DESCRIPTION


One of the enduring problems in biblical studies is how the Bible came to be written. Clearly, scribes were involved. But our knowledge of scribal training in ancient Israel is limited. William Schniedewind explores the unexpected cache of inscriptions discovered at a remote, Iron Age military post called Kuntillet ‘Ajrud to assess the question of how scribes might have been taught to write. Here, far from such urban centers as Jerusalem or Samaria, plaster walls and storage pithoi were littered with inscriptions. Apart from the sensational nature of some of the contents-perhaps suggesting Yahweh had a consort-these inscriptions also reflect actual writing practices among soldiers stationed near the frontier. What emerges is a very different picture of how writing might have been taught, as opposed to the standard view of scribal schools in the main population centers.