Thursday, January 12, 2012

70 Metal Codices Found Near The Jordan. What are they?

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In March of 2011, 70 metal codices emerged as archeological find either uncovered recently or known about within a family whom are making it public now after passing them down for a few generations. In any case, these codices seem to contain some allusions to the history of the Church and Jewish history in 1st century Palestine. Though analyzes has to be done before any strong conclusions can be made as to what is actually on the codices and their authenticity some early conclusions can be made (but with caution). Biblical scholar P. Davies in July of 2011writes about the codices in Palestine Exploration Quarterly saying,

“…the really interesting features of these ‘books’ are that, despite the apparent care taken in making them (and, if fraudulent, elaborately creating the impression of age), they are really quite uninformative. The vast majority of the sheets are covered in a limited repertoire of standard Jewish images — menorahs, date-palms, stars, cups, grape clusters, together with fragments of wall and palaeo-Hebrew letters . Some of the lettering is quite formal, closely resembling Jewish and Samaritan writing in use two millennia ago…On some sheets (relatively few), there is extended and non-repetitive writing that gives the impression of a text, but it has not yet proved possible to make sense of this. One respected academic colleague has identified the words ’lk btm’ (‘I will walk uprightly’). Though I personallyhave been unable to verify this reading, that may yet be confirmed by others. Whether the remainder of the writing is in a code remains to be seen. But overall, these ‘books’ do not make any claims to be from a certain time or place or to point to particular events. Deception, where it exists, can only be in the appearance of antiquity; that may, of course, be enough, but it is nevertheless a poor and disappointing effort!”[1]

We will have to see what this fairly recent find really turns out to be after further investigation in the coming months and years.

[1] [1] Davies, P. (2011, July). Mysterious Books from Jordan. Palestine Exploration Quarterly. pp. 79-84. doi:10.1179/003103211X12971861557115.

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