Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Jesus's Doppelgänger

Someone has been digging up treasures:

A three-foot-tall tablet with 87 lines of Hebrew that scholars believe dates from the decades just before the birth of Jesus is causing a quiet stir in biblical and archaeological circles, especially because it may speak of a messiah who will rise from the dead after three days.

If such a messianic description really is there, it will contribute to a developing re-evaluation of both popular and scholarly views of Jesus, since it suggests that the story of his death and resurrection was not unique but part of a recognized Jewish tradition at the time.
Perhaps Jesus took some practice runs at being killed, rising again, and inspiring Gospels? And here's some understatement:
Given the highly charged atmosphere surrounding all Jesus-era artifacts and writings, both in the general public and in the fractured and fiercely competitive scholarly community, as well as the concern over forgery and charlatanism, it will probably be some time before the tablet’s contribution is fully assessed.
Is Jesus the son of god or just another resurrection tale? Christians devoted to the former can be expected to push back and treat this discovery skeptically. As they should -- "Bible times" archeology attracts more than its shares of hucksters and frauds.

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