However, the rule of thumb with any new archaeological discovery is to go very cautiously, examine the credentials and associations of the "experts" involved, and use a "wait and see" attitude. In many cases I have found that the "experts" in biblical and Christian studies used to examine the discovery know nothing about biblical Christianty, are not Christian at all, but in fact, frauds.
The image is eerily familiar: a bearded young man with flowing curly hair. After lying for nearly 2,000 years hidden in a cave in the Holy Land, the fine detail is difficult to determine. But in a certain light it is not difficult to interpret the marks around the figure's brow as a crown of thorns.
The extraordinary picture was found in a cave in the hills overlooking the Sea of Galilee, and has been hidden there for 2,000 years.
'If genuine, it seems clear that these books were, in fact, created by an early Messianic