by Robert Wilkinson
Glad they've finally decided to tell the world after years of stalling! 70 small metal books found in a cave in Jordan were written at the time Jesus walked, and some of what researchers found was astonishing!
It's been reported that the 70 tiny books, made of lead and copper and bound by metal wire, date to the first century. Carbon dating a piece of leather found with the scrolls put it about 2000 years old.
From The Mirror, Laurie Hanna's article Are ancient books the diaries of Jesus? The Messianic mystery of metal texts found in cave in Jordan gives us the straight scoop. From the article:
Incredibly, the texts would have remained hidden from the world but for a freak flash flood which exposed two niches inside the cave – one of them marked with a menorah (candlestick), an ancient Jewish symbol.
Each no bigger than a credit card, the books, or “codices”, contain between five and 15 leaves cast in lead and copper and bound with wire. Their pages are inscribed with messages in Ancient Hebrew – most of which is in code – plus images and symbols that could refer to Jesus, the Crucifixion and the Resurrection.
Some of the books remain sealed, prompting speculation that they are the lost codices hinted at in The Bible’s Book of Revelation. Others hope they constitute a “lost gospel” about the life of Jesus....
Carbon dating showed a piece of leather found with the books was just under 2,000 years old, placing it within Christ’s lifetime. And metallurgical tests on one of the codices indicate they could date from the first century AD.
So, at the very least, they are among the earliest Christian documents, predating even the writings of St Paul....
Dr David Elkington, a British scholar of ancient religious history and archaeology, is one of the few people to have actually examined the books.
... Dr Elkington said they feature signs that early Christians would have recognised as indicating Jesus – perhaps adding weight to the theory that Christ was communicating to his followers.
He said: “It’s talking about the coming of the Messiah.
“In the upper square [of one cover] 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.”
From the BBC, we read that
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.
“It is a Christian crucifixion taking place outside the city walls,” says Mr Davies.
However, the books have been hidden by someone who says his great-grandfather found them and he's protecting them, thus taking them out of circulation. Of course, at least two governments are now involved, since they're trying to figure out national ownership, and whether these are a forgery or historical antiquities of equal or greater importance than the Dead Sea Scrolls and the Nag Hammadi manuscripts.
By all means, check out the news for the whole story! Of course, there are a number of skeptics who argue that these are not legit, the archeologists are not legit, and so on and so forth. But there are also those who affirm these tiny lead books are the real deal, so while investigating, keep an open mind.
That said, if they really are the real thing it would be a major breakthrough in our understanding of 1st Century Christianity and the foundations of one of the world's great religions. Discoveries like these will eventually help humanity open its eyes to its history and grow into its Divine Estate. Our history is much richer than we've been led to believe!
Copyright © 2011 Robert Wilkinson