Author Topic: 70 Ancient Metal Books Could be ‘Major Discovery of Christian History'  (Read 2258 times)

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Offline IronDioPriest

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HT: theblaze.com...

70 Ancient Metal Books Could be ‘Major Discovery of Christian History'

They’re small “books,” but they could be one of the biggest finds in Christian history.

70 tiny, lead tablets, bound with wire, were found in the last five years in Jordan, and some say they could offer key details of the early church, the final years of Jesus’s life, and may even be referenced in the book of Revelation. In fact, they could even predate the writings of St. Paul. The Daily Mail reports:[blockquote]Academics are divided as to their authenticity but say that if verified, they could prove as pivotal as the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls in 1947.

Lines of inquiry: The metal tablets could change our understanding of the Bible

On pages not much bigger than a credit card, are images, symbols and words that appear to refer to the Messiah and, possibly even, to the Crucifixion and Resurrection.

Adding to the intrigue, many of the books are sealed, prompting academics to speculate they are actually the lost collection of codices mentioned in the Bible’s Book Of Revelation.

The books were discovered five years ago in a cave in a remote part of Jordan to which Christian refugees are known to have fled after the fall of Jerusalem in 70AD. Important documents from the same period have previously been found there.

Initial metallurgical tests indicate that some of the books could date from the first century AD.[/blockquote]“It is a breathtaking thought that we have held these objects that might have been held by the early saints of the Church,” David Elkington, a British scholar of ancient religious history and archeology, told the Mail. He also believes that, if real, they could be “the major discovery of Christian history.”

Philip Davies, emeritus professor of biblical studies at Sheffield University, told the Mail he thinks the books are undoubtedly Christian artifacts, especially considering their depiction of Jerusalem.

“As soon as I saw that, I was dumbstruck,” he said. “That struck me as so obviously a Christian image. There is a cross in the foreground, and behind it is what has to be the tomb [of Jesus], a small building with an opening, and behind that the walls of the city.

“There are walls depicted on other pages of these books too and they almost certainly refer to Jerusalem. It is a Christian crucifixion taking place outside the city walls.”

He added: “The possibility of a Hebrew-Christian origin is certainly suggested by the imagery and, if so, these codices are likely to bring dramatic new light to our understanding of a very significant but so far little understood period of history.”

Another scholar believes the context for this discovery must include mention of the book of Revelation.

Dr. Margaret Barker, former president of the Society for Old Testament Study, told the Mail, ‘The Book of Revelation tells of a sealed book that was opened only by the Messiah. Other texts from the period tell of sealed books of wisdom and of a secret tradition passed on by Jesus to his closest disciples. That is the context for this discovery.”

Some, however, are more cautionary, especially considering the propensity for “finds” such as this one to produce fakes.

“The reported symbols inscribed in the items seem as/more readily to point to a Jewish origin” rather than a Christian one, writes New Testament scholar Larry Hurtado on his blog. “Philip Davies claims to have seen what he takes to be a representation of Jerusalem and a reference to crucifixion.  That might mean a Christian-produced item, but by no means necessarily.”

He also says the tiny tablets could point to a date of origin much later than the first century: “The items are miniature codices, of a size that suggests private usage, and, so far as I know, suggests a date much later than the first century (there seems to have been an upswing in the production of miniature codices from ca. 3rd century CE onward).”

“Until the items are competently read, we don’t even know what their contents are,” he cautions.

Confirming their authenticity, however, could be difficult: no one knows where the tiny books are for sure: [blockquote]Today, their whereabouts are also something of a mystery. After their discovery by a Jordanian Bedouin, the hoard was subsequently acquired by an Israeli Bedouin, who is said to have illegally smuggled them across the border into Israel, where they remain.

However, the Jordanian Government is now working at the highest levels to repatriate and safeguard the collection.[/blockquote]A British team, including Baker, is now aiding efforts to have the books returned to Jordan.

(Good luck)
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charlesoakwood

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First they should return Jordan to the Jews.


Offline Glock32

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Better get a hold of them before some damn imam has them destroyed.
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Offline rickl

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Quote
Adding to the intrigue, many of the books are sealed, prompting academics to speculate they are actually the lost collection of codices mentioned in the Bible’s Book Of Revelation.

Uh oh...

/are we sure breaking the seals is a good idea?
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How many is "many"?  Seven?
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Offline IronDioPriest

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Quote
Adding to the intrigue, many of the books are sealed, prompting academics to speculate they are actually the lost collection of codices mentioned in the Bible’s Book Of Revelation.

Uh oh...

/are we sure breaking the seals is a good idea?

!!!
"A strict observance of the written laws is doubtless one of the high duties of a good citizen, but it is not the highest. The laws of necessity, of self-preservation, of saving our country when in danger, are of higher obligation. To lose our country by a scrupulous adherence to written law, would be to lose the law itself, with life, liberty, property and all those who are enjoying them with us; thus absurdly sacrificing the end to the means."

- Thomas Jefferson

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Quote
Adding to the intrigue, many of the books are sealed, prompting academics to speculate they are actually the lost collection of codices mentioned in the Bible’s Book Of Revelation.

Uh oh...

/are we sure breaking the seals is a good idea?

Well we do know that their collector value is diminished if the original packaging is missing or damaged  ;D