Note: In "Brit-Am Now"-651
item #3. Phoenician Inscription on New Mexico Rock: History or hoax?
item #2. Vic Summerour: More On Hebrew Inscriptions in America
mention was made to articles discussing the discovery (or alleged discovery) of Ancient Hebraic inscriptions
in North America. Steve Collins sent us the following letter in answer to "Brit-Am Now" postings.
Brit-Am is not taking a stand on this issue one way or other.
The article below represents the personal opinion of Steven Collins on this issue and is presented for the general interest.
From: Steve Collins <email@example.com>
Subject: Re: "Brit-Am Now"-652
I'll offer some commentary on the ancient Hebrew inscriptions found at Los Lunas, New Mexico and the Ohio Decalogue tablet. I have been to the Los Lunas site and seen it and the area around it extensively with my own eyes in its natural setting and I have corresponded with the museum which has the original Decalogue tablet in Ohio. I have an exact replica of the Decalogue tablet by my computer as I write this email.
First allow me to offer some context to the discussions re: these artifacts. The scientific/educational establishment in America is dominated by evolutionists who always deny anything and everything which is supportive of the Bible. They are not merely minimalists, they are complete deniers re: biblical matters. The dogma that "Columbus discovered America" in 1492 is one of the evolutionists' main creeds because they need to believe that viewpoint in order to maintain their belief than mankind evolved from precocious sea slime gradually reached the point where they could venture across the Atlantic by 1492. They hate the Bible and suppress or malign evidence supporting it. No one should make the error of assuming the evolutionists who dominate American education and science are objective. Abundant evidence indicates that mankind was vastly more advanced in 1000 BC than in 1000 AD. The Bible is especially disliked by evolutionists because it is what historians, epigraphers and archaeologists call a "diffusionist" book from ancient times (i.e. biblical accounts attest to transoceanic voyages across continents whereby mankind "diffused" knowledge and contacts throughout the globe). The Bible asserts Solomon's fleets embarked on voyages which lasted three years before they returned to Israel with wildlife from other continents (I Kings 10:22). Solomon's navy was privy to all the navigational knowledge which the globe-trotting Phoenicians of Tyre and Sidon possessed (I Kings 9:27, II Chronicles 8:17-18). I Kings 9:27 records that King Hiram's sailors and Solomon's sailors jointly crewed the ships of the Phoenician/Israelite fleets so there was nothing the Phoenician mariners knew which wasn't also known to the Israelite mariners.
The presence of Phoenician/Hebrew inscriptions in North America and all over the globe is evidence that Solomon's fleets literally explored the globe during his reign. There are many more Hebrew inscriptions in North America than the Los Lunas and Decalogue artifacts. Another one was the Bat Creek stone, a Hebrew inscription from the American Southeast, which the establishment declared to be a forgery until it was realized they were trying to read it upside down. Dr. Cyrus Gordon, one of the most esteemed American archaeologists and epigraphers, declared the Bat Creek stone to be a valid ancient Hebrew inscription (see his book, Before Columbus, pp. 175-187). Dr. Gordon's books also shows photographs of ancient Jewish coins dug up in ancient North American sites. There is no question that ancient Hebrew-speaking Israelites were present in ancient North America. Indeed, Dr. Gordon denounces with some vehemence those who deny that other civilizations were not present in North America long before Columbus (p. 187).
The Los Lunas inscription is not alone. There are other Hebrew inscriptions in that area and extending for many miles from that inscription. I personally was escorted to the site by the President of the New Mexico Epigraphic Society (who speaks Hebrew himself), he showed me a number of the Hebrew inscriptions and the location of some of these is not publicized because vandals and deniers will want to erase and vandalize them. Some of these ancient Hebrew inscriptions are reproduced on pages 219-222 of my book, The Origins and Empire of Ancient Israel. The location of the Los Lunas site is instructive. It is located next to a very large, dried-up ancient river course that is remarkably deep. The strata at the river bed shows dark layers where the Los Lunas region was sometimes well-watered and habitable. When the large river course was full, one could have sailed a large ship from Los Lunas to the Rio Grande River to the Gulf of Mexico and then to the Atlantic Ocean and eventually, to Israel itself. One of the Hebrew inscriptions in the region, according to my escort, translates as "tribe of Asher." Under Solomon, the fleets of Israel scoured the earth for raw materials to build the Temple and Solomon's other massive edifices. Other sources cited in my book point out the Phoenicians constructed special large ships simply to haul raw materials. It is known by mining engineers that the copper mines in the Lake Superior region were worked to exhaustion around 1000 BC, the time when King David was massing raw materials for the eventual Temple which Solomon would build. Engineering sources also confirm that the vast quantity of copper mined in the Lake Superior region was not used in ancient North America, so it was exported to some other continent by someone. David had the desire and the means to bring that copper to Israel via Phoenician fleets where he amassed copper-based brass materials for the temple "beyond measuring." The Israelites didn't mine all that copper in Israel. So we have a biblically confirmed record that the Israelites had a need to locate and import large amounts of copper and iron from all over the earth at the very time when copper mines in North America were worked to exhaustion.
