Well, wouldn’t you just know it? Another archeological find that – drum roll, please – that gives secular support to biblical accuracy.
The metal ‘pages’, held together like a ring binder, were found in Jordan in around 2008 by an Jordanian Bedouin and make reference to Christ and his disciples.
The lead has been analysed and the words and symbols translated and experts say the tablets date from within a few years of Jesus’ ministry.
There are a few items within the article that gave me some pause, but reading through to the end dispelled any concerns I had about the accurate portrayal of Jesus. Let’s go through the high points one at a time.
The tablets suggest that Christ was not starting his own religion, but restoring a thousand-year-old tradition from the time of King David.
We can just go to the Bible itself for verification on this.
“Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill. Matthew 5:17
Granted, that law goes back further than King David, but the writer of these lead pages correctly identified what Christ was doing.
Now here’s one that threw me for a moment: And the God he worshipped was both male and female…the books suggest Christ was part of a Hebrew sect dating back 1,000 years to King David, who worshipped in the Temple of Solomon and believed in a male-female God.
‘Dr Schonfield, a Nobel Peace Prize nominee, tells us later in the article that A part of the older tradition of the Temple was the Divine Feminine – known to Christians as the Holy Spirit. Jesus had women involved in his ministry.
I see the feminine reference as a non-issue, as it’s a matter of translation. I was once involved in a couple of translation projects in a corporation. I didn’t do the translating, but I was in charge of ensuring protection of intellectual property during the process. The thing I learned at that time is that one does not simply translate words; one translates culture. You need to understand a culture to fully understand its words.
This also reminds me of a book by John Eldredge, Wild at Heart. Loosely, he makes the case that God, although referred to always in the masculine, has both feminine and masculine attributes. Men and women are “God divided,” if you will. Married, they are “God united” and create life, children. The Bible supports this in that God and humanity are portrayed as a Groom and bride.
Enough of that issue for here.
These codices also make mention of James, Peter, and John. The article does not go into what they are mentioned for. I would very much like to have that portion to see. In English, of course!
The codices, as they are called, refer to Jesus’ cleansing of the temple also, but in the form of the after effect of His cleansing. From the article: It would appear that Christianity was founded upon what Jesus did in the temple: a place where many Jews believed God actually resided. Jesus went into the Temple to renew a covenant with God.
While this may not be precise, recall this was most likely written by an outsider, someone not part of Jesus’ inner circles. This perception may tell us that the temple episode had further-reaching implications than just ticking off the authorities, cementing His fate within their plans. It would make sense.
While the codices do not contradict any of the established narrative they place greater emphasis on the physical temple, of the belief in the divine feminine and in Christ’s role in protecting a lineage of Hebrews rather than being the founder of his own movement.
While the language may not be what we typically use in church nowadays, the temple emphasis makes sense, especially when we recall how much time Jesus spent teaching at temple, the torn curtain at His crucifixion, and the prominent role played by so many women in the Gospel’s spread.
These codices were discovered back in 2008. It has taken a while to confirm their authenticity, from translating the “Paleo-Hebrew,” indicative of that era, to the level of deterioration and age indicated by the amount of oxidation and lack of radiation as compared to known samples of the era.
Having them presented at this time with more testing supporting their legitimacy is like an early Christmas present, no?