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New Archeological Find Proves Christianity is a Fraud. Again.

You hear about these kinds of things every now and then.  I’m blogging on an article I saw today on a tablet they are calling “Gabriel’s Revelation.”  Here it is.

This is the first that I’ve heard of this tablet and haven’t seen the text allegedly inscribed on it.  I only have what is in the article, so I’m going tread lightly on the stone’s implications as evidence for or against Christianity.  What I found really interesting was the glimpse into the scholarly community and its approach to research into the Historical Jesus.  Let me just issue some running commentary.

Let’s start with the first paragraph.

A three-foot-tall tablet with 87 lines of Hebrew that scholars believe dates from the decades just before the birth of Jesus is causing a quiet stir in biblical and archaeological circles, especially because it may speak of a messiah who will rise from the dead after three days.

A nice opening paragraph.  Too bad the whole rest of the article softens this considerably.  In the first place, the article goes on to say only that they are confident that the tablet dates to the first century.  The sole justification for placing it ‘decades just before the birth of Jesus’ is analysis of the style of the text.  And the whole business about rising from the dead after three days turns out to be the pet view of what one scholar thinks the hard to read words should be construed.

Here we have an example of a provocative opening that is basically false, but you only know that if you read on, and how many people will read on?  Give it time and this will be leading the news and trumpets will be blaring that Jesus’ resurrection was just borrowed Jewish mythology, one more reason it can’t be true!  A month later after all the truth comes out, you won’t hear about it on the news, leaving hundreds of thousands witih the impression that the tablet means just as it was first presented.

Moving on.

Still, its authenticity has so far faced no challenge,

Of course not.  That’s because no one has decided that the tablet in any way is evidence for Christianity or for the existence of Jesus.  As soon as that happens, it will be ruled a fraud.  A good example of that sort of thing happening is the James ossuary.  Things like the so called Gospel of Judas and the ‘Lost Tomb of Jesus‘ face no ‘challenge’ because anything that undermines Christianity is accepted willy nilly but anything that supports Christianity is subjected to the most excruciating set of standards it isn’t silly.  Of course, it will be pointed out that the Gospel of Judas and the Lost Tomb were challenged- by Christian scholars.  But skeptics are not convinced- what else would Christian scholars say?  See how it works?  Christian scholars cannot be trusted.  Secular ones can.

“Some Christians will find it shocking — a challenge to the uniqueness of their theology — while others will be comforted by the idea of it being a traditional part of Judaism,” Boyarin said.

Nonsense.  Assuming it says exactly what they say it says, I don’t think it is controversial in the slightest.   Any investigator worth their salt knows full well what the messianic fervor of the period was like.  And even if some stone says that the Messiah would die and rise, the remaining question is whether it actually happened, not whether it was a unique idea.  The article offers no hints about whether or not the tablet, if as described, would strengthen or weaken the evidence for such an event actually happening.  One wonders why.

Given the highly charged atmosphere surrounding all Jesus-era artifacts and writings, both in the general public and in the fractured and fiercely competitive scholarly community,

Aha.  We begin to see the picture.  Competition.  And you thought academia was about the search for truth.

Knohl posited in a book published in 2000 the idea of a suffering messiah before Jesus, using a variety of rabbinic and early apocalyptic literature as well as the Dead Sea Scrolls. But his theory did not shake the world of Christology as he had hoped,

Do the pieces begin to fall into place? Is the man interested in learning the truth or ‘shaking the world of Christology’?

I could go on for awhile but who wants that?  Basically, this news story highlights some really serious problems in academia right now.   There is too much show boating and not enough genuine curiosity about what is true.  What catches the news is what is ‘new’ and ‘innovative.’  In the ‘world of Christology’ nothing could be more boring than more evidence that Christianity is actually true.  What puts the bread on the table and the name in the news is one more reason why Christianity can’t possibly be true.   When the itching ears have been satisfied, more cautious voices look the matter over, sifting it all out, and usually Christianity stands just as strong as it always did.  But no reporters are around to announce when that happens.

Maybe the problem isn’t the scholars or the news community, but we the people.  If we didn’t fuel this cycle… well, I’m sure there is blame enough to go around.

I hope while we wait for this tablet to get ‘sifted’ that people withhold their judgment and then have the fortitude to keep abreast of the research on it, even if, sadly, it ends up being evidence that Christianity is true after all.

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19 Responses to New Archeological Find Proves Christianity is a Fraud. Again.

  1. Hey, the evidence supporting Christianity really is not evidence. Just a book and a story. It a everyone believes in it so don’t question it, you can try to disprove it, but who tries ot prove it when everyone believes in it. No amount of proof will do either. You can find all the artifacts you want, non will prove whether Christianity is true, is a spin off of paganism or Judaism. Doesn’t matter, no proof will matter. People chose to believe it, because their beliefs are multiple choice. They chose what is available, and stay away from “other” because their is no support for it. Popularity wins, not truth. Not ot say Christianity is not true, you can argue for days, years. Won’t matter. You can bring about a fairy tale and convince the people it is the truth. Like Santa Clause, imagine if you where never told he wasn’t real. You would believe it for ever.

    Poi9nt is make your beliefs YOUR belifes, not some predetermined beliefs that majority supports.

    Good post though.

  2. Thank you for your aricle. I came across statements by retired professor and academic dean, Stan Seidner who sees Knohl’s writings as a subtle, perhaps unconscious attempt to undermine Christianity. Seidner contends that it reflects the Apocalyptic beliefs of the day, many which are found in the Dead Sea Scrolls, as antecedent and predictive writings of Christianity. He also suggested the use of infra-red technological applications, similar to what had been utilized on Dead Sea Scroll Material in the recent past. Challenging Knohl’s “Two Messiahs” theory, Seidner noted that, “Knohl’s reliance upon what he calls, the ‘Glorification Hymn,’ in support of a first Messiah’s relationship with King Herod, failed in its Carbon 14 testing. It predates Herod’s ascendency to the throne by at least twelve years and as much as one hundred and fifty six.”[Seidner, Stanley S. “The Knohl Hypothesis and ‘Hazon Gabriel.'”] However, he does agree with Knohl’s interpretation of the inscription,”to rise from the dead within three days.” I must share Seidner’s suspicion that one’s original worldview could definitely result in an unspoken agenda.

  3. For some time now, there have been many works produced by demonstably objective and independent scholars, none more prominent today perhaps than Bart Ehrman, theologian turned agnostic, that point out the inherent frailties involved in trying to “prove the truth” of Christianity. It really applies to all belief systems. An honest search, perhaps lasting years as mine has (decades) will tend to inform that “Truth” is based on what a person’s convictions inform. Being informed can atler one’s convictions. Some spend their careers defending unrefined convictions as they are invested completely in satisfying their view of “truth.” Just as a pharmeceutical company will not wish to pass legislation forcing them to compete on a more level playing field, religion, invested in inself for over a thousand years, is hardly going to actively expose itself as a fraud or conspiracy against reason.

    It only requires a little evidence and thought to realize that the people of the ancient world never imagined the modern world of archeology or forensic investigation. They never imagined things like handwriting analysis or that a time would come when when all competing texts could and would be analyzed by scholars and scientists. Many, if most popularly, Bart Ehrman have made accessable to the reading public the forgeries and frauds peculiar to the birth and development of Christianity. No other world religion has this particular problem (claims of historic fact) and so much extant material. The problem for Christianity is that it formed within the most literate cultures of the world. The early movement had to suppress knowledge and freedom of thought in order to gain control. It is the irrespressible spark of curiousity and drive for real knowledge that has been and is today the problem for Christianity.

    The modern (more or less) or adherence to the historic fact of Christianity makes it a target crying out for criticism when it claims as fact, things such as a virgin birth, resurrection, holy magic, etc. The acceptance of a creation story is as silly as any found amoung the various creation myths in the world. And all of it rendered valid through impressive use of Shakespearean language and enforced by, well, force – and political maneuvering for over a thousand years.

    What I did not see this blogger consider is that the artifact in question is no indiction of any fact either way. Scholars have already long postulated that Jesus (if such a man ever existed in reality) would have made his acts fulfill legend or “prophecies” in order for his movement to succeed. As the proclaimed “King of the Jews,” he had to campaign for support. The artifact may have been produced posthumously by a follower, as the initial hero story underwent 20-40 years of embellishment and then a couple hundred years of forgeries and fraud in augmenting the texts until the final (final?) version was settled upon in 324CE. Gibbons illustrates well this fierce competition among the early Christian leaders. The idea of heresy was invented by the political victors for the purpose of consolodation of power. However, the issue is that even if (and when) a radiocarbon dating test is made, the outcome will imply little or nothing. Like pieces of the “True Cross” and other artifacts so easily obtainable and still passed around, especially in the Catholic community, belief is what matters, not objective or scientific investigation.

