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10-2-12 ABR image of stone

Was An Archaeological Forgery Mistakenly Portrayed As Authentic?

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by Gordon Franz MA

EXCERPT During the summer of 2007, Bob Cornuke was a keynote speaker at Promise Keepers events. In one of his presentation he announced the discovery of a stone object that had an inscription that he claimed was translated “Yahweh,” the name of the God of the Israelites.

According to Cornuke, the inscribed stone was found at Jebel al-Lawz in Saudi Arabia, the site he favors as Mount Sinai, and was given to the governor of Mecca. According to another source, the inscribed stone was found in Tabuk by Bedouin tribesmen and given to the governor of Mecca (Jones 2010:17, 109, 146-148). Tabuk is 130 kilometers (80 miles) to the south-east of Jebel al-Lawz. The discrepancy concerning the provenance of the object has not been resolved between these two accounts.

Further, a leading Semitic inscriptions scholar, Dr. Michael Macdonald of Oxford, declared, “I am almost certain that the sculpture is a fake.” He has observed that a forger copied the alleged “Yahweh” artifact inscription from the Ancient South Arabian alphabet, mistaking the wrong “h” in “Yahweh” (wrongly using h-dot) so that there is no way the letters could be read as the name “Yahweh.” Macdonald said it was typical of the “very crude carvings … appearing on the market nowadays” that “bear no relation to the types of ancient Arabian sculptures found in scientific archaeological excavations.”

After consulting another Semitic language expert as well as an archaeologist working for the Saudi government about this inscription, I agree with these and other experts, that Cornuke’s “Moses Stone” is a modern-day forgery made in southern Saudi Arabia or Yemen. For scholarly details, see: Yahweh Inscription Discovered at Mount Sinai!

Further Developments

After the above article was posted online, I was informed by Dr. Michael Macdonald [October 24, 2009], that he had corresponded with several associates of Mr. Cornuke about this inscription. The dates for the exchange of their correspondence are very important because they were about five months before the Promise Keepers events. Dr. Macdonald was sent pictures of this stone object with the inscription, labeled as CIMG 1942 and CIMG 1943, at the beginning of February 2007….

Continue Reading on www.biblearchaeology.org

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