A Hebrew tablet found in Israel could prove the Bible is much older than initially believed.
The tablet contains the words of an ancient Hebrew curse, and pre-dates the Dead Sea scrolls.
Headed up by Dr Scott Stripling - director of the Archaeological Studies Institute at The Bible Seminary in Katy - the team discovered the small, folded tablet on Mount Ebal.
The tablet reads: "Cursed, cursed, cursed - cursed by the God Yahweh. You will die cursed. Cursed you will surely die. Cursed by Yahweh - cursed, cursed, cursed."
It's believed the message was inscribed in 1,500 BC, making it 200 years older than any other Hebrew text in existence, and 1,350 years older than the Dead Sea scrolls.
The discovery is being seen as a blow for those who attempt to disprove the Bible, by suggesting Hebrew scribes would have been unable to write the Bible at such an early date.
Archaeologists and historians working on the tablets believe the inscription was written by a theologian or elder.
Dr Stripling said: "We now have the name 'Yahweh', the biblical God of Israel, in an inscription dating from (Late Bronze Era II), which is earlier than many skeptics would argue that the Bible existed or that there was even the ability to write down a sacred text."
In the books of Deuteronomy and Joshua, Mount Ebal is known as "the mountain of curse."
"One can no longer argue with a straight face that the biblical text was not written until the Persian period or the Hellenistic period as many higher critics have done, when here we do clearly have the ability to write the entire text at a much, much earlier date," he continued.
An academic article on the find is due to be published later this year.