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Semitic Inscriptions: Analyzed Texts and English Translations

by Hardy, H. H., II, Otte, Charles, III, Heiser, Michael S.

Lexham Press 2007–2008

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Semitic Inscriptions: Analyzed Texts and English Translations
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Overview

This ground-breaking compilation of ancient texts includes Hebrew, Aramaic, and Canaanite Inscriptions. Each text is accompanied by an English translation. The Semitic Inscriptions: Analyzed Texts and English Translations would be extremely expensive to assemble in print form - and now Lexham Press brings them to you in a morphologically-tagged electronic edition!

Resources in This Collection

  • The Hebrew and Canaanite Inscriptions
  • The Hebrew and Canaanite Inscriptions in English Translation
  • Glossary to the Hebrew and Canaanite Inscriptions
  • Glossary of the Morphological Terms in the Hebrew and Canaanite Inscriptions
  • The Aramaic Inscriptions
  • The Aramaic Inscriptions in English Translation
  • Glossary to the Aramaic Inscriptions
  • Glossary of the Morphological Terms in the Aramaic Inscriptions

The Canaanite languages represented in this collection include Byblian-Phoenician, Standard and Mixed dialect Phoenician, Ammonite, Moabite, Ekronite (Philistine), and Edomite. The Hebrew and Canaanite database was prepared by Dr. Michael S. Heiser, Academic Editor at Logos.

Aramaic is a Northwest Semitic language, the same language family as Hebrew and the Canaanite dialects (e.g., Phoenician, Moabite). The database of Aramaic inscriptions was prepared by H.H. Hardy, II and Charles Otte, III, doctoral students in Northwest Semitic Philology at the University of Chicago.

Value of Inscriptions for Biblical Studies

The Hebrew inscriptions in this collection include the earliest written witnesses to the Hebrew language. Research in Hebrew and Canaanite inscriptions sheds light on the relationship of ancient Hebrew to other contemporary languages of Syria-Palestine. Data from epigraphic Hebrew explain uncommon spellings, morphological forms, and vocabulary in the Hebrew Bible, and may help establish the relative chronology of the composition and editing of the books of the Hebrew Bible. Hebrew and Canaanite inscriptions also provide extra-biblical insight into Israelite history, culture, and religion. For example, political figures and the affairs of state of people groups adjacent to Israel are revealed in inscriptional material.

Aramaic inscriptions have been found dating to the tenth century B.C. With the rise of the Assyrian empire, Aramaic became the universal language of trade and correspondence in the Ancient Near East, and thrived from around 600 B.C. into the Common Era. Research in the Aramaic inscriptions sheds light on the relationship of the Aramaic portions of the Old Testament to the Aramaic of various historical periods. Aramaic inscriptions such as the Tel Dan inscription (included in the database) have also provided extra-biblical witness to biblical figures and events.

Non-biblical manuscripts of a similar genre which are dependent upon or related to biblical materials may offer help in the interpretation of difficult passages, or may help to clear up grammatical, syntactic, or lexicographical problems through the use of the same or related terms in different contexts. The possibilities are practically unlimited, so that the discovery of inscribed texts almost always results in some positive gain in the interpretation of biblical passages. That is why the search for inscriptions remains the principle objective of biblical archaeologists. And the relative paucity of written materials turned up in Palestine has only increased the avidity of excavators. Practically every Hebrew inscription found, however brief, has contributed in some measure to the elucidation of the Bible. Needless to say, the reverse is also true, and in greater measure.
 -Friedman, David Noel, "The Biblical Languages", The Bible In Modern Scholarship. ed. J. Philip Hyatt. Abingdon Press, Nashville: 1965. p 299.

Benefits of the Logos Bible Software Edition

The Logos edition of Hebrew, Canaanite, and Aramaic Inscriptions are the first databases for these inscriptions for the PC platform. Features include:

  • Morphological tagging for each word in each dialect
  • Geographic notation for each Aramaic inscription in the database
  • Fresh English translations for each inscription in the database
  • Bibliographic data for each inscription in the database
  • Proper nouns nuanced by deity name, geographic name, personal name, gentilic
  • Variant readings based on comparisons with the major print resources (Hebrew inscriptions only) such as Davies, Ancient Hebrew Inscriptions, Gogel, Grammar of Epigraphic Hebrew, Gibson, Textbook of Syrian Semitic Inscriptions (vols. I, III), and F.W. Dobbs-Allsopp, et.al., Hebrew Inscriptions

Coverage

Along with the famous Tel Dan inscription, the database includes dozens of other inscriptions. Among these are the Deir ‘Alla texts (mixed Aramaic and Canaanite); the inscriptions of Zakir, Hadad, Sefire, Panammu, and Barrakkab /Zenjirli.

The Logos database for Hebrew and Canaanite inscriptions also includes all the major inscriptions in each dialect in terms of length and scholarly importance, as well as many shorter inscriptions. All the Hebrew epigraphs included in Gogel’s Grammar of Epigraphic Hebrew are included, with the exception of seal inscriptions. Examples include the Gezer Calendar; the Siloam Inscription; the inscriptions from Arad, Lachish, Khirbet el-Qôm, and Kuntillet Ajrud. Inscriptions in the Canaaite dialects include the Mesha Stela (Moabite); the Amman Citadel and Tel Siran bottle inscriptions (Ammonite); and Kilamuwa, Karatepe, Tabnit, Ahiram, Eshmunazar (Phoenician).

Praise for the Print Edition

Wow! Logos has done it again. Not only is Logos producing scores of resources in electronic format, with these data sets Logos is enabling students of the Bible and the ANE the chance to do morphological searches in primary material that relates to biblical studies. Thanks for a job well done, Logos.

—Dr. Michael A. Grisanti, The Master's Seminary

I'm pleased to learn that the databases for Canaanite inscriptions, Aramaic inscriptions, and DSS are nearing completion. Having these materials available in a tagged and searchable electronic edition will be a great help. I'm presently reading selections from inscriptional Hebrew with my doctoral class in historical Hebrew grammar. The students would have found the database for Hebrew inscriptions to be very useful if it had been available. Thanks for your work on this project!

—Dr. Richard A. Taylor, Director of Ph.D. Studies at Dallas Theological Seminary

Product Details

  • Title: Semitic Inscriptions: Analyzed Texts and English Translations
  • Authors: Dr. Michael S. Heiser, H. H. Hardy, and Charles Otte
  • Publisher: Lexham Press
  • Publication Date: 2008