Biblical Archaeology Review 23:2, March/April 1997
Defusing Pseudo-Scholarship

The Siloam Inscription Ain’t Hasmonean

The cover story in a recent issue of Biblical Archaeologist, published by the American Schools of Oriental Research, the leading American scholarly society of Biblical archaeologists, makes the startling suggestion that the famous Siloam Inscription, once thought to mark the completion of King Hezekiah’s eighth-century B.C.E. tunnel in Jerusalem, was in fact carved in the second century B.C.E.

Because of the importance of this disclosure—if correct, it calls into question the date of the tunnel itself, because the inscription was carved in the tunnel wall to commemorate the tunnel’s completion—we checked with several experts in ancient inscriptions to determine whether the arguments presented in the article were sound. What we learned was equally startling: The authors’ arguments were, as one scholar told us, “off the wall.”

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