While the article by Dr. Cyrus H. Gordon in this issue is too technical for the average reader, its importance lies in the possibility that the suggested kinship of Minoan and Semitic languages may open up an era of Old Testament studies no less exciting than the New Testament inquiries prodded by the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls. Dr. Gordon presents an exposition and defense of his theory that the language of the script known as Minoan Linear A is Semitic. He is obviously impatient because many scholars regard the decipherment of this script as still in the tentative or speculative stage. T. C. Mitchell, research assistant in the Department of Western Asiatic Antiquities, The British Museum, notes that Gordon’s suggestion that Linear A was used to write Akkadian has not been widely accepted (cf. the essay on “Crete” in The New Bible Dictionary, J. D. Douglas, organizing editor). Paul MacKendrick of the University of Wisconsin, in his book The Greek Stones Speak (1962), discusses Furumark’s theory that the language of Linear A is “of Anatolian origin.” He mentions Gordon’s theory and says: “Both cannot be right so the question remains open, but another large find of Linear A tablets would probably settle the matter.”
CHRISTIANITY TODAY is not technically endowed to make a final appraisal of these issues. Its contributing editors skilled in linguistic matters are themselves divided. One of them says bluntly that this magazine is “not the place for the airing of unproved theories.” Professor Charles Pfeiffer of Gordon Divinity School remarks: “Many of us have found that we can understand our Bibles better if we know something of the history and literature of Egypt, Mesopotamia, Asia Minor, and Syria-Palestine (ancient ...1
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