A new study using computer-aided handwriting analysis suggests that literacy rates may have been higher in the ancient Kingdom of Judah than previously thought. The story’s pretty fascinating, and you can read more about it at these links (thanks to SPG and Graham for sending these my way):
One of the things that always interests me with these kinds of articles is how wide the gulf is that separates the views of modern scholarship from those of your average fundamentalist congregation. Most of the Christians that live in my area still believe that Moses wrote Genesis through Deuteronomy, Joshua wrote Joshua, Samuel wrote Judges and 1 and 2 Samuel, etc. Most of them are completely unaware that the majority of scholars have a radically different view. On the other hand, while scholars are certainly aware of the traditional view of the Bible’s composition, they’re so far beyond it that they don’t even reference it in these kinds of articles. It’s like they’re living in two different dimensions. I’m one of those who’s crossed from one to the other, and it’s almost disorienting to think back on how I used to view the world.