Monday, February 16, 2009

Greek Inscription from 178 BCE at Maresha

More pieces of the Greek Heliodorus inscription from 178 BCE have been uncovered.

While this is not primarily concerned with textual criticism it does provide an important piece of historical and linguistic data relevant to the background of the scriptures.

The text shows an official Greek monumental text from just before the outbreak of the Maccabean revolt and these pieces apparently anchor the original location of the Heliodorus inscription to Maresha. I have not yet seen them myself but look forward to the opportunity.

Incidentally, the write-up in Ha-Aretz confuses things by calling Selevqos the father of Antiochus-4 instead of the brother. But a mistake in the modern press does not detract from the importance of this find. In the same vein, the remarks of those bloggers who discuss this news article as if it were a political invention or who criticize Ha-Aretz for publishing it, should be ashamed or just admit that they hate Jews. Musa and Mahmoud can write in Hebrew. I suppose I shouldn't have looked for any helpful comments on a newpaper webpage.

Yes, the Maccabees were historical figures, and they tie in ever so marginally within the short-canon of the Christian scriptures through John 10:22.


  1. The English version of the Haaretz article is available here.

  2. Too bad it wasn't a Greek inscription from 178 B.C. at Maresha.