Could lead codices prove ‘the major discovery of Christian history’?

Discussion in 'Up to the Minute' started by peeples, Mar 30, 2011.

  1. peeples

    peeples New Member

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    I'm not real religious.. but I love old things and the fact that these are probably 2,000 years old is really cool!!!!!

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/yblog_thelo...rove-the-major-discovery-of-christian-history



    British archaeologists are seeking to authenticate what could be a landmark discovery in the documentation of early Christianity: a trove of 70 lead codices that appear to date from the 1st century CE, which may include key clues to the last days of Jesus' life.
     
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  3. gogrannypop

    gogrannypop Call Me Butter, I'm On A Roll

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    I had to look it up. *(

    I believe that there are many things in many forms as yet to be discovered.

    Thanks for the thread. Extremely interesting.
     
  4. Kimster

    Kimster Former Member

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    THANK YOU for posting this! Biblical archaeology is fascinating, IMO!
     
  5. Quiche

    Quiche New Member

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    So tiny! It reminds me of the cuneiforms from Sumer. The lead factor is unfortunate-- knowing what we know now. jmo
     
  6. belimom

    belimom Our lives begin to end the day we become silent ab

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    After seeing your post, I checked the FB page of an old college boyfriend who got his PhD in Religion and now teaches New Testament. Sure enough, he had commented on it - and included this link:

    http://rogueclassicism.com/2011/03/30/lead-codices-silliness/

    Seems that there are quite a few skeptics out there about their authenticity. I haven't read the article but I'll go read it now...

    ETA: Haven't gotten very far but here's a snippet from the above link:

    ETA again: An explanation later on about the cast lead (this is just one point of many, btw):

     
  7. Quiche

    Quiche New Member

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    Oops, sounds like a fake...and "discovered" around the time that The DaVinci Code was really popular. It's too bad folks do this, but it's nothing new. :(
     
  8. Reality Orlando

    Reality Orlando Verified Aquaculturalist

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    Certainly is sad. What's even sadder is, if you read the comments under the article above, the posters were all so positive as noted. No wonder people are so disillusioned anymore.
     
  9. Kimster

    Kimster Former Member

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    Really? Doggoneit.

    :sigh:
     
  10. Nova

    Nova New Member

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    Perhaps. But with the surge of Christian Fundamentalism over the past few decades, controversies such as this one should serve to remind us that NO contemporary accounts of Jesus have been discovered. The only contemporary mention, by Josephus, is brief and believed to be a later addition. The lack of references to Jesus in mid-1st century documents is very odd considering that the Gospels describe the Jews and Romans in an uproar over the revolutionary threat posed by the Nazarene. Moreover, the miracle of His resurrection should have interested non-believers as well as believers, so one wonders why none of the contemporary documents we have (not even Josephus) mentions it (even if only to dismiss the story as a lie).

    The texts we read today are not only translations of translations (from Greek or Aramaic to English, or to Latin to English, depending on the version one reads), they are translations of copies of copies of copies, all done by hand and subject to the whims of the copyists. We have a few documents that date from a few decades after Jesus' crucifixion, but most of what remains comes from hundreds of years later.

    So we might all exercise a little humility when we insist we know what God has said or done.
     
  11. belimom

    belimom Our lives begin to end the day we become silent ab

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    So true. I took a few religion courses in college, including New Testament Canonization. I learned that the scribes would write notes to each other in the margins and they would be included in the text down the road... It really is very fascinating.
     
  12. Nova

    Nova New Member

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    We who live in a post-Enlightment world really have to work to get into the heads of those ancient copyists. They did not think of literature as objective fact of the sort we expect from a history book or a modern newspaper, so they often added interpolations to a text, "fixing" it as they copied in the interest of greater spiritual or metaphorical "truth". (And, as you point out, they jotted down notes to themselves and one another: paper was scarce and expensive in Europe during much of the Middle Ages.)

    That's what most scholars think happened with the one brief reference to Jesus in Josephus: some copyist along the line thought, "Well, he was alive at the same time as Jesus so I'm sure he meant to mention Him." Et voila!

    This is NOT to say that Jesus didn't exist historically or that anyone need give up his or her faith. But we have far less direct, scientific proof than one might think, given the influence of Christianity.
     
  13. Dark Knight

    Dark Knight New Member

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    We walk by faith, not by sight, which is how God wants it, I believe. And He will likely always keep that partial veil there until the end of time. Anyone can have something shown to them and believe, that does not require faith. So this is not relevant to the faith at all, although I also find biblical archaeology very interesting.
     
