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Monday, 18 April 2011

Codices About Jesus

 Seventy lead codices inscribed with images and texts relative to the Messiah were discovered five years ago in Jordan and are now gaining worldwide attention. They have not been completely deciphered, and there is speculation that they may contain the sealed book that Revelation says was given to Jesus. This speculation is foolish, because the Book of Revelation is wild-eyed nonsense and not a word of it should be taken seriously.

So far, no one is arguing that the codices were forged. The aging of the metal of which they consist comports with the idea that they may date to the first century of the Christian era. But, then again, may they not date to the second or third?

Further, they cannot and will not provide more information on the life of Jesus, because it is almost a certainty that Jesus did not exist. If, against all the odds, there was a man in the Levant named Jesus who claimed to be God or the son of God, it is indubitable that, like many modern religionists, he was deluded. He most assuredly did not work the miracles attributed to him, because such miracles are impossible. If they had been possible and if he had worked them, they would be irrelevant today anyway. Who cares about the fish and loaves in the face of today’s world hunger? Let Jesus solve that one. More importantly, Christian teachings, like the parable of the fig tree and the parable of the lilies of the field, are utterly false. Try them and see.

Someone has called the codices perhaps the greatest discovery for Christian archeology since the Dead Sea Scrolls. The Dead Sea Scrolls have nothing at all to do with Christianity, and their historico-archeological value is much overrated. But Christians will clutch at anything that seems to prop up their tottering edifice.

This is reminiscent of the Shroud of Turin. A shroud from the 13th century bearing the impression of a man’s body was said to be the shroud of Jesus. The image did look like the conventionalized Jesus, but this is absolutely preposterous, since the New Testament never describes Jesus’s physical appearance at all. If he actually existed, he may have been short, fat and bald for all we know. The apparent resemblance was merely a hoax.

In the case of the Shroud, investigators did a microscopic analysis of the fibers and concluded that they contained pollen from Italy rather than Judea. Other researchers countered by claiming that under the Italian pollen layer, there was a layer from Judea. It’s odd that you have to argue about pollen to determine whether Jesus really existed, for if he had existed and if he wanted people to know this for a fact, it would be as easy as pie for him just to appear again in some form that no one could possibly doubt. If I saw a 100-foot man, glorious and magnificent, and he said his name was Jesus, I would be converted, but pollen doesn’t faze me.

Then there was the DUD Tablet. Someone found an ancient stone tablet referring to DUD. In Hebrew, DUD may stand for DAVID or it may stand for DOD (uncle). Let it stand for DAVID, as they contend. The problem is that no one doubted the existence of King David in the first place. But the religionists like to think of the tablet as proof that the whole Jewish Bible is true.

Then there was the James Ossuary. Someone turned up a bone-box with the inscribed names of Jesus, James and Joseph. Aha! Jesus’s ossuary! The Israel Antiquities Authority has pronounced it a forgery, but the matter is still being contested.

It’s ridiculous to look for evidence of the real Jesus, as there was no real Jesus, at least no real Jesus who was also divine. You may as well look for the real Superman or the real Cinderella.

I can tell you right now that, whether or not the lead codices are genuine, they will not lead the way to Jesus and the salvation of the world. There is no salvation. We live and die, and that’s that. And in time, the human race will pass away and be forgotten.

I may have a grim, dreary outlook, but that's what the facts call for.


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