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Wednesday, July 09, 2008



Is 53:7 + Hos 6:2 = Lk 24:46


Now, now, nothing new here, just move on.

Richard Pinion

Kind of like Dr. Hahn says "the old reveals the new, and the new fulfils the old". I hope I got that right.

Mark Brumley

I've been waiting to post something on this. I won't get a chance to write up something more detailed so here goes.

Some points.

1. This is an important discovery for a variety of reasons. One of them is not the undermining of Christianity, although it might weaken N.T. Wright's argument in THE RESURRECTION OF THE SON OF GOD--which of course is not the same thing as undermining Christianity.

2. So far Knohl's interpretation has not been confirmed. The reports regarding the text are such that it could bear a range of interpretations, including the one that Dr. Witherington mentions. We'll have to wait and see.

3. In the context of a hyper-exploitive media and pseudoscholarship such as THE DA VINCI CODE and JESUS WAS A SPACE ALIEN, we should expect this sort of thing.

4. It is widely held in NT studies that there was no general expectation of a dying and rising Messiah. This discovery has not altered that insofar as it does not show a general expectation. Thus far, asssuming the text says what is claimed for it, it would show only that someone else, before Christian times, held such an expectation. It would not demonstrate that it was widespread.

5. Nevertheless, Jesus is quoted in the gospels as seeing his passion, death and resurrection as prophesied in Scripture. The NT depicts at least one first-century pre-Christian Jew (Jesus counts as a pre-Christian) as understanding the OT to prophecy a suffering, dying and rising Messiah. Many NT scholars assume that statements reflecting such an interpretation by Jesus has been retrojected back onto the lips of Jesus by Christians. Why we should assume that that is what happened is hard to see. The claim is made that because no pre-Christian Jew understood the OT to predict a dying and rising Messiah this must have been a later, Christian, post facto development attributed to Jesus. The conclusion doesn't follow from the premise, but this is a view that is widely held.

6. The so-called Gabriel Prophecy, if it says what Knohl claims it says, would make it more difficult to claim that the Gospels retroject the idea back to Jesus on the grounds that no pre-Christian Jew believed that there would be a dying and rising Messiah. It would mean that at least some Jews thought this.

7. Whether one agrees that the Christian interpretation of the OT re: a dying and rising Messiah is the best interpretation, it is hard to argue that it is fanciful or absurd. Let's suppose the followers of a messianic claimant named Simon saw their leaders death as fulfilling, say, Is 53. Let's further suppose they expected based on a variety of texts, including Hos 6:2, their leader to be "raised"--that does not necessarily mean "resurrected" but that's another story. We have no evidence that "Simon" was "raised". How is Christianity undermined by the above? If it has any relation to Christianity, it is a relation that seems to tend to confirm it.

Richard Pinion

If there is a desire to disprove a religion why don't they pick on Islam. That would be much more fruitful, but probably unhealthy.


One thought: it's really, REALLY hard to have a legitimate prophecy, isn't it? If people are expecting something to happen, somebody will probably make it happen. If something happens, people can connect the past to make it look like it was foretold.

Off the top of my head, the discovery of this tablet may be key if we can cut through the MSM bull----. As Mr. Brumley noted, people say "Well, Jesus was the only one who interpreted scripture in such a 'unique' fashion." And yet, doesn't that make Him MORE legit: if people were expecting the Crucifixion and Resurrection, they could have planned things appropriately. It was because His words didn't make sense until later that they were deemed genuine.

Then there's the counter-argument: "Oh wait, people *were* expecting these things." But that brings up another problem, that is, why wasn't this belief more well known? Why do we have almost no record of anything existing like this? Surely if there had been evidence like this, the Church Councils would have snatched it up and said "See!? This was foretold to happen!" Thus, as said before, the belief was not widespread, but SOMEBODY may have come to the same conclusion, right as IT was happening (so to speak). What are the implications of that?

I'm interested to see further developments in this. Why do people glob on to every new "discovery" of supposed ancient sources that claim to refute the Church, yet they refuse to believe the one ancient source that has been preserved -- i.e. the Bible? Everything established is suspect, and everything that's new is swallowed indiscriminately. What does one call this phenomenon? Seriously, I can't think of a proper term. "Rebellious gullibility"? "Wanton frivolousness"?

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