ACOR Proudly Presents:
“An Invocation to Jesus in a Safaitic Inscription?”
An ACOR online lecture by Dr. Ahmad Al-Jallad (Ohio State University) on February 16, 2021
About the Lecture:
Safaitic inscriptions constitute the largest epigraphic corpus in Jordan. “Safaitic” refers to the northernmost branch of the South Semitic alphabet, a sister of the Ancient South Arabian script (musnad). The inscriptions, concentrated in the Syro-Jordanian Basalt Desert (the Ḥarrah), record the lifeways of the region’s inhabitants some 2,000 years ago. While the exact chronological limits of Safaitic are not known, scholars have assumed that the documentation ends around the 4th century CE, as there are no mentions of Christianity. This lecture will present a new inscription, discovered during the 2019 summer campaign of the Badia Epigraphic Surveys. It records an invocation to a new divinity, attested for the first time in Safaitic, that should likely be identified as Jesus. After the discussion of its reading and interpretation, Dr. Al-Jallad will explain the ramifications of this discovery on the history of Christianity in the region and the background of Quranic ʿysy.
We hope to see you again soon for future ACOR lectures!
Further reading (Ahmad Al-Jallad)
Online Corpus of the Inscriptions of Ancient North Arabia (OCIANA)
Digital Archive for the Study of Pre-Islamic Arabian Inscriptions (DASI)
Past ACOR content about the Black Desert
Badia Epigraphic Survey 2018–2019 field report. Archaeology in Jordan (ACOR, 2020).