No Good Reason for Doubt |

TBC Staff

From this time downward there is no good reason for doubting that the Biblical narrative is derived from written sources based on contemporaneous documents. For, first, Abraham came out of that part of Babylonia in which writing had been in use for hundreds of years; and he lived during the time of Hammurabi, from whose reign we have scores of letters, contracts, and other records, of which by far the most important is the so-called code of laws which bears his name.

Besides, writing had been in existence in Egypt already for two thousand years or more, so that we can well believe that the family of Abraham, traveling from Babylonia to Egypt and at last settling in Palestine, in between these two great literary peoples, had also formed the habit of conducting business and keeping records in writing.

Abraham would naturally use the cuneiform system of writing,since this is known to have existed in Western Asia long before the time of Hammurapi, and the Amarna letters show clearly that Hebrew was sometimes written in that script. But not only do we know that there was a script in which to write; we know, also, that the Hebrew language was used in Palestine before the time of Moses.

This is clear not merely from more than a hundred common words embedded in the Amarna letters but from the fact that the names of the places mentioned in them are largely Hebrew. In the geographical lists of the Egyptian king, Thothmes III, and of other kings of Egypt we find more than thirty good Hebrew words as the names of the cities of Palestine and Syria that they conquered. From these facts we conclude that books may have been written in Hebrew at that early period. Further, we see that the sons of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob may have been called by Hebrew names, as the Biblical record assures us.

—Robert Dick Wilson (February 4, 1856 – October 11, 1930. American linguist and Presbyterian scholar who devoted his life in proving the reliability of the Hebrew Bible. In his pursuit of establishing the accuracy of the original manuscripts, Wilson learned 45 languages. These included Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek, as well as all the languages into which the Scriptures had been translated up to 600 AD).