Facts Matter Language of the Earliest Alphabetic Inscriptions

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Aren M. Wilson-Wright



Although D. Petrovich’s recent book The World’s Oldest Alphabet: Hebrew as the Language of the Proto-Consonantal Script advances several claims about the origin of the alphabet and biblical history, its main arguments are linguistic. In particular, Petrovich identifies the language of the early alphabetic inscriptions as Hebrew as part of a larger argument for the historicity of the biblical Exodus tradition. In this review essay, I will summarize and critique Petrovich’s linguistic arguments. Along the way, I will consider two important questions in the classification of the Canaanite languages

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