Free Republic
Browse · Search
Religion
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

Jordan Battles to Regain 'Priceless' Christian Relics
BBC ^ | 3/29/11 | Robert Pigott

Posted on 03/29/2011 8:14:29 AM PDT by marshmallow

They could be the earliest Christian writing in existence, surviving almost 2,000 years in a Jordanian cave. They could, just possibly, change our understanding of how Jesus was crucified and resurrected, and how Christianity was born.

A group of 70 or so "books", each with between five and 15 lead leaves bound by lead rings, was apparently discovered in a remote arid valley in northern Jordan somewhere between 2005 and 2007.

A flash flood had exposed two niches inside the cave, one of them marked with a menorah or candlestick, the ancient Jewish religious symbol.

A Jordanian Bedouin opened these plugs, and what he found inside might constitute extremely rare relics of early Christianity.

That is certainly the view of the Jordanian government, which claims they were smuggled into Israel by another Bedouin.

The Israeli Bedouin who currently holds the books has denied smuggling them out of Jordan, and claims they have been in his family for 100 years.

Jordan says it will "exert all efforts at every level" to get the relics repatriated.

Incredible claims

The director of the Jordan's Department of Antiquities, Ziad al-Saad, says the books might have been made by followers of Jesus in the few decades immediately following his crucifixion.

"They will really match, and perhaps be more significant than, the Dead Sea Scrolls," says Mr Saad.

"Maybe it will lead to further interpretation and authenticity checks of the material, but the initial information is very encouraging, and it seems that we are looking at a very important and significant discovery, maybe the most important discovery in the history of archaeology."

(Excerpt) Read more at bbc.co.uk ...


TOPICS: Current Events; History
KEYWORDS: deadseascrolls; epigraphyandlanguage; godsgravesglyphs; jordan; lds; leadbook; leadtablets; otherchristian
Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first 1-2021-4041-6061-67 next last

1 posted on 03/29/2011 8:14:35 AM PDT by marshmallow
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: marshmallow

Astounding if true.


2 posted on 03/29/2011 8:17:04 AM PDT by HereInTheHeartland (Yes We Can, have smaller government)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: marshmallow
Possession is 9/10 of the law — or so I've heard...
3 posted on 03/29/2011 8:19:09 AM PDT by WayneS ("If mercy's in business I wish it for you; and more than just ashes when your dreams come true.")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: marshmallow

Jordan has a far more practical position on Jewish and Christian relics than other muslim nations. They would most likely be hidden or destroyed in most of the mideast but Jordan sees an opportunity for tourism.


4 posted on 03/29/2011 8:19:51 AM PDT by cripplecreek (Remember the River Raisin! (look it up))
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: marshmallow

No way in HELL should Christian relics be handed over to a hostile Muslim country that will predicatbly see them ‘accidentally’ destroyed.


5 posted on 03/29/2011 8:27:25 AM PDT by MeganC (NO WAR FOR OIL! ........except when a Democrat's in charge.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: HereInTheHeartland
Little is known of the movement after Jesus' crucifixion until the letters of Paul several decades later

Several decades later? Try only about 15 years until the writing of Galatians, which is both undisputedly Pauline and undisputedly written before 50 AD.

6 posted on 03/29/2011 8:29:57 AM PDT by Thane_Banquo (Mitt Romney: He's from Harvard, and he's here to help.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: cripplecreek
Jordan has a far more practical position on

For now... That could change just as quickly as it has in other places in the ME. They're better off in Israel.

7 posted on 03/29/2011 8:35:19 AM PDT by Ouderkirk (Democrats...the party of Slavery, Segregation, Sodomy, and Sedition)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: cripplecreek
They would most likely be hidden or destroyed in most of the mideast but Jordan sees an opportunity for tourism.

Until the Muslim Brotherhood and Al Qaeda take over. Then, these relics would be treated in the same manner that Jewish artifacts on the Temple Mount are treated by the Waqf. They are crushed and buried,

8 posted on 03/29/2011 8:36:56 AM PDT by Dr. Thorne (Buy Gold and Guns Now!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: Thane_Banquo
Try only about 15 years until the writing of Galatians, which is both undisputedly Pauline and undisputedly written before 50 AD

Your main point is a good one. There is a big difference between "several decades" and 15 - 20 years. I would be careful about using such terms as "undisputedly" when talking about anything that scholars study, especially when it comes to dating the books of the New Testament.

There are many people who study these things who put the date of Galatians after 50 (though not far after 50) AD.

9 posted on 03/29/2011 8:38:50 AM PDT by trad_anglican
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: marshmallow

If the Jordanians want them that badly, they probably discredit Islam. I mean, even more so than Islamic behavior does.


10 posted on 03/29/2011 8:47:59 AM PDT by Dr. Sheldon Cooper (If Mohammed were alive today, he wouldnÂ’t be allowed to live within 1000 yards of a school.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: marshmallow
A group of 70 or so "books", each with between five and 15 lead leaves bound by lead rings ....

About 70 Codices comprised of lead leaves, bound by lead rings, is most probably not going to be an early Christian collection. The early church didn't have the kind of financial resources to produce such a work. What one would expect from the first 3 centuries of the church would be Papyrus manuscripts -- probably prepared as codices -- and not something made from lead. Anything later and you're into the imperial period of Christianity, and we know a great deal about that period already.

