Home > Biblical Archaeology, Biblical Prophecy > Missing Scripture Found?: Dead Sea Tablet Indicates Christianity Was the Original Religion of the Jews

Missing Scripture Found?: Dead Sea Tablet Indicates Christianity Was the Original Religion of the Jews

Dead Sea tablet suggests Jewish resurrection imagery pre-dates Jesus

by Ofri Ilani, Haaretz Correspondent
7/7/2008

The premise that the Messiah died and was resurrected after three days is considered the foundation of the Christian faith, one which differentiates it from Judaism. Through the generations, this belief stood at the center of the debate between Christians and Jews. But now, a mysterious tablet from the time of the second temple has led researchers to believe that this premise of messianic resurrection is not unique to Christianity, but rather existed in Judaism years before Jesus was born.

The tablet, which has been dubbed “Gabriel’s vision” because much of its text deals with a vision of the apocalypse transmitted by the angel Gabriel, was discovered eight years ago, but a large part of it is illegible and researchers have had difficulty interpreting its meaning.

Israel Knohl, a professor of Bible studies at Hebrew University in Jerusalem, has offered a new interpretation of this text recently, which has sparked interest in the Christian realm. Knohl’s interpretation could shed light on the history of Jesus and the way Christianity grew out of Judaism.
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“Gabriel’s vision,” a previously unknown prophetic text written in the first century B.C.E., was written on a large gray limestone tablet. In the center of the text, which includes quotes from the Bible and prophetic verses, there is an image of the angel Gabriel. The tablet was not discovered in an organized archaeological excavation, therefore the location of its discovery is not clear. Some believe it was found in Jordan on the eastern shore of the Dead Sea.

The New York Times reported recently that the tablet was bought from a Jordanian antiquities dealer by an Israeli-Swiss collector who kept it in his Zurich home. When an Israeli scholar examined it closely a few years ago and wrote a paper on it last year, interest began to rise. There is now a spate of scholarly articles on the stone, with several due to be published in the coming months. – Source. More information

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