We already know Jesus was found dead in his grave — but the recent news that the entire Jesus “resurrection miracle” may have not been anything terribly special in light of a new discovery of a stone scroll extolling the common practice of dead people arising from their eternal slumber in order to live again decades before our favorite Jewish Messiah made his move — leaves some of us wondering what’s left in the Jesus trunk of miracles.
Here’s the report from 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.
The tablet, probably found near the Dead Sea in Jordan according to some scholars who have studied it, is a rare example of a stone with ink writings from that era — in essence, a Dead Sea Scroll on stone.
Are you comforted by the idea that a three-day death and then resurrection cycle was a common belief in Judaism?
Or are you offended that the uniqueness of the Jesus story has been stoned by the discovery of these rocky scripts?
To me, J has always been an ordinary guy who had some pretty fantastic stories told about him. When I was a Rutgers student and someone wanted to give me one of those small green books with stories about J, I wanted to come back with, “I’m still working on The Lord of the Rings, thanks.” I was not sufficiently brave, alas.
That’s a fine story, Gordon!
Do you think the tablet discovery is authentic?
Not offended at all.
The more he can be *normalized* the better.
That’s a great response, Nicola!
I really loved the part of the article I quoted when the researcher said he felt Jesus would be insulted by the “Messiah” label attached to Him by those who have followed Him. I think that’s right on point. Jesus was not about money and attachment. He was about being of the earth and finding ways to make the less fortunate more a part of society so they could enjoy and partake in the company of others.
I don’t know. I honestly never have heard anything about a three day period after death having anything to do with our concept of being a Messiah. As far as I know, our messianic figure will be very much alive from the very beginning until well after all of the Jews are brought back to Israel and there is a global recognition of a creator, as it were. 🙂
As I understand the article, decades before Jesus, it was a common thing to have ordinary people die and rise from the dead in three days. Is there any sort of basis for that belief in your current teaching and study?
I will have to inquire and get back to you. 🙂
I appreciate that a lot Gordon, thank you!
what a good find this is! the more we unwrap the mystique around him and other extraordinary people of the past the better it is for everybody.
Right, Dananjay! More evidence that can be analyzed and investigated only helps the cause of understanding. We then begin to move away from myth and storytelling and into the reality of the experience in total.
Exactly, David! that would seem to be the purpose of storytelling – to take us away from itself and to show us more.
I came accross the following book a couple of years back –
Not sure about its authenticity but – intriguing – no doubt!
I agree, Dananjay, that storytelling takes us beyond our mortal boundaries.
That’s for that interesting reference, Katha! I’ll have to see if that book is available for the Kindle!
I wanted to comment on the “Jesus found dead in his grave” post, but I can say what I need to say here as well (because I can’t seem to sign in there!)
I was born Catholic, but at age 20 decided my baptism was not valid (since it was not my choice) and got baptised a non-denominational Christian and started studying.
In my studies I learned that the modern churches are heavily reliant on Saul of Tarsus (Paul), and much of what he says in his letters disagrees with what Jesus said in the four gospels.
I also learned that our modern bible was constructed out of selected texts by the Emperor Constantine, who was allegedly a pagan at the time of the council that selected which books were “true” and which should be burned – and who only became ‘Christian’ shortly before he died.
So, I read everything: bibles, gnostic gospels, nag hammadi, dead sea scrolls, etc., and rely on my mind and my spirit for guidance.
Whether or not Jesus was/is as various religions portray him is irrelevant; his messages to us have great value.
In particular, his comment, “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another as I have loved you,” is not only wise council, but has come to be the way I try to live. Unfortunately I have run into too many ‘Christians’ who seem to have skipped that particular phrase.
Many stories of miracles, resurrections and divine wisdom have come down to us over the ages. It matters less what we profess to believe and more how we apply the wisdom of the ages in our present day.