Hebrew or Not?: Reviewing the Linguistic Claims of Douglas Petrovich’s The World’s Oldest Alphabet

Petrovich’s three arguments for reading the early alphabetic inscriptions from Egypt and the Sinai as Hebrew fall short, and with them his evidence for the historicity of the Exodus and the Israelite sojourn in Egypt.

See Also: Wandering in the Desert?: A Review of Charles R. Krahmalkov’s “The Chief of Miners Mashe/Moshe, the Historical Moses”

By Aren M. Wilson-Wright
Postdoctoral Researcher
University of Zurich
July 2017

Click here for article.

Comments (3)

Dear Aren Wilson Wright,
Many thanks for your work in exposing this pseudo- scholarship. I regret that someone has to waste their time with this, but it is necessary.

Thomas L. Thompson
Professor emeritus, University of Copenhagen

#1 - Thomas L. Thompson - 07/07/2017 - 15:51

In a way Petrovich's theory seems like a mirror image of Freud's, which puts great weight on Moses' having an Egyptian name and proposes that Jewish monotheism was, at least in one strand, in and of Egypt. Here we have similar considerations being used to argue that Israel was in
Egypt but not of it - culturally separate.
Would it be reasonable to think that
there was always, even very anciently, some intercourse of people, commerce and ideas between Egypt and Palestine and that finding what may be traces of this intercourse would be no big
deal? Antiquarians of later times might have been aware of these traces and have constructed, with or without much evidence, their own theories and stories, such as 'the Israelites were the Hyksos', to explain
What we have now, what with the claims about Hebrew language and about the turquoise mine, which you have discussed here earlier, is he claim that the mists of time clear to show us an Israelite community engaged for a long time in rather specialised industry and commerce which required written records and which would have linked them into the Egyptian economy at a rather superior level to the peasant mass or primary workforce. This picture, true or not, has almost nothing in common with any picture derived from the Bible. Indeed it might, by suggesting that there was an educated Israelite group connected with Egyptian religion by names like 'belonging to Neith' bring us some way back to Freud after all.

#2 - Martin Hughes - 07/07/2017 - 17:15

Dr. Thompson,

What is the difference between "real" scholarship that is wrong and pseudo (false) scholarship that is wrong? Aren't they both wrong or is real scholarship always right? If "real" scholarship is wrong sometimes, does it become "false" scholarship also? Maybe this real scholar is wrong, and his scholarship is wrong, but it is still "real" scholarship.

Kenneth Greifer

#3 - Kenneth Greifer - 07/13/2017 - 11:38

Add new comment

This question is for testing whether or not you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.