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.Even if this and other archeological and historical finds demonstrate that the story of Jesus is a myth, the faithful will find a way to turn this into further 'proof' of the mythical character's god-hood.
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Dominic Buettner for The New York Times
When David Jeselsohn bought an ancient tablet, above, he was unaware of its significance.
If such a messianic description really is there, it will contribute to a developing re-evaluation of both popular and scholarly views of Jesus, since 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.
It is written, not engraved, across two neat columns, similar to columns in a Torah. But the stone is broken, and some of the text is faded, meaning that much of what it says is open to debate.
Still, its authenticity has so far faced no challenge, so its role in helping to understand the roots of Christianity in the devastating political crisis faced by the Jews of the time seems likely to increase.
Saturday, July 05, 2008
More of the myth...
Tablet Ignites Debate on Messiah and Resurrection - NYTimes.com