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Thursday, March 31, 2011

Possible find of ancient Christian lead cast books...




A group of 70 or so tiny "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.



They could be the earliest Christian writing in existence, surviving almost 2,000 years in a Jordanian cave.

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

The books, or "codices", were apparently cast in lead, before being bound by lead rings.


Their leaves - which are mostly about the size of a credit card - contain text in Ancient Hebrew, most of which is in code.

Margaret Barker, an authority on New Testament history, points to the location of the reported discovery as evidence of Christian, rather than purely Jewish, origin.

We do know that on two occasions groups of refugees from the troubles in Jerusalem fled east, they crossed the Jordan near Jericho and then they fled east to very approximately where these books were said to have been found," she says.



"[Another] one of the things that is most likely pointing towards a Christian provenance, is that these are not scrolls but books. The Christians were particularly associated with writing in a book form rather than scroll form, and sealed books in particular as part of the secret tradition of early Christianity."
(Source)

1 comment:

wheat4paradise said...

Mr Elkington says the relics feature signs that early Christians would have interpreted as indicating Jesus, shown side-by-side with others they would have regarded as representing the presence of God.

"It's talking about the coming of the messiah," he says.

"In the upper square [of one of the book covers] we have the seven-branch menorah, which Jews were utterly forbidden to represent because it resided in the holiest place in the Temple in the presence of God.

"So we have the coming of the messiah to approach the holy of holies, in other words to get legitimacy from God."

Philip Davies, Emeritus Professor of Old Testament Studies at Sheffield University, says the most powerful evidence for a Christian origin lies in plates cast into a picture map of the holy city of Jerusalem.

"As soon as I saw that, I was dumbstruck. That struck me as so obviously a Christian image," he says.

"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. There are walls depicted on other pages of these books too and they almost certainly refer to Jerusalem."

It is the cross that is the most telling feature, in the shape of a capital T, as the crosses used by Romans for crucifixion were.


Fascinating and edifying. A most fitting Lenten gift by Divine Providence to the Church.

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