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These two questions are the topics of this chapter and the next.More than a decade before the firestorm of controversy erupted on the pages of the Chronicle of Higher Education, a scholar penned these words in an article titled "The Historical David": The Bible is our only source of information about David. No archaeological discovery can be securely linked to him.But beyond the emotion and personal conflicts, the article also makes clear the two major questions that must be answered before a biography of David can begin: (1) Do sources outside of the Bible indicate that David really existed or give additional information about him?and (2) How may the Bible be used to reconstruct David's life?(This chronology was based on the posthumously published work of Yohanan Aharoni (Tel Aviv University) and Michael Avi-Yonah, in collaboration with Anson F.Rainey and Ze'ev Safrai and was published in 1993, before the discovery of the Tel Dan Stele.) Only portions of the inscription remain, but it has generated much excitement among those interested in biblical archaeology.
The following translation of the text is based on Naveh and Biran’s arrangement of fragments A and B: (1) [. A people known as the Arameans lived in the regions of Syria and Mesopotamia in antiquity.They were a large group of linguistically related peoples who spoke dialects of a West Semitic language known as Aramaic.539–332 BC, and eventually replaced many of the local languages of the area, including Hebrew.As a result, in New Testament times the main local language was Aramaic rather than Hebrew.
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There is a possible fit between fragment A and the assembled fragments B1/B2, but it is uncertain and disputed.