The Los Lunas inscription is found in the ancient Paleo-Hebrew script that was used during the times of the kings of ancient Israel and Judah, which indicates that the inscription dates to that time. Solomon's fleets were sailing the world, and they could sail directly from Israel to Los Lunas! The Los Lunas inscription preserves an account of the Ten Commandments so it had to be done at a time when far-flung Israelites were obedient to God's laws. The only historical context where this fits the Bible is in Solomon's time. Even the sailors were proclaiming God's laws at that time. Those who try and deny the dating of this artifact to Solomon's time (a time appropriate for the script) would be hard pressed to find any basis for convincing anyone that someone in the American Southwest in recent centuries could skillfully inscribe a lengthy inscription in a Hebrew script not used for approximately 2500 years. One denier asserted the patinization of the inscription was insufficient to be as old as the script would indicate, but then it was learned that a boy scout troop was regularly cleaning the inscription with wire brushes which had destroyed all the ancient patinization (and the objections of the denier). There was also a bizarre effort to assert the inscription was a Greek-Hebrew composite language also found on supposed "Zak" stones in the area. In a court trial in New Mexico, there was a legal finding of fact that the "Greek-Hebrew" assertion was the fraudulent option. Indeed, the supposed Greek-Hebrew "translation" was based on reading the inscription in the wrong direction! This court trial also heard evidence that: "scholars of ancient Hebrew can read the text essentially at sight and it shows correct grammar in use of tenses, gender, number and pronominal affixes." This quote and an account of the trial attesting to the genuineness of the ancient Hebrew artifact is found in an article on pp. 206-219 of The Epigraphic Society Occasional Publications, Vol. 17, 1988. I offer to send a copy of this article to you if you would like it. I am convinced the artifact is genuine.
It is also worth noting that one can see Indian clan signs in the vicinity of the Los Lunas Hebrew inscriptions. Before Europeans ruled this region, Indians for some reason selected this very site to be a special place for their clan signs to be placed. This argues that they saw the ancient inscriptions in that area and, judging the place to be a sacred site from some ancient time, decided to place their clan signs in the same location.
The Decalogue tablet found in Ohio cannot date to Solomon's time. It is inscribed in the square Hebrew style which did not come into use until after the fall of Israel's and Judah's kingdoms. It is a portable inscribed tablet with a handle which would accommodate a carrying strap. Interestingly, it had an image of Moses on it. It fits comfortably in one's hand. It was found when a grave mound was excavated in 1860 so it had been buried for a very long time. It was not possible for it to be a recently-made forgery, and it was found with other Semitic inscriptions in the burial mound. It may be that a Phoenician/Israelite mining colony survived in ancient North America after the fall of Israel and was sustained via Phoenician ships afterward for a time. It may have been erected by Jews fleeing in Maccabean times who joined the colony in North America because they knew where it was located. Dr. Gordon's documentation that ancient Jewish coins dating to the 2nd century AD were found in America not too far from the burial mound where the Decalogue tablet was found indicates that Hebrew-speaking colonists or refugees periodically fled to the New World at various times in ancient history. What is clear from the Decalogue tablet is that it dates to many centuries before Columbus. It had been in the burial mound for many centuries before Columbus ever came to America. Photos of the Decalogue tablet appear in my book, The Origin and Empire of Ancient Israel, and commentary about the Semitic inscriptions also found in the burial mound are found on pp. 34-39 of my book, Israel's Lost Empires. Any of my books may be purchased at the publisher's website:
A published article I wrote years ago refuting the minimalists' dim viewpoints of the sailing abilities of the ancient Hebrews can be found at: www.israelite.info
I hope these comments are useful to you and the Britam list.
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