Christopher Rollston – The Alleged Isaiah Seal Impression

(Photo Ouria Tadmor. Copyright Eilat Mazar)

Episode: We discuss the alleged Isaiah Bulla (clay seal impression) with one of the finest epigraphers in the field. The seal was found by the Temple Mount in 2009 by Eilat Mazar, and first announced in Biblical Archaeology Review last month (February, 2018). Matt L. and Dru J. discuss the find with Prof. Christopher Rollston, who urges caution when making bold claims about the seal’s link to the biblical prophet Isaiah. We also discuss our desire to make connections between archaeology and the bible, and for a material connection with the past.

Guest: Professor Rollston is Associate Professor of Northwest Semitic languages and literatures at George Washington University. Rollston works in more than a dozen ancient and modern languages, including various ancient Semitic languages (e.g., Hebrew, Phoenician, Aramaic, Palmyrene, Nabataean, Ammonite, Moabite, Edomite, Ugaritic, Akkadian), several ancient and modern Indo-European languages (e.g., Hellenistic Greek, Classical Latin; Modern German, French, Spanish, and Italian), as well as Sahidic Coptic. He is the author of Writing and Literacy in the World of Ancient Israel: Epigraphic Evidence from the Iron Age (Atlanta: Society of Biblical Literature, 2010). This volume was selected by the American Schools of Oriental Research (in November 2011) as the recipient of the prestigious “Frank Moore Cross Prize for Northwest Semitic Epigraphy,” a prize named for the late Harvard University Professor Frank Cross. He has also edited several volumes. Needless to say, he’s very accomplished in his field! (adapted from the GWU website).

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