isaiah Bulla from Jerusalem: 2.0 (Christopher Rollston)
In any case, within this post, I wish to emphasize certain things that I mentioned in the previous post and also especially to flesh out some of the possibilities for the second word, that is, word, or word fragment, that is present on the third register: nun, bet, yod. As with my previous post, this will be done in brief. I will publish a full journal article on this bulla at a later date in the near future. In any case, my view is that this second word could be a patronymic (in which case this bulla is certainly not Isaiah the Prophet’s as his father was Amoz), a title, or a gentilic.
WITH MEAGRE POWERS: Have we found the seal of the prophet Isaiah? (George Athas)
t’s possible, and certainly plausible that this is Isaiah’s seal. But I don’t think it’s probable. I think it’s the second most likely explanation. I believe in this case we simply have the seal of another, less historically illustrious Isaiah, who was the son of Nabiah.
REMNANT OF GIANTS: Why “Isaiah” of the Isaiah Bulla is not the Prophet Isaiah (Deane Galbraith)
Therefore, given the evidence of Bulla #693, the better conclusion is that the ‘Isaiah’ of the Isaiah bulla is “Isaiah [son of] Nobai”, possibly a brother of “‘Oreb [son of] Nobai”, and not “Isaiah the prophet”.
I think two points from these posts are especially worth underlining. First, none of the above sees a compelling case for this seal being the signature of Isaiah the son of Amoz, the eighth-century Judean prophet. At best this is a possibility. And all three bloggers see pretty much the same problems with the identification.

Second, Dr. Galbraith's (unprovenanced) Bulla #693 appears to provide us with a contemporary son of NBY whose signature may have iconographic connections with the seal of Isaiah. If Deane's conclusions are upheld, it become much more likely that our Isaiah is a relative of the owner of the Oreb seal and had nothing to do with the prophet.

Interesting times. Watch this space.

Background here and here.

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