Sunday, July 06, 2008

Hebrew tablet suggests tradition of resurrected messiah predates Jesus...

(Hat-tip to HotAir)

"A 3-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.

"If such a messianic description really is there, it will contribute to a developing re-evaluation of both popular and scholarly views of Jesus, because it suggests that the story of his death and resurrection was not unique but part of a recognized Jewish tradition at the time.

"The tablet, probably found near the Dead Sea in Jordan according to some scholars who have studied it, is a rare example of a stone with ink writings from that era - in essence, a Dead Sea Scroll on stone."

Read the entire news story from the International Herald Tribune here.

UPDATE: Lest anyone be confused, I took the above story from the viewpoint similar to the following commentators - Mary Rose Rybak over at First Things who says:

"So, Knohl says this tablet is novel in that it mentions a suffering messiah. But didn’t Chapter 53 of Isaiah already mention that?"

and Domenico Bettinelli at BettNet who says:

"From what I can understand from the article, as an admitted layman and non-expert on this topic, this is supposed to show that three-day resurrection was not a concept unique to Christianity but has its roots in Judaism. That may shake some Christians, but Catholics have been saying for quite some time that the Jewish faith is the root of Christian belief...

"The tablet, as they describe it, does not change the meaning of the Last Supper one whit because we know that Christ came for the redemption of all. What does Israel—as firstborn of the covenant—and all humanity need redemption from if not from sin?"


Museum Ethics Controversy said...

I would submit that this "ancient tablet" is probably another sensationalist scam, as is clearly indicated by the facts

(1) that no specific information is available on its provenance and

(2) that no details are provided on carbon dating of the ink.

As such, this "news" brings to mind the faked Lost-Tomb-of-Jesus "documentary" designed to make a profit off of people's fascination with the "real" Jesus, as well as the larger scandal of the biased and misleading way the Dead Sea scrolls are being presented in museum exhibits around the world, with an antisemitic nuance emerging on a government-run North Carolina museum's website. See, e.g.,


Trubador said...

I've updated the post to help clarify things.