Reading between the inked lines on a pair of ancient stone tablets from the east bank of the Dead Sea, scholars in Jerusalem suggest that the idea of a suffering Messiah, who would die and resurrect within three days, was in the Jewish tradition decades before the birth of Jesus of Nazareth. Hmmm. And so what?
This news has been picked up around the world after the New York Times ran a piece about it. They resurrected excitement about a discovery made ten years ago and now being presented speculatively to an academic conference at the Israel Museum. Many gospel-reading Christians will just shrug off the news. Hundreds of old prophecies in the Old Testament were fulfilled by the events of Jesus's 33 years and, as prophesised, numerous false messiahs have surfaced over the centuries.
Acc to the Scotsman,perhaps the discovery shows a link between Judaism and Christianity. (Duh. This we knew already.
The tablet's text concerns an apocalyptic vision transmitted by the archangel Gabriel and draws on Old Testament prophets Daniel, Hagai and Zachariah. Prof Knohl says he has filled in a crucial missing word, hayeh, meaning live, making a line of the text say: "In three days you shall live, I Gabriel command you."
According to the tablet, the command is addressed to "The Prince of Princes". Ada Yardeni, one of the scholars who wrote the original analysis of the tablet, says Prof Knoll's deciphering of the word hayeh was "100 per cent" accurate.
Prof Knohl is convinced that "Jesus acted according to the concepts in the tablet: that the messiah must die to bring redemption".
However, the actual evidence says
"In three days you shall ----, I Gabriel command you"
...so pick a verb, folks. Fill in the blank. This verse could be interpreted as almost anything.
The antiquities owner hwo bought the curiosity is sheepish that he hesitated before calling in experts to interpret it, he told Time magazine.