    This is why a potato chip or piece of toast can sell on EBay for thousands. People invest in what they believe in order to comfort themselves. People will fight, “Onward Christian Soldiers,” to eliminate doubters. But true believers exist in every religion. Therefore, those of us who just want to live our own lives are beset with this ancient competition raging around us. We are forced, daily to witness its fruits and witness its implied and very real insanity. That is why Christianity, and ALL believe systems must be debunked when they claim their beliefs as fact.

    We who know this must be done are usually “realist” types. So we realize that people will always believe what they need to for themselves. We would just like to be able to take it down a few notches. At least to the point where their spokesmen will have some humility when they preach and so we no longer have the fate of the world in the hands of true believing fanatics of any brand.

  4. “ALL believe systems must be debunked when they claim their beliefs as fact”

    Hmmm. Is your belief system a fact?

  5. […] I’ve been chewing on this for a long time but a recent comment on one of my posts inspired me to finally post on it.  The post was discussing some ’scholarly’ debate on “Gabriel’s Revelation.” […]

  6. I believe that I have a piece of the True Cross. Read my postings at: http://en.calameo.com/subscriptions/118962 and view the photo’s.

  7. ISIAIh 41 BRING forth your IDOLS did they PREACH to you see they can’t speak they can’t DO ANYTHING all they do is cause confuson. Jeremiah 10 they nail hier IDOL down like a scarecrow it can’t move cant speak can’t move must be caried these are nothing but the WORK of CON men. john 10 jesus christ sais his sheep hear his voice and another voice thy will not follow and if another person tries to preach to tem they WILL FLEE from him. jeremiah 5 the priests bear rule on thier own auhority what will you do whe your judged my word is not inside them. Now here is the kicker john 5 son of man voice goes back in time mathew 16 jesus christ claims to be th son of man. 1 cor2 mind of CHRIST preached internlly and john 16 sais the spirit of truth comes in the future. Ezekiel 13 lying prophets of ISRAEL my word is not inside them saying god sais god sais god sais wrote hoping mankind would CONFIRM thie WORDS. all of this is EASILY verifyable.

  8. true christianity comes from the ESSENES of whom JESUS was one he was a vegan thats proven IN GENESIS 1:29 no meaters go to heaven thou shall not KILL period

  9. You go ahead and believe what you want, Honey, but when you are before the Trinity: God, the Creator, Jesus Christ and Holy Spirit when you depart from this life, remember Marie said you are “dead wrong” and there will be weeping and gnashing of the teeth. My heart so goes out to you. I have studied Scripture in detail and I wish you would too. There’s still time to bow your knee before the Holy God. Other atheists have and you can too. Its your choice.

    Marie

  10. Your the one that is dead wrong Marie and your mumbo jumbo doesn’t work on me.

  11. dear marie if u really studied the scriptures u would note no doubt that each book contradicts each other and no doubt the key proof of the ignorance of Christians is simply this as follows: for this is the word of the lord.. one jesus christ nor god write the bible that is certain. but hmm why? jesus was the son of god he converted water to wine surley if god gave written commandments to moses jesus king of kings surley would give the world his teachings on paper knowing people would corrupt them to brainwash and control people. furthermore jesus and his disciples out of the bible were not even noted by any authentic scholars. surley if the messiah has done miracles scholars would have written about his achievements or demise. sadly not so what i noticed with my family and their christian cult is quite funny saddening and just obnoxious they blame everything on satan? so hold on everything that happens bad in ur life is not ur fault but satans and generational curse? so in other words christians fear satan thus worship him in a way ? hmmm another thing i find just obnoxious so god knows everything right so he would have known about satans rebellion and everything that was gunna happen yet he did nothing instead he played with his most loved followers and placed bests with satan and tortured them “the lord giveth and takes it away” so who really is the force of evil satan or this supposed god? another funny part is the whole idea of creation in relation of satan so god creates all existance including satan out of his own essence yet if thats true he cant really destroy satan or anything nor can satan really take over cuz in the end satan is the essence of god so he would destroy himself and if satan wins he would have accomplished nothing beacuse he would still be one with the essence of god so the whole turmoil is a waste. its funny because those who say that people belief what they feel like that and no one can change or disprove christianity islam and judiasm which are all garbage, sadly mistaken people didnt choose yo beleive in these ignorant cults they were made to by force. bottom line is this if jesus really did exist i trully want to say to you jesus im srry because he would be furious and bitch slap all these fools for if he is the son of god the bible is basically reflection of the devil incest murder famine animal sacrifices rape.. sadly if jesus is real he probably is too mad and sad to deal with ignorant fools. truth is the creator of this universe(the force or forces that created this universe) is/are tooo mind boggling to be in a book if science doesnt even know major key points of this planet how can a dumb book capture the essence the creator simply cant be done, who or what ever created this universe is way out of our comprehension knowledge and sadly we are too stupid and dumb to even grasp anything so ask your self this are u really gunna believe some made up crap that humans made or even if they didnt its not the creators work nor jesus work or are u gunna instead beleive in creation n the creator and let the universe be your guide? and i dont mean this in some spirtual sense either lets face it. life is the best messiah and master that can exist only those who listen and are attentive to the universe will find peace. in the end no jesus messiah nor god can make us do anything be saved or what have you (free will) therefore god the messiah the devil are truly powerless and false.

