Thank you for printing my response to Wynette Barton’s June 21 column on my book, The Writing of God. She makes some serious mischaracterizations. Quoting Ms. Barton, “Miles Jones, who wrote a book about finding the original 10 Commandments. Not Kidding. The original copy.” I did not find the original, nor make any such claim. The Bible claims Mount Sinai is in Arabia (Galatians 4:25), not on Egypt’s Sinai peninsula. Inscriptions from the base of Mount Sinai (are) written in the oldest alphabet of letters known, dating to the 15th century BC, the Exodus date.
I translated these Hebrew inscriptions, which speak of events specified in the book of Exodus. There are footprints of Israelites captioned the “soles of our feet”. (Deuteronomy 11:24: “Every place where the soles of your feet shall tread shall be yours”) At Sinai, three inscriptions were found: “Died Hagar”, “Died Amiah daughter of Hagar” and “Died Amalek”. Exodus 17:8 says, “Then came Amalek and fought with Israel in Rephidim.” Amalekites were apparently raping and killing stragglers. Help arrived to kill “Amalek”, but not in time to save Hagar and her daughter. This story is just the tip of the iceberg regarding archaeological evidence found at Mount Sinai.
The “tablets” have been confused with the votive stone called the Yahweh or Moses Stone, which I also translated. There is little or no possibility of the Yahweh Stone being a fraud since it was given to Dr. Sung Hak Kim by a royal family prince from the Saudi Royal Collection. It does indeed show, as Barton said, “YHWH, the Hebrew designation for God to be incorrectly written.” It was written by a semi-literate pilgrim, found on a pilgrimage to Mount Sinai. Our pilgrim carved a face, apparently Yahweh or Moses, on one side and attempted to write the name YHWH in a circle. On the back he writes YH, which, all by itself is the name of God, YaH, used in the Hebrew Bible 49 times. He made a beginning writer’s mistake, failing to plan space well. He writes left to right on the back but later changes to writing WH right to left. He appeared to try writing in a circular pattern around the stone but got confused. Final letters of YHWH are on the other side. YHHW is not a Hebrew word. The only reason for a translator to champion a nonsense word on a votive stone is to deny the name of God, YHWH. The stone is at the History of Christianity Museum in Seoul, Korea.
BARTON COMMENTS: Dr. Jones’ point above is that Mt. Sinai, where the Commandments originated, is not on the Sinai Peninsula, as usually believed, but is in Arabia. No argument from me on that. Assuming an artifact is authentic because it came from an Arabian prince is another matter, but to each his own. W.B.