Discovery of Biblical scrolls and 70 lead codices in Jordan – possibly first century

There’s quite a buzz of excitement on the Interweb over news of a discovery of Biblical scrolls and lead codices, purported to be of first century origin.

The BBC has furnished us with some images.

There’s some quite fantastical claims doing the rounds such as: This represents the greatest ever archaeological find, this is more significant than the Dead Sea Scrolls, this will change Christianity, this will shine a light on Jesus’ missing years, and so forth.

Whilst I don’t wish to be a party pooper, both Maggi Dawn and Larry Hurtado are quite right in urging some caution.

Time and study will reveal the truth about this.

In the meantime, if I happen upon any interesting articles relating to this, I’ll post the link here.

UPDATE: Fr Stephen Smuts has quite a bit of background info on this, which is worth checking out.

ANOTHER UPDATE: Clayboy adopts the sceptical line and links to some useful sources.

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7 Responses to “Discovery of Biblical scrolls and 70 lead codices in Jordan – possibly first century”

  1. Paul Baird Says:

    Caution is warranted as there is a thriving industry in artifact forgery.

    However, if it is verfied then that is another matter.

    There is a historical as well as theological interest.

  2. Goy Says:

    “One of the few people to see the collection is David Elkington, a scholar of ancient religious archaeology who is heading a British team trying to get the lead books safely into a Jordanian museum.”

    Why is Mr. Elkington so concerned to get this “safely” into a Jordanian museum I would have thought it would be safer in Israel or Europe?

  3. Paul Baird Says:

    @ Goy, the smuggling and illegal movement of historic artifacts is a serious business. I would hope that the Israelis return the books in good faith.

  4. Goy Says:

    The destruction of historic artifacts is a serious business – something that muslims have been quite provicient at in recent times. The protection of such artifacts for future generations must be the highest consideration, Israel is the better bet over Jordan.

    Muslim Destroy St.George Coptic Church in Sool village-Egypt With shouts of Allahu Akbar

  5. Paul Baird Says:

    @Goy – and on what factual basis do you make that observation, specifically with reference to Jordan, or are there other reasons ?

  6. phil_style Says:

    @Goy, what are you on about?

    The DOA in Jordan is a respected organisation, and a signatory to UNESCO.

    Just because a rabble in Egypt destroyed a church, does not mean relics in Jordan would get destroyed. They are, in case you didn’t realise, different countries.

    Additionally, Israelis are just as good at destroying stuff as anybody else in the world is.

  7. Muzaffar Says:

    I’m neither standing with the Elkingtons, nor with any Consensus or pressure group. I just want to make my point that texts has been written on lead before and after first century AD. One can’t change this fact even if he or she doesn’t have much confidence in my academic credentials.
    For details of other Leaden Books please consult:
    1. An Inquiry into the Nature and form of the books of the ancients… 1873 London Pp 28-35
    2. Septuaginta-Studien. II. 1904 Pp.14-17
    3. The Gnostics and their Remains. London Pp.147-153
    4. Une Excursion Gnostique en Italie.Paris 1852. Plate I tillplate.xii
    5. The Septuagent in context. Brill 2000. Pp.267-268
    6. Ancient Jewish Magic. Pp.114 and 144-146 etc.
    7. Curse Tablets and binding spells from the ancient world.Oxford. 1992

    And what about Job 19:24.
    Muzaffar
    archeohistorian@gmail.com

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