  12. each book contradicts themselves? How does Ruth contradict Esther? How does Esther contradict Jonah?

    Anyway, Mr. jesus, if I ever met you personally, I would first introduce you to the ‘enter’ key and then the period. Or maybe the period first, and then the enter key. But you seem to have some passing acquaintance with the period, so maybe the enter key. Maybe the grammar reflects the mind?

  13. Umm… Marie… I’m curious. Why is there gnashing of teeth, exactly?

  14. What the fuck, everyone knows Christianity is a lie just like all the rest of the so called major religions. Religion in itself is an evil empire based on fear and death who’s books are full of atrocities committed by the so called gods or saviors. Fear of death and eternal damnation are prevalent throughout the texts in an attempt to bring the masses to the pews.
    If people worried more about how to live instead of what happens when they’re dead, the world would be much better off.
    If i were a religious man i would worship the baddest god on the block, it sure wouldnt be a dead man nailed to a tree

  15. Oh, wow. That’s a powerful argument you got there. You convinced me! I sure wish someone had berated and denigrated me earlier, it would have saved me a lot of hassle. Oh well.

  16. God the Holy Spirit & all life is proven by Begotten Jesus 1000s of miracles, resurrected, ascent to heaven & “glory before the world was” St.John 17:5 & “lovedst me before the foundation of the world.” 17:24 are one, divine love, no separation & not even a mystery; is heaven & earth & everything for ever & ever.
    Choose eternal glorious love in heaven OR fiery hell. Beware hell is forever. Saint Luke 16:24

  17. PDiddyDoneDidIt

    jesus fails all criteria to ever be messiah. visit http://www.jewsforjudaism.org for all the details or http://www.aish.com.

  18. Most Christians I have met don’t want to examine arguments which undermine their beliefs. Christianity gives them hope and makes them feel good, and questioning it does not. I’ve even heard some of them openly admit, “if I’m wrong, I’ll be dead, so why does it matter?”

    My own opinion is that Christianity is blatently false, and is the equivalent to believing in a fairy tale. It’s pretty obvious how the world works. And the argument that a guy came back from the dead 2000 years ago, but conveniently left and is now an invisible spiritual power that’s experienced in the heart, and will come back one day to reward those who served his purposes. I mean, really? You really gonna bet your life on that story? My time is too precious for that shit. I can’t even fool myself into believing it if I tried.

  19. Well, I can’t know which Christians you have met, but I’ve met a fair bet who are on the opposite side of the ‘examining argument’ thing. Surely you must know that many Christians used to be atheists?

    As for the ‘giving them hope’ and ‘making them feel good’ thing, that sounds like a caricature if ever I have heard one. I can see a basis for the ‘giving them hope’ bit, but there is very little about Christianity that ‘makes one feel good.’ It demands that we love our enemies, refrain from sex with multitudes, and otherwise practice self-control. It would be much more pleasurable to NOT be a Christian. So, I don’t know what you’re smoking, but it isn’t a good understanding of Christianity.

    As for the last paragraph, that does not sound like an argument worth examining. It doesn’t undermine anyone’s beliefs. It is, as you noted, merely your opinion. That said, it isn’t ‘obvious’ how the world works. Ever hear of the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle? How far along would you say we are to a grand unified theory?

    Oh no, laddie, the world is a mysterious place, and the deeper we go, the more mysterious it gets. One of my favorite quotes:

    “For the scientist that has lived by his faith in the power of reason, the story ends like a bad dream. He has scaled the mountain of ignorance. He is about to conquer the highest peak. As he pulls himself over the final rock, he is greeted by a band of theologians who have been sitting there for centuries.” — Robert Jastrow

    Jastrow was not a Christian, to my knowledge. But even if he was, his scientific credentials are impeccable.

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