For manuscripts to contain anything about Jesus that might be different from the New Testament, they will need to come from either (1) the first century, (2) a minor sect that had divergent views from the mainstream, (3) a less minor heretical sect, like the gnostics. If these are gnostics writings, then what we're looking at would be something from the mid-2nd through the 4th centuries and largely useless for determining anything about the historical Jesus. If these are the writings of some minor sect, then how they were prepared in lead and bound with lead rings becomes a major mystery ... minor Christian sects didn't have the resources for a major and expensive undertaking like that. And, finally, if the collection comes from the first century, then it's almost certainly NOT Christian for every reason stated in point 2. Besides, for the most part Christianity was just barely into the process of codifying a a book of Scriptures even by the end of the first century (all we had by then were the collected letters of Paul and each region had its favorite Gospel). It wan't until the mid-2nd Century that the 4 canonical Gospels and the Letters of Paul and the Catholic Epistles were generally recognized as being authoritative, and it wasn't until the mid 4th century (the 360s AD) that what we now have in the NT was accepted across the church as being the Christian Canon.

My guess is that what they have is a collection of Jewish -- probably late Second Temple period -- Priestly commissioned manuscripts that were spirited out of Jerusalem just prior to the Roman's sacking of the city in 70 AD. This would make these mss of extreme importance for Israel and for those interested in the religious history of the period (including Christians), however they would also be prime targets for destruction amongst the Palestinians who assert that Israel has NO historic claim to the region.
11 posted on 03/29/2011 9:01:42 AM PDT by TexasGreg ("Democrats Piss Me Off"M)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Colofornian; Elsie; FastCoyote; svcw; Zakeet; SkyPilot; rightazrain; Tennessee Nana; ...

Ping


12 posted on 03/29/2011 9:07:36 AM PDT by greyfoxx39 (White House war strategy 2011: Sun Tzu meets Barney Fife..H/T Iowahawk)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 11 | View Replies]

To: greyfoxx39
No mention of mormon relics..... Shocking.

Where's PD?

I haven't seen him since he was knee high to a Nephi.

13 posted on 03/29/2011 9:20:36 AM PDT by dragonblustar (Just saying.......)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 12 | View Replies]

To: greyfoxx39

Thanks for the ping!


14 posted on 03/29/2011 9:28:02 AM PDT by Alamo-Girl
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 12 | View Replies]

To: All

Any similarity of lead (inert) plates bound by rings to the Book of Mormon being a set of gold (INERT) plates bound by rings is purely coincidental. The authenticity of this method of storing records in no way validates the Records found in America, and any similarity to the actual history, like the Lachish Letters is purely a coincidence. nothing to see here, move on...

Delph


15 posted on 03/29/2011 9:31:10 AM PDT by DelphiUser ("You can lead a man to knowledge, but you can't make him think")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: dragonblustar

***No mention of mormon relics..... Shocking.
Where’s PD?

I haven’t seen him since he was knee high to a Nephi.***

Now you made me thirsty for a NEHI soda pop!


16 posted on 03/29/2011 9:34:36 AM PDT by Ruy Dias de Bivar (Visit the TOMMY FRANKS MILITARY MUSEUM in HOBART, OK. I did, well worth it!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 13 | View Replies]

To: marshmallow

It strikes me as strange that they were written in ancient Hebrew since at that time I thought that the present-day "Hebrew" alphabet (which is really Aramaic) was used.

Excellent post, BTW...fascinating.

17 posted on 03/29/2011 9:46:30 AM PDT by Pharmboy (What always made the state a hell has been that man tried to make it heaven-Hoelderlin)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

From Templestudy.com, "Sustaining and defending the LDS temple."

http://www.templestudy.com/2011/03/22/ancient-sealed-metal-plates-secret-temple-texts-discovered-middle-east/

Ancient Sealed Metal Plates with Perhaps Secret Temple Texts discovered in Middle East?

Now this certainly sounds exciting, particularly to the Latter-day Saints. As we know, Joseph Smith said that he received and translated ancient sealed gold plates, in what became The Book of Mormon.

This find is interesting for a number of reasons:

  • The books are written on metal plates (lead and copper)
  • They are bound by rings on one side (also known as codices)
  • Many of the books are “sealed” on all sides
  • They appear to be from the first century AD, and may be the earliest Christian documents ever found
  • Scholars have noted that, if authentic, this could be bigger than the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls
  • They appear to be written in an archaic Hebrew script
  • Some appears to be written in code
  • The sealed nature, and code appearance of the text, suggests that these may contain “secret teachings,” perhaps even “Temple based documentation”
  • A number of recognizable symbols appear, including the menorah (which can be seen in the photos above), branches, fruits, trees, and of the Feast of Tabernacles (Sukkot), associated with the enthronement rituals of ancient Davidic kings, and with the coming of the Messiah

Dr. Margaret Barker commented on the discovery:

“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. So if they are forgeries, what are they forgeries of?"

Extensive investigation must still be done to verify the authenticity of these plates and their meaning.  If they are genuine, this could be a huge discovery.


18 posted on 03/29/2011 10:01:15 AM PDT by greyfoxx39 (White House war strategy 2011: Sun Tzu meets Barney Fife..H/T Iowahawk)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 17 | View Replies]

To: marshmallow

Well, let’s see:

Jordan is no longer a friend of Israel.

Jordan is a m oslem country.

Yeah, you ain’t getting them back.


19 posted on 03/29/2011 10:05:52 AM PDT by Vendome ("Don't take life so seriously... You'll never live through it anyway")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: dragonblustar

Doh!


20 posted on 03/29/2011 10:06:32 AM PDT by Vendome ("Don't take life so seriously... You'll never live through it anyway")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 13 | View Replies]


Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first 1-2021-4041-6061-67 next last

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
Religion
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson