The Silver Scrolls, the Oldest Biblical Text
In June 1986 archaeologists of
The location of the find and analysis of the Hebrew on the
scroll confirm a date close to 600 BC, perhaps earlier long before
the capture of
The importance of this find can hardly be overstated. It proves
this section of Numbers was written at least 2,600 years ago. This Old
Testament passage is 400 years older than the oldest Dead Sea Scroll
manuscripts, and perhaps even older yet. The age of the text may prove
a nail in the coffin of the Documentary Hypothesis 
theories that the Pentateuch was not written by Moses, or that it was
not even known in Moses time. Those theories speculate that large
segments of the first five books of the Bible originated in the period
of Ezra: 400500 BC. In
this debate, some of the arguments revolve around the use of YHWH, the
divine name of God (often rendered Jehovah or Yahweh),
which is said not to have been in use before this time.
The silver scrolls, dated before 586 BC, contain that name. In fact,
this is the earliest the name had been found in any dig in
 Hallo, William W.; Younger, K. Lawson: Context of Scripture. (2000), page 221.
 See Exhibit #4: Authorship of the Pentateuch, chapter 10.
 Willmington, H. L.: Willmington's Bible Handbook. (1997), page 889.
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