Home > Apologetics/Defending the Faith, Archeology > Most Important Archeological Find in Christian History Ever! Or Not.

Most Important Archeological Find in Christian History Ever! Or Not.

March 31st, 2011
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You may have heard about the “discovery” of a document that is being hyped by the media and opportunistic “scholars” as being the “greatest find” ever in the history of archeology related to Christianity, with claims that this find is akin to the Dead Sea scrolls in its importance for Christianity. The best response at this point is simply to tell people that there is, at present, very little actual information about the discovery and the document itself is written in some sort of Hebrew based code-language. It is also very important for people to keep in mind that there were swirling about in the days after Christ’s life a number of heretical sects and groups that combined elements of Christianity and Judaism with various pagan philosophies and religious opinions. There is nothing surprising therefore to find that there may be a document produced by one of these sects. What it contains remains unknown. It may be a wonderful discovery providing yet more extra-Biblical evidence confirming the historicity of the canonical Scripture. Or it may not be. At this point, it is best to ignore the media hype and chatter and wait for some sober-minded evaluation and judgment. I remain disgusted by so-called “scholars” who literally bank on the general public’s ignorance about things that have been well know for many years. Here is but one example of the media-hype over this set of metal plates.

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  1. March 31st, 2011 at 17:09 | #1

    Looking at the article, a couple of thoughts.

    First, asking Margret Barker about anything is a bad idea. She writes books where she steals other peoples ideas and doesn’t really cite sources. She’s been asked to speak at BYU several times, because she claims that in ancient Israel people believed that God has a wife and the “Lord” (YHWH) was their son. Mormons love this stuff. She has very few credentials, she’s a Methodist lay preacher in England. Her reference to a sealed book in Revelation is ludicrous to say the least.

    Secondly, even if they are real- so what? So maybe some Christians put some pictures of a cross and tomb on some mental sheets when they left Jerusalem to escape the destruction in 70. Please forgive me if I’m not impressed.

  2. Kurt Andrews
    March 31st, 2011 at 18:26 | #2

    Oh brother, here we go again… I don’t normally think of myself as a Biblical illiterate, but when I saw this qote,

    “…prompting academics to speculate they are actually the lost collection of codices mentioned in the Bible’s Book Of Revelation”,

    in the article you linked to, I couldn’t remember any mention of lost books or scrolls in Revelation. I decided to have a look just to make sure I wasn’t missing anything. I searched for all occurances of book, scroll and codice in the ESV online study bible. Codice isn’t even used in the ESV translation, and none of the occurances of book or scroll in Revelationmention any of them being lost.

    If I’m missing something let me know, but for now I’m going with, have these experts even read Revelation?

    Question everything, be a Berean. I’m outa here.

  3. Kurt Andrews
    March 31st, 2011 at 18:28 | #3

    Oh brother, here we go again… I don’t normally think of myself as a Biblical illiterate, but when I saw this qote,

    “…prompting academics to speculate they are actually the lost collection of codices mentioned in the Bible’s Book Of Revelation”,

    in the article you linked to, I couldn’t remember any mention of lost books or scrolls in Revelation. I decided to have a look just to make sure I wasn’t missing anything. I searched for all occurances of book, scroll and codice in the ESV online study bible. Codice isn’t even used in the ESV translation, and none of the occurances of book or scroll in Revelation mention any of them being lost.

    If I’m missing something let me know, but for now I’m going with, have these experts even read Revelation?

    Question everything, be a Berean. I’m outa here.

  4. Kurt Andrews
    March 31st, 2011 at 18:37 | #4

    Sorry, I had to fix some spelling errors. I push buttons to fast…

    Oh brother, here we go again… I don’t normally think of myself as a Biblical illiterate, but when I saw this quote,

    “…prompting academics to speculate they are actually the lost collection of codices mentioned in the Bible’s Book Of Revelation”,

    in the article you linked to, I couldn’t remember any mention of lost books or scrolls in Revelation. I decided to have a look just to make sure I wasn’t missing anything. I searched for all occurrences of book, scroll and codices in the ESV online study bible. Codices isn’t even used in the ESV translation, and none of the occurrences of book or scroll in Revelation mention any of them being lost.

    If I’m missing something let me know, but for now I’m going with, have these experts even read Revelation?

    Question everything, be a Berean. I’m outa here.

  5. Terry Maher (Past Elder)
    March 31st, 2011 at 20:46 | #5

    Unlock secrets? Teachings only given to an inner circle of initiates?

    I think we’ve been there before. Old news, certainly not Good News.

  6. Rev. Allen Yount
    March 31st, 2011 at 22:40 | #6

    And once again a new “discovery” comes just about in time for Easter! Yippee.

  7. Pablo
    April 1st, 2011 at 11:43 | #7

    The media hype is people in media taking advantage of something they know little about and those who are subject to being hyped for little if any valid reason. It is rather like the media talking about the opening season for the Cardinals as like a “religious experience.” The TV media said it not I.

  8. April 1st, 2011 at 16:45 | #8

    A partial list of the secular media’s recent goofs, screw-ups and wild overreactions concerning Christianity is pretty impressive:

    Jesus’ tomb.
    The Gospel of Judas.
    The Gospel According to Mary Magdalene.
    Secret Gospel of Mark.
    The Gospel of Thomas.
    The Gospel of Peter.
    The Jesus Seminar.
    The Da Vinci Code.

    It is important to remember that the secular media in general seems to harbor a deep hatred and contempt for Christians and Christianity. It is also important to remember that the secular media lacks the expertise to properly evaluate wild claims about Christianity and will tend to quote only those who agree with their materialistic view.

  9. Jami
    April 3rd, 2011 at 09:54 | #9

    I greatly enjoyed listening to Dr. Paul Maier’s comments on this discovery, on a recent episode of “Issues and Answers.” As he pointed out, there are elements about these artifacts that do raise some interesting questions, that bear further study. But there are at least two different stories about where they were found, and by whom. And it’s not even clear, at this point, what language they were written in. I will definitely be watching for further information as these codices are studied further.

  10. bill
    April 4th, 2011 at 12:34 | #10

    Well, Rev. Allen, while normally there might be a reason to be cynical about such things, I am not sure this is one yet. No one yet knows what the documents contain. If they do turn out to be authentic (and they may yet prove to be a hoax), it is possible they could turn into a real treasure trove for the Church. The jury is still very much out on this one…and it will be a fascinating story to watch.

  11. Rev. Allen Yount
    April 4th, 2011 at 22:00 | #11

    @bill
    Time will tell. If these codices testify to the truth of Christ’s crucifixion and resurrection proclaimed in His Gospel, great. If not, the Word of God still stands forever.

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