Friday, July 11, 2008

Proof that Christianity is over, done, kaput...Yeah right!

This italized text below is verbatim from a Lebanon newspaper called The Daily Star. Interestingly enough, the byline reads "Occupied Jerusalem" to note their distain for reality.

This same story has cropped up in other news sources. But I selected the Lebanese version since, oddly enough, it was the least biased.

The London Times online blares the headline "Dead Sea Tablet 'cast doubt on death and resurrection". The International Hearld Tribune (an impressive sounding name indeed) trumpets, "Tablet Ignites Debate On Messiah and Resurrection"

I've read all the articles and from what I understand from the article that follow is that a "tablet" or rock with writing upon it gives us a message from the Angel Gabriel that states:

"In three days you will live, I Gabriel command it."

The expert, Israel Knohl, tells us the text was written prior to the birth of Jesus. For this reason they proclaim it to be the missing link between Judiasm and Christianity and announce that this is proof that the resurrection of Jesus is a myth, a folly and we told you so.

My reply is, "Say What? How you figure?"

Of course there is a link between Christianity and Judiasm. His name is Jesus. He was born to a Jewish mother, he was bar mitzvahed and taught in The Law and died as a Jew. He also was raised from the dead by God Almighty, may His Name be ever honored. Mystery solved!

Read the Tenakh (The Jewish Bible). There are numerous references to the Messiah that were written even prior to 1BC.

Could the Jewish sect that followed Jesus have inserted these in the Gospels to prove their case? Possibly. Does that diminish or do away with Christianity. No! We who love the Lord and believe that Jesus died to save us and return us to the presence of God know in our heart this is true. Until you experience God's love and mercy you will not understand.

The tablet was from the banks of the Dead Sea and had been in the holding of a Jordanian art dealer for some time. However the story calls this The Dead Sea Tablet. Why? Is this an attempt to link it ot the Dead Sea Scrolls and make it sound more important of a find than it actually is?

So without further comment, here is the story:

An ancient stone tablet said to date back to the first century BC may shed light on the links between Judaism and Christianity, experts say. Discussed at a conference here on Tuesday, the tablet predicts a Messiah who would rise again after three days.

Israel Knohl, a biblical studies professor at Jerusalem's Hebrew University, said his interpretation of the Hebrew text on the tablet could "overturn the vision we have of the historic personality of Jesus [Christ]".

"This text could be the missing link between Judaism and Christianity in so far as it roots the Christian belief in the resurrection of the Messiah in Jewish tradition," he told AFP, as though this would surprise.

The tablet belongs to a Zurich-based collector who said he "acquired" the object from a Jordanian antiquities dealer. It is believed to have originated from the Jordanian bank of the Dead Sea.

Described as "the revelation of the Angel Gabriel," the text of over 87 lines is inscribed in ink on a 1-meter-long rock, with some letters or entire words wiped out by the passage of time.
Knohl said that a key piece in his theory is based on a word in line 80 of the text that, before he read it last August, was believed to be unintelligible.

"It was written awkwardly with two letters unclear," Knohl said.

Using other examples from that period, he deciphered the word as haye, which meant "you will live." The complete sentence reads: "In three days you will live, I, Gabriel, command you."

Christians mark Easter as the resurrection of Jesus, whom tradition has it rose from the dead three days after his crucifixion.

L. Michael White, a professor of classics and Christian origins at the University of Texas in Austin, said religious scholars had long known that the idea of resurrection existed in Judaism before the Gabriel Revelation.

"But what was interesting," White said, "was the notion of three days." He added that the three-day time period may have been rooted in the view held in ancient medicine that the body did not begin to decompose until the end of three days.

Knohl said that, together with other references in the script to a "suffering messiah," this was a clear reference to the return to life after three days, later depicted in the New Testament with Jesus' resurrection.

"This is evidence that the idea of a suffering messiah, put to death and coming back to life after three days was known to at least a group of Jews," Knohl told the gathering at the Israel Museum in Occupied Jerusalem.

Ada Yardeni, a specialist in ancient languages, does not accept Knohl's conclusions, although he says the faded word in the tablet could mean "lives."

Knohl's "interpretation is plausible even though its spelling is rare," said Yardeni, who was the first to describe the tablet and its text last year in the Israeli historical and archaeological review Cathedra.

An Israeli archeologist who preferred to withhold her name doubted the authenticity.

"It's very strange that such a text was written in ink on a tablet and was preserved until now," she said. "To determine whether it is authentic one would have to know in which condition and exactly where the tablet was discovered, which we do not."

But Yuval Goren, director of the archeology department at Tel Aviv University and a specialist in identifying forgeries, said he could not detect any sign of forgery in the text on the tablet.

Other researchers insisted the exact meaning of the text remained open to interpretation.
Devorah Diamant, a
professor at Haifa University, said the script was not sufficient proof of Knohl's theory because some passages he referred to could be connected to other figures from the Bible and not necessarily the messiah. "What he suggested," Diamant said, "is fanciful."

Knohl presented his reading on Tuesday at a seminar in Jerusalem as part of events to mark the 60th anniversary of the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls, a landmark find that had a huge influence on biblical studies. The tablet itself has been described as a "Dead Sea Scroll on stone."

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

"For I know that my redeemer liveth,
and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth"
~The words of Job~

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