Tablet stirs resurrection debate


The Gabriel's Vision of Revelations tablet is believed to pre-date Jesus

"This text could be the missing link between Judaism and Christianity in so far as it roots the Christian belief in the resurrection of the Messiah in Jewish tradition" (external - login to view)


An ancient tablet shows the idea of the resurrection of a messiah after three days was part of Jewish tradition before Jesus' birth, it is claimed.

The theory has been proposed by Israel Knohl, a professor of biblical studies at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem.

His reading of the Hebrew text raises questions about when the concept of a resurrected messiah first emerged.

Questions remain over the tablet's precise origins, however, and some scholars doubt its authenticity.

The tablet, known as Gabriel's Vision of Revelations, is believed to date from the first century BC. It is believed to have originated from the Jordanian, east bank of the Dead Sea.
It was discovered 10 years ago and now belongs to a collector living in Zurich, David Jeselsohn, who acquired it in Jordan.

The tablet is a metre (three feet) tall with 87 lines of Hebrew in two columns.

Unusually, the text is written onto the tablet, rather than engraved. Some letters, and entire words, on the tablet are illegible.

'Revolt against Romans'

Israel Knohl argues that his interpretation of the Hebrew text could "overturn the vision we have of the historic personality of Jesus".

"This text could be the missing link between Judaism and Christianity in so far as it roots the Christian belief in the resurrection of the Messiah in Jewish tradition," he told the AFP news agency.

According to Professor Knohl's interpretation, the key line of the text quotes the Archangel Gabriel telling a "Prince of Princes" that "In three days you shall live: I Gabriel command you."

Professor Knohl argues that other lines on the tablet refer to blood and slaughter as ways to achieve righteousness, which he places in the context of a Jewish revolt against the Romans.

He argues that the tablet refers specifically to the resurrection of a Jewish leader at the time.

The professor's theory is not unchallenged. With much of the text missing, debate on the overall meaning of the text on the tablet rages.
Ada Yardeni, a specialist in ancient languages at the Hebrew University who has studied the tablet in question, does not agree with Professor Knohl's conclusions although he says a faded key word in the tablet could mean "live", despite its unusual spelling.

L Gilbert
So this Jesus character was resurrected before he was born? hehehe Cute trick.
Um, this fella doesn't have a "theory"; he has a hypothesis.

The ancient scripts that predate - and might rewrite - the Bible

By Daily Mail Reporter
Last updated at 12:47 AM on 07th July 2008

A fresh interpretation of a stone tablet dated to the decades before Jesus's birth could undermine some fundamentals of the Christian faith, experts claim.

The tablet, which is similar in style to the Dead Sea Scrolls, is said to predict that a messiah would rise from the dead within three days.

The partially-deciphered Ancient Hebrew text had seemed to contain a vision of the apocalypse as told by the Angel Gabriel.


A fragment of the Dead Sea Scrolls which set the word talking when they were discovered 60 years ago. The new text seems to imply the life and death of Jesus was predicted before his birth

But a leading scholar says it confirms his theory that some Jewish sects before Christ believed a messiah would save them - but not before he was killed and brought back to life after three days.

Israel Knohl, Professor of Biblical Studies at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, says one line of the text tells the 'prince of princes' slain by the evil government, 'in three days you shall live'.

He suggests the story refers to the death of a Jewish prince called Simon who led a revolt against King Herod.

Daniel Boyarin, of the University of California at Berkeley, said that there was growing evidence suggesting that Jesus could be best understood through a close reading of the Jewish history of his day.

'Some Christians will find it shocking - a challenge to the uniqueness of their theology, while others will be comforted by the idea of it being a traditional part of Judaism,' he said.

But Christian scholars dispute any contention that the tablet, which is in a private collection, could dilute the significance of Jesus's resurrection.

Ben Witherington, of Asbury Theological Seminary in Wilmore, Kentucky, said: 'This stone certainly does not demonstrate that the Gospel passion stories are created on the basis of this stone text.'

this was in the paper the other day as well
'Some Christians will find it shocking - a challenge to the uniqueness of their theology....."

Yes, their uniqueness..... with Angels, Wings, Halos and Heavens in the Clouds which all originated from Greek mythology, not to mention the same God the Jewish follow, along with their commandments..... yeah.... Christianity sure is unique.
Christians have poor historical hygene.
lone wolf
Geez ... I thought tablets were supposed to relieve headaches....


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