Reconsidering the authenticity of the Berekhyahu bullae: A rejoinder

Pieter G. Van Der Veen, Robert Deutsch, Gabriel Barkay

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


In a recent article Goren and Arie (2014) concluded that the two unprovenanced bullae of Berekhyahu the Scribe "are modern creations, reflecting a se ries of technological misconceptions, anachronisms, and technological errors." Both bullae were impressed by the same seal and contain the Palaeo-Hebrew inscription: LBRKYHW BN NRYHW HSPR, i.e. "Belonging to Berekhyahu, Son of Neriyahu, the Scribe." Their use is confirmed by the imprints of material texture and cords on their reverse sides. Having previously studied the bullae, and having recently reexamined "Bulla 1" in particular, the current authors have come to the conclusion that the arguments presented by Goren and Arie do not stand up to scrutiny. Naturally, this does not prove the authenticity of these bullae. In addition they also respond to epigraphic questions raised by Rollston (2003; 2016) which they believe do not stand up to close scrutiny eit- her. What can be said is that the last word has not been spoken. Regardless of the fact that the bullae lack provenance, the very fact that they refer to a well-known biblical character (the scribe Baruch) necessitates a fair examination.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)99-136
Number of pages38
JournalAntiguo Oriente
StatePublished - 2016


  • Ancient Judah
  • Authenticity
  • Palaeography
  • Seals and sealing


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