  14. Truthful Lies

    Truthful Lies "Life shrinks and expands in proportion to one's c

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    Nova,

    Thanks for your posts. I concentrated in Jewish/Christian polemics in the middle ages and well, basically researching for myself wether I thought the bible was legit or not. I was astounded by what I learned while researching in college.

    Every single writer in the bible has an axe to grind or some other reason for putting their own spin on it - it's like a big, long game of telephone. Since so few people could read/write, they were pretty free to add, delete what they didn't like.

    Don't get me wrong, I think the bible is a wonderful collection of life-lessons and teachings....and I do believe in a higher power.

    Thanks, Nova. This is so often a hot topic.

    ETA: hugs and kisses to you, Dark Knight! Sometimes I wish I hadn't gone down that road. Since I had planned on law school, I thought, "Well, why don't I find out for myself what so many people spend their life wondering about"....it changed me forever and I'd gladly trade the knowledge for some "faith" back.
     
  15. Nova

    Nova New Member

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    Even during my youth of devout evangelism, I understood Biblical language to be poetic rather than scientific (which doesn't make it more or less true than history, just different). So educating myself didn't threaten my faith, it merely provoked an evolution in my beliefs.

    Certainty is sometimes more comforting than questioning, but that doesn't mean it is better.
     
  16. Dark Knight

    Dark Knight New Member

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    BBM: You viewed the bible through a natural lens rather than a supernatural one. That's where people get hung up.
     
  17. Nova

    Nova New Member

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    Why do we need a "supernatural lens" if God also exists here in the natural universe? Or does He only exist somewhere else?
     
  18. Dark Knight

    Dark Knight New Member

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    Because the authors of Scripture were inspired by the Holy Spirit, a supernatural being, so their abilities would transcend their abilities to read or write or their biases. It was not them writing, they were merely the tool being used. Yes, they may have had their own style of writing, that much could be natural, but the content was not a result of their individual wisdom or abilities.

    ETA: God existing in the natural realm does not make him any less supernatural. His ways simply transcend our natural laws and understandings.
     
  19. Nova

    Nova New Member

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    Well said.

    Unfortunately, attributing all writing of scripture to magical processes doesn't explain the numerous inconsistencies, errors and improbabilities or myriad errors by copyists. But if we understand Scripture as a collaboration between humans and the Divine, then it is to be expected that the human partners will have erred on occasion. (As you know, I do not say this to argue that Scripture is unimportant, only that it should be approached with caution and humility.) (ETA: I don't like the word "caution" in the preceding sentence: it makes it sound like we need to fear the Bible. I should have used "thoughtfulness" instead.)

    I'm not convinced God exists apart from His creation, but if He does, that shouldn't make Him any less visible within it. Sometimes I think we jump too quickly to magical explanations, when the natural ones are just as awe-inspiring.
     
  20. Dark Knight

    Dark Knight New Member

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    The inconsistencies are usually pretty minor or are a result of comparing the laws of the old covenant against the laws of Christ's new covenant. (Many of the laws of Moses did not apply to Christ's followers, outside of the Decalogue, i.e. the 10 Commandments.)

    God certainly does not exist apart from us, in fact, we CAN see God in His creation, but He is not limited like we are, so as a result, anything directed by Him would also not follow natural laws. A miracle, for example, is supernatural because it's something that happened that isn't supposed to happen.

    I am also not keen on comparing God's supernatural abilities to magic. I think that demeans His ultimate power and authority. After all, He created the natural laws that the world exists by, so it isn't hard to imagine God having abilities far beyond anything we could even comprehend.
     
  21. belimom

    belimom Our lives begin to end the day we become silent ab

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    I hear you. I was an evangelical Christian at that point - summer missionary, youth minister, etc. I took a few religion classes and... whoa! I really got into it. I applied to grad school and received an assistantship to get my MA in Religion - I wanted to major in World Religions and minor in Anthropology. But that summer before starting grad school, I got scared. I decided that I didn't want to know any more scholarly info - that my faith had been changed enough by what I already had learned. So I took a year off and went to grad school in Psychology instead.

    Sad to say, I've never fully regained the faith I had 20 something years ago and sometimes I wish for it back. A lot of times, actually...

    ETA: I was just reading an article about the surface of Mars and came across a quote that I found very fitting for here:

     

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