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Hi Steve

To add to your article...some points from another one..

Is this the first ever portrait of Jesus? The incredible story of 70 ancient books hidden in a cave for nearly 2,000 years

"The image is eerily familiar: a bearded young man with flowing curly hair. After lying for nearly 2,000 years hidden in a cave in the Holy Land, the fine detail is difficult to determine. But in a certain light it is not difficult to interpret the marks around the figure’s brow as a crown of thorns.

The cave is less than 100 miles from Qumran, where the Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered, and around 60 miles from Masada, scene of the last stand and mass suicide of an extremist Zealot sect in the face of a Roman Army siege in 72AD – two years after the destruction of the Second Temple in Jerusalem.

A fruiting palm tree suggests the House of David and there are three or four shapes that appear to be horizontal lines intersected by short vertical lines from below. These are the T-shaped crosses believed to have been used in biblical times (the familiar crucifix shape is said to date from the 4th Century). The star shapes in a long line represent the House of Jesse – and then the pattern is repeated."

Many of the books are sealed on all sides with metal rings, suggesting they were not intended to be opened. This could be because they contained holy words which should never be read. For example, the early Jews fiercely protected the sacred name of God, which was only ever uttered by The High Priest in the Temple in Jerusalem at Yom Kippur.

The original pronunciation has been lost, but has been transcribed into Roman letters as YHWH – known as the Tetragrammaton – and is usually translated either as Yahweh or Jehovah. A sealed book containing sacred information was mentioned in the biblical Book of Revelations."

I obviously do not know...but images of Jesus...T-shaped crosses ???

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1372741/Hidden-cave-First-portrait-Jesus-1-70-ancient-books.html

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If this is a genuine collection of documents and not a forgery and is from the first century as they believe we may have to rethink what we believe about the form of the stauros:

"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.

Hopefully they can save these documents and determine for certain when they were created and if they are genuine - it will be interesting to see what comes of them.

I obviously do not know...but images of Jesus...T-shaped crosses ???

Tau shaped crosses aren't that unusual in early art, if you go and have a look at some of the early Renaissance paintings you will see him shown on T shaped crosses rather than the "Latin" cross used by Christendom today. I am not sure how he could have been executed on one since a sign was placed above him - perhaps on a pole or something if he was executed on one that is.

Also images of Jesus started very early - as early as the second century and possibly earlier - many of the earliest Christians weren't converted Jews and did not have the same beliefs about not making images, most could not read and books such as the Bible were very expensive. It was not unusual in the earliest days for a congregation to own nothing more than a couple of books of the New Testament or something like all the letters of Paul but no others. In that kind of atmosphere the likelihood of images of Jesus appearing very early is quite high. There seems to have been a period of transition between the mostly Jewish convert congregations and the mostly gentile congregations but by the end of the second century art was appearing depicting Jesus, it was an issue for Clement of Alexandria in the early third century (he was opposed). It is possible that even first century Christians may have made pictures of Jesus as illustrations and not religious images. Apart from this there hasn't been much found, most of the early Christian art is basically anchors, the Labarum, fish and apparently peacocks.

Time will tell of course.

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this is supposed to be the image of Jesus...it looks as if he had a big nose...

30905=1123-article-1372741-0B6C6F8900000 Discovery: The impression on this booklet cover shows what could be the earliest image of Christ a readers comment... I've seen more convincing images on a slice ot toast. - richard, worcester u.k., 3/4/2011 6:47

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this is supposed to be the image of Jesus...it looks as if he had a big nose...

30905=1123-article-1372741-0B6C6F8900000 Discovery: The impression on this booklet cover shows what could be the earliest image of Christ a readers comment... I've seen more convincing images on a slice ot toast. - richard' date=' worcester u.k., 3/4/2011 6:47[/quote'] You have to remember that these books are "not much bigger than a credit card" making an image in metal on something that small is no mean feat with the technology of the first or second century. Making it look good would also be very hard.

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They say that it is held together with wire ??? !!!

Yes, the books are all made out of metal, they look to me like sheets of iron or maybe bronze. If they are copper they will have been very expensive, 2000 years ago copper was one of the most valuable metals around.

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So, let me make sure I understand. They were found 5 years ago, but this is a new find? They don't actually have them anymore as someone smuggled them across the boarder. The person who "supposedly" has them says that they have been in his family for 100 years - but they were only found 5 years ago? And that he is not looking to profit from them - RIGHT!

This just seems a little weird.

Plan ahead as if Armageddon will not come in your lifetime, but lead your life as if it will come tomorrow (w 2004 Dec. 1 page 29)

 

 

 

 

Soon .....

 

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So, let me make sure I understand. They were found 5 years ago, but this is a new find? They don't actually have them anymore as someone smuggled them across the boarder. The person who "supposedly" has them says that they have been in his family for 100 years - but they were only found 5 years ago? And that he is not looking to profit from them - RIGHT!

This just seems a little weird.

:lol1:

You can't walk with God while holding hands with the Devil.

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So, let me make sure I understand. They were found 5 years ago, but this is a new find? They don't actually have them anymore as someone smuggled them across the boarder. The person who "supposedly" has them says that they have been in his family for 100 years - but they were only found 5 years ago? And that he is not looking to profit from them - RIGHT!

This just seems a little weird.

I think there is some confusion in the way the article is written - they are claiming the books were found by a Bedouin 5 years ago, but the man who currently owns the books claims they have actually been in his family for a century. It could be that he is making up a story to get around Israeli laws that pretty much declare anything that is found without a "proper" archaeological dig a forgery. If it was found a century ago then it is safe from their rules because there was no real "archaeology" back then, the science was still in its infancy and what we now call looting was the normal way of doing things and almost no one recorded where things were found to the degree archaeologists do today.

Of course it is possible that he is simply spinning a line to make a set of forgeries look legitimate, creating "back story" for them. But then it is also possible that the Jordanians are making up a line that the books were found by a Bedouin only five years ago so that they can claim them and take them back to Jordan. It's not a bad thing at the moment, but with traditional Islam and Islamists on the rise again it is possible that they could be destroyed for being pre-Islamic "superstition". No matter what they say, Muslims don't think Christians have any truth, they believe that we have corrupted the "true" message of such as Jesus who they claim were actually Muslim prophets and discoveries that prove early Christianity was the way the Bible said it was disprove their claims and is a threat to their religion.

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The good news is - 2 Timothy 3:16 - Everything we need we already have. And this is supported by a Faithful and Discreet Slave who ensure we continue to get ALL the spiritual food we need.

This other "stuff" is just that "stuff".

One more comment from the article -

Unlike the Dead Sea Scrolls, the lead codices appear to consist of stylised pictures, rather than text, with a relatively small amount of script that appears to be in a Phoenician language, although the exact dialect is yet to be identified

In the first decades after the Christ's death they were using Greek or Hebrew (see the book of John or Acts). Knowing that these are in Phoenicians makes them even less likely to have any connection to true leaders of Christianity.

Plan ahead as if Armageddon will not come in your lifetime, but lead your life as if it will come tomorrow (w 2004 Dec. 1 page 29)

 

 

 

 

Soon .....

 

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The good news is - 2 Timothy 3:16 - Everything we need we already have. And this is supported by a Faithful and Discreet Slave who ensure we continue to get ALL the spiritual food we need.

This other "stuff" is just that "stuff".

Except that this may not just be "stuff", this may be early versions of the Bible - what we have today is not necessarily what was written, it has been filtered through several centuries of copyist errors, deliberate changes and dialectic changes. The text of these little books, if genuine, may give us a new piece of the puzzle of what the Apostles actually wrote as opposed to what came to be after all those things I mentioned above caused changes in the Bible. We literally do not have anything from earlier than perhaps 125 AD maybe a few years earlier in the case of just one single fragment consisting of a few dozen verses of the Bible. If this contains verses from the Bible and is genuine and is from the first century we will then have new evidence as to how those verses were written by the Apostles with minimal interference from later scribes.

One more comment from the article -

Unlike the Dead Sea Scrolls, the lead codices appear to consist of stylised pictures, rather than text, with a relatively small amount of script that appears to be in a Phoenician language, although the exact dialect is yet to be identified

In the first decades after the Christ's death they were using Greek or Hebrew (see the book of John or Acts). Knowing that these are in Phoenicians makes them even less likely to have any connection to true leaders of Christianity.

The language is rather irrelevant, just because the Bible was written in Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek it doesn't devalue these books if they are written in another tongue if it is a genuinely Christian and first century collection of documents - after all the Bible tells us that on Pentecost many people from other lands were gathered in the upper room and it is entirely possible that they were created for one of those people to take home with them.

It is rather interesting that these books were supposedly found in Jordan and the dialect is described as "Phoenician" by the author of the article - that language was only spoken by people in the coastal regions and islands of the Mediterranean. Finding something in that language in Jordan would be a spectacular find for other reasons than it being Christian. Especially since, I believe, that the Phoenician dialects were extinct in the east of the Mediterranean by the first century and only survived as the Punic dialect near Carthage. But then Phoenician is a Semitic language of the Canaanite subgroup whose closest relative is Hebrew. So this could just a rare dialect of Hebrew or Canaanite.

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The good news is - 2 Timothy 3:16 - Everything we need we already have. And this is supported by a Faithful and Discreet Slave who ensure we continue to get ALL the spiritual food we need.

This other "stuff" is just that "stuff".

Except that this may not just be "stuff", this may be early versions of the Bible - what we have today is not necessarily what was written, it has been filtered through several centuries of copyist errors, deliberate changes and dialectic changes. The text of these little books, if genuine, may give us a new piece of the puzzle of what the Apostles actually wrote as opposed to what came to be after all those things I mentioned above caused changes in the Bible.

The main point to realize is that none of this matters one bit---

We have the Holy Scriptures in the form that we have it at present because that is the way Jehovah want us to have it....

Any changes to that Holy book will come through His 'recognized arrangement'...not found in a cave somewhere....

These little books are a distraction to be ignored...they are nothing to be concerned about...

Focus people, focus--

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The main point to realize is that none of this matters one bit---

We have the Holy Scriptures in the form that we have it at present because that is the way Jehovah want us to have it....

Any changes to that Holy book will come through His 'recognized arrangement'...not found in a cave somewhere....

These little books are a distraction to be ignored...they are nothing to be concerned about...

Focus people, focus--

Thank you for drawing things back in.

Sometimes it is frightening to see how easily we can distracted and/or swayed.

Reminds me of Matthew 24:24, 25: "For false Christs and false prophets will arise and will give great signs and wonders so as to mislead, if possible, even the chosen ones. Look! I have forewarned you."

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The main point to realize is that none of this matters one bit---

We have the Holy Scriptures in the form that we have it at present because that is the way Jehovah want us to have it....

Any changes to that Holy book will come through His 'recognized arrangement'...not found in a cave somewhere....

These little books are a distraction to be ignored...they are nothing to be concerned about...

Focus people, focus--

I humbly beg to differ, what if these books were revealed now as part of God's plan? We cannot ignore such finds simply because we have the Bible as it is - otherwise we should reject all of the more modern versions including the one that we use as the basis of the NWT and which was created in the 1800s as an attempt in textual criticism that would reveal the Bible as it was written by the Apostles. God did not preserve a single version of the Bible, there are literally thousands of fragments and versions of the Bible all of them without exception containing differences both minor and major. None of these versions came through a "recognised arrangement" they came to us through Christendom and not the Society, the only thing about the Bible that comes to us through the Society is the translation of the Bible which we use and the interpretation, all else to do with the physical text of the Bible has been passed down through Christendom.

We cannot fall into the terrible error of treating the Bible as a talisman that is unchangeable and immutable - the Society has never done this and God does not do it. Likewise it is a mistake to see the brothers of the Governing Body as some kind of talisman as well. The Society has always used outside sources to back what they say as true and if these little books prove genuine early documents by early Christians it would be a tragic error to ignore them just because they have not been passed on to us by the Society. We do not know how information will come to us in the future, God has circumvented his people many times for many reasons even when they were quite faithful as the brothers are. We have seen things come up that did not come through the Society but have caused the Society to change their position when they were revealed and brothers asked questions about them - we see this in the case of Babylonian archaeology where a brother, Professor Rolf Furuli, researches the subject and helps the brothers understand it. He isn't a member of the Governing Body and as far as I know he is not anointed but is just an ordinary brother.

Naturally we shouldn't simply go chasing after every thing that comes up but we cannot afford to take the attitude that if it doesn't come through the Society it doesn't matter and must be ignored. This is a wonderful find and perhaps a great opportunity to shine greater light on early Christianity. If indeed they are genuine.

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Hmm, I will just say one thing : Jehovah and Jesus use the Slave to give us spiritual food.

So, if (and only if) the Slave tells us this little book is good for us, the Bible, and Jehovah's glory, OK !

For now, we do not know enough about it... we do not have any valuable information... so "wait and see".

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THE LATEST ON THE FAKE METAL CODICES

The UPI can be added to the media hall of shame of those who continue to be duped by the codices after they have been conclusively debunked: Jordan says artifacts stolen, smuggled.

Once again, the Examiner is on top of the story, evidently through reading blogs. Justin Fowler: Decoding the Codices, or Much Ado About Nothing.

Thomas Verenna has an excellent roundup of the latest on the story, including some new debunking details: New Roundup on Lead Codices and Additional Information (via James McGrath). Note the information on the revised Wikipedia page. Sadly, the media doesn't seem even to be using Wikipedia as a crib on this one.

Background here.

http://paleojudaica.blogspot.com/

:S

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Stuart, you said -

We do not know how information will come to us in the future, God has circumvented his people many times for many reasons even when they were quite faithful as the brothers are.

Can you give us an example?

It seems clear that Jesus intended for us to receive the spiritual food we need from his Faithful and Discreet Slave - Matt 24:45-47. And I cannot think of a single example where God "circumvented" his people. He always used his prophets to tell his message. What example were you thinking of?

As to the Bible - the Hebrew scriptures did not come to us through Christendom, but rather through the Jews - God's chosen people. From the "All Scriptures Inspired" bk -

Jewish tradition credits Ezra with beginning the compiling and cataloging of the canon of the Hebrew Scriptures, and it says that this was completed by Nehemiah. Ezra was certainly well equipped for such a work, being one of the inspired Bible writers himself as well as a priest, scholar, and official copyist of sacred writings. (Ezra 7:1-11) There is no reason to doubt the traditional view that the canon of the Hebrew Scriptures was fixed by the end of the fifth century B.C.E.

As to the Greek scriptures -

The Roman Catholic Church claims responsibility for the decision as to which books should be included in the Bible canon, and reference is made to the Council of Carthage (397 C.E.), where a catalog of books was formulated. The opposite is true, however, because the canon, including the list of books making up the Christian Greek Scriptures, was already settled by then, that is, not by the decree of any council, but by the direction of God’s holy spirit—the same spirit that inspired the writing of those books in the first place. The testimony of later noninspired catalogers is valuable only as an acknowledgment of the Bible canon, which God’s spirit had authorized.

The book the Davinci Code is fiction. The Bible canon / list of books that belong in the Bible was set long before the 4th century council.

One of the most interesting early catalogs is the fragment discovered by L. A. Muratori in the Ambrosian Library, Milan, Italy, and published by him in 1740. Though the beginning is missing, its reference to Luke as the third Gospel indicates that it first mentioned Matthew and Mark. The Muratorian Fragment, which is in Latin, dates to the latter part of the second century C.E.

So, the Bible canon for both the Hebrew and Greek scriptures comes to us from the Christian congregations in the first and second century - not Christendom.

As to -

what we have today is not necessarily what was written, it has been filtered through several centuries of copyist errors, deliberate changes and dialectic changes.

Again, Hebrew scriptures -

today, in various libraries of the world, there have been counted and cataloged perhaps 6,000 manuscripts of all or portions of the Hebrew Scriptures. Until recently there were no such manuscripts (except for a few fragments) older than the tenth century C.E. Then, in 1947, in the area of the Dead Sea, there was discovered a scroll of the book of Isaiah, and in subsequent years additional priceless scrolls of the Hebrew Scriptures came to light as caves in the Dead Sea area surrendered rich treasures of manuscripts that had been hidden for nearly 1,900 years. Experts have now dated some of these as having been copied in the last few centuries B.C.E. The comparative study of the approximately 6,000 manuscripts of the Hebrew Scriptures gives a sound basis for establishing the Hebrew text and reveals faithfulness in the transmission of the text.

So, thanks to the dead sea scrolls, we have proof that what we had before they were discovered was completely accurate, with only minor spelling changes on some names.

And the Greek -

A tremendous fund of manuscript copies of all 27 canonical books is available today. Some of these cover extensive portions of Scripture; others are mere fragments. According to one calculation, there are over 5,000 manuscripts in the original Greek. In addition, there are over 8,000 manuscripts in various other languages—a total exceeding 13,000 manuscripts all together. Dating from the 2nd century C.E. to the 16th century C.E., they all help in determining the true, original text. The oldest of these many manuscripts is the papyrus fragment of the Gospel of John in the John Rylands Library in Manchester, England, known by the number P52, which is dated to the first half of the second century, possibly about 125 C.E. Thus, this copy was written only a quarter of a century or so after the original. When we consider that for ascertaining the text of most classical authors, only a handful of manuscripts are available, and these are seldom within centuries of the original writings, we can appreciate what a wealth of evidence there is to assist in arriving at an authoritative text of the Christian Greek Scriptures.

F. J Hort makes the final sum-up -

F. J. A. Hort, who was coproducer of the Westcott and Hort text, writes: “The great bulk of the words of the New Testament stand out above all discriminative processes of criticism, because they are free from variation, and need only to be transcribed. . . . If comparative trivialities . . . are set aside, the words in our opinion still subject to doubt can hardly amount to more than a thousandth part of the whole New Testament.”

We can be confident that what we have today is completely accurate. We can thank Jehovah for using his Holy Spirit - the same Holy Spirit that He used to create the universe - to ensure that what we have is faithful and reliable!

Plan ahead as if Armageddon will not come in your lifetime, but lead your life as if it will come tomorrow (w 2004 Dec. 1 page 29)

 

 

 

 

Soon .....

 

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I agree, we get what we need at the proper time, no more and no less. It's just like eating a meal, if you eat it to fast you may get burnt or you may choke, so Jehovah gives us what and how much we need, when it's time. There is a reason for this, because we are like babes. A lot of us want the new systems to come now, but isn't it loving that Jah has the patience to wait on those ones who still need a little more time, but isn't that wonderful too, because the new system could have come before we all were able to take in the knowledge and where would we be. Patience my beloved, Patience!

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