The First Written Mention of Jesus?

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?

4 thoughts on “The First Written Mention of Jesus?

  1. I read this ealier when I was at the office. Wow, great share thank you!! So do you think this is legit? I’d love to read it! I wonder if we can get an online copy of the text yet?

  2. For me, there’s nothing to see here in that if anything it is more information that makes the gospel so much more important. The gospel message alone would and should bring all of Christianity together but instead, we have to nitpick over interpretations which in the end has kept us divided.
    Here we have yet another thing we didn’t start with but what does it mean when it comes to the gospel ; nothing.
    Because the gospel is and should be everything and the rest we should happily be debating under 1 roof but we are not and that may be Christianities greatest tragedy.

    • I don’t see this as confirming or increasing the Bible’s worth. I see it as a tool – one among many from archeology – which gives a Christian like you and me something to offer an unbeliever to think about in the face of the secular world marginalizing even the existence of Jesus. The Exodus Case by Dr. Lennart Moller is another case where archeology disproves secular claims that the Exodus is a myth. Once you surprise someone with evidence which agrees with a biblical account, you give them a reason to listen to the rest of what the Bible has to say. Even St. Paul used an alter to an unknown god – just in case another one was out there somewhere – to find an entry into the minds of a disbelieving society. It’s always about finding the information that will get someone to listen to the rest of what we have to say; the really important stuff!

      • Jeffrey, of course, everything you’ve said is true but look at what everyone’s saying about this artifact which is ; have we been wrong for all this time about Jesus ? I mean your answers to some of the new information like God is both male and female would have been almost exactly what I would say because I’m not threatened by the possibility that I may in fact not understand God and I say that without the full measure of humility that I feel I need. But, even then there is so much information out there about everything ; the sooner Christians realize that all they really have left in true humility ; is to trust God. Otherwise ,Christians are being no different than the Jews when they boasted they could fulfill the 10 commandments ; in fact all of them they proclaimed to be able to fulfill without God If I didn’t know any better I think God made himself known in the way that he did (bible) because he wants us to rely on simply trusting him which was the only requirement in the garden. Spread the good news brother and rest assured that God will use you if he wants someone to believe but always remember to also wait on God ; who will never disappoint.

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