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Ancient Tablet Ignites Debate on Messiah and Resurrection


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Interesting!

JERUSALEM — A three-foot-tall tablet with 87 lines of Hebrew that scholars believe dates from the decades just before the birth of Jesus is causing a quiet stir in biblical and archaeological circles, especially because it may speak of a messiah who will rise from the dead after three days.

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/07/06/world/middleeast/06stone.html?pagewanted=all

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I would be careful with this article. I don't see anything here that is of a positive nature. This type of article could cause doubts in the minds of some who are not steady.

I think your right David...

"A three-foot-tall tablet with 87 lines of Hebrew found near the Dead Sea in Jordan that scholars believe dates from the decades just before the birth of Jesus is raising eyebrows in biblical and archaeological circles, especially because it is believed to speak of a messiah called Simon who will rise from the dead after three days, suggesting that the story of Christ's death and resurrection was not unique but part of a recognized Jewish tradition at the time. "

I think someone is having a laugh :clown:..

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I'm not sure about the rising from the dead in 3 days part. I do know they were looking for a messiah during that time period, though. It's understandable that they may indeed find evidence to support the fact that Christ was expected about the time he showed up.

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I would be careful with this article. I don't see anything here that is of a positive nature. This type of article could cause doubts in the minds of some who are not steady.

I think your right David...

"A three-foot-tall tablet with 87 lines of Hebrew found near the Dead Sea in Jordan that scholars believe dates from the decades just before the birth of Jesus is raising eyebrows in biblical and archaeological circles, especially because it is believed to speak of a messiah called Simon who will rise from the dead after three days, suggesting that the story of Christ's death and resurrection was not unique but part of a recognized Jewish tradition at the time. "

I think someone is having a laugh :clown:..

He suggested later that it may not be a man named Simon. For a quote:

Regarding Mr. Knohl’s thesis, Mr. Bar-Asher is also respectful but cautious. “There is one problem,” he said. “In crucial places of the text there is lack of text. I understand Knohl’s tendency to find there keys to the pre-Christian period, but in two to three crucial lines of text there are a lot of missing words.”

Mr. Knohl said that it was less important whether Simon was the messiah of the stone than the fact that it strongly suggested that a savior who died and rose after three days was an established concept at the time of Jesus. He notes that in the Gospels, Jesus makes numerous predictions of his suffering and New Testament scholars say such predictions must have been written in by later followers because there was no such idea present in his day.

Well it turns out there may have been such an idea present. They were looking for the Messiah and they had the sign of Jonah - maybe some put it together ahead of time? I find it interestnig, but nothing that changes our beleifs in any way. In fact, maybe supports it.

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I understand what your highlighting Jerry. My point was that this type of article feeds arguments. I Tim 1:4 applies in this instance in my opinion. It seems to me the articles intent is to create issues for argument. Not reality truth seeking as the statements suggest they twist what they find to prove or disprove their theories.

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I understand what your highlighting Jerry. My point was that this type of article feeds arguments. I Tim 1:4 applies in this instance in my opinion. It seems to me the articles intent is to create issues for argument. Not reality truth seeking as the statements suggest they twist what they find to prove or disprove their theories.

That they do. The whole 607 bce issue is a good example of that!

It is always good to read these things with a critical eye. Always remember that the Bible is the Word of God and everything is is the word of Men. Who do you trust? And then go from there.

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I understand what your highlighting Jerry. My point was that this type of article feeds arguments. I Tim 1:4 applies in this instance in my opinion. It seems to me the articles intent is to create issues for argument. Not reality truth seeking as the statements suggest they twist what they find to prove or disprove their theories.

That they do. The whole 607 bce issue is a good example of that!

It is always good to read these things with a critical eye. Always remember that the Bible is the Word of God and everything is is the word of Men. Who do you trust? And then go from there.

Yes I agree we have Gods word and fully know what really happened. As in the Bear thorough Witness book, it seems anything is likely when it comes to the Pharisees and Co.

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Again here we have a suspicious big piece of stone with dodgy provenance. Swiss collector Dr David Jeselsohn bought it off a Jordanian Antiquity dealer who 'said' that it was found in the Dead Sea area?! Then a Mr Knohl, who has for years written papers trying to prove that the Messiah, all 'Christians' follow was nothing more than another of the generations of Zealots living and dying throughout the Roman/Herodian period sets about publicising His interpretation of it. Here he has a stone unusually written on in ink that has blurred and faded. He takes the sketchy translations of the known letters of the 87 blurred lines, fills in the gaps as he sees fit - to match with his already formed theories and publishes the results and those that like his interpretation publicise it.

True scholars are more sceptical and also say that C14 dating shows the stone pre-dates the Herodian period, so can't be about the Simon Knohl refers to and others meekly say that as the thing is so blurred they will not argue with him as you could interpret blurs any way you like and there's not enough there to say he is definitely wrong either.

So the analogy could be as if any of us produced a blurred document and apostates published an interpretation to say we deny our faith and it's tenets and no one should argue because that might have been what we said as no one can properly read it now!!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gabriel%27s_Revelation

Dr. Victor Sasson reads as much of the stone as can be read and writes his own translation on the site below and of Knohl says: "Knohl simply cannot hang his major thesis of a resurrected Jewish messiah or of a messianic tale on letters whose ink has faded, and on a couple of other self-concocted restorations.One does not ‘restore’ a focal point, fundamental to one’s major thesis, on the basis of a letter or two, and then claim he has found supporting evidence. A professional epigrapher – and Knohl is not such one – would not engage in such self-deception. In other words, one cannot say there is a resurrected messiah in this text and then proceed to plant evidence in support of that conclusion."

http://victorsasson.blogspot.com/2009/09/vision-of-gabriel-and-messiah-in.html

The Simon so-called Messiah that Knohl refers to is in Josephus Wars of the Jews Book 2 Chapter 4 No. 2 A servant of Herod who fancies himself as a leader, gathers some 'good for nothing' robber bandits and burns and loots some Palaces in the Jericho area and gets killed by one of Herod's army. Josephus does not credit him with anything good and follows by telling us of another Anthrongeus - shepherd who did similar and came to nothing too. Hardly Messianic, just rabble.

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Helen has it right. While stories like this are designed to catch our attention and seem positive for the believer at first, it's actually part of the deceptive propaganda machine intended to create doubt in Jesus Christ. You have to look at the underlying agenda here. If these 'New Atheists' types can prove that the features of Jesus' life, as reported in the Gospels, are really just recycled Messiah 'myths' that were common in the ancient world, which is what they contend, it does much to support their overall assertion that Christianity is a fraud from its very beginning.

If you've heard of the Bill Maher documentary that attacks religion, he excelled in this type of bogus innuendo and misrepresentation. Basically, he goes up to professing Christians and asks them why they believe in Jesus seeing as how it is 'known' that the ancient Mediterranean world was full of many similar 'messiahs'. He then goes through a list of supposed parallels between pagan 'messiahs' that you've never heard of and Jesus Christ. Caught off guard and not knowing anything about these pagan deities he's talking about, the religious people are made to look (to put it nicely) quite ignorant. It's all an elaborate deception built upon faulty premises.

What really happens is certain people set out with the purpose of finding these 'parallels' in pre-Christian history whether they're actually there or not. For example, it's often stated, without any sources, that a certain ancient Egyptian 'messiah' that pre-dated Jesus (Horus if I remember correctly) had exactly 12 disciples, you know...just like Jesus. They want you to think that the Gospel writers borrowed this from the Egyptian myth. I managed to track down, with great difficulty, the source for this 'fact', which was an ancient inscription. I read through the translation of it, and while at one point Horus had 12 attendants, elsewhere he was with 8 other attendants, then he was with 9 others, and in still other places he was with various numbers of other attendants. The point is, he didn't have 12 disciples, they just lifted that number out of context for the purpose of matching the Gospel accounts. In other words, they read Jesus into the Egyptian myth.

The same thing is being done with the tablet in the article. They need it to sound like the Gospel accounts, while at the same time pre-dating them, in order to help their cause; so they find ways to interpret it to mean that. This is nothing new by the way, it's been going on for centuries. This book is a 19th-century satire intending to demonstrate the ridiculous tactics employed by some even then to create doubt in Jesus Christ, by 'doubting' the real existence of Napoleon Bonaparte and his exploits. It's actually quite funny when understood in this light.

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Great comments here by everyone! Sister Helen and Brother Tom, thank you for your thoughtful and insightful replies.

What I found remarkable was that this stone appears to be saying by one named Gabriel that this son of Joseph would die and then live again in three days, and that he would not die for himself, but for the sins of Israel. - Showing that the Messianic Judaic beliefs of the New Covenant concerning the need for Messiah to die and be raised from the dead for the attonement of mankind's sins (as in Is.53) were NOT foreign concepts to early Biblical Judaic beliefs of Messiah's coming, as some had earlier incorrectly stated they were. -(URL on story in BAR in text with photo):

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