Tuesday, July 8, 2008

A Blog from the time of Jesus

JERUSALEM — 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.

Read the whole article here and see what you think. I don't think necessarily that just because others might have had thoughts like this means that Jesus's death and resurrection are somehow suspect. I mean, the article itself references the Book of Daniel's images of the Son of Man, a title Jesus uses explicitly in the Gospels. So there are all kinds of imagery already running through the culture. I'm not sure how a three-days-dead-and-then-rising motif that's already present in some sense (and the article implies the artifact isn't exactly clear on that) is any different from a Son-of-Man-appearing-before-the-throne-of-God motif that is suggested by Daniel and is also already present in the milieu.

Am I missing something here?



islandgirl said...

I, too, had a "Huh?" moment when I read the scholars' conclusions that surely the Christians would now rethink their ideas about Jesus. Instead I thought: "Perhaps here is a clue to the Jewish people about who their Messiah is." Am I missing something, also?

Troglodyteus said...

Being an 'O ye of little faith' Christian my response was slightly different from Islandgirl. After her "Huh?" I said "So?" This 87 line epic is supposed to have any impact on Jesus Christ? Give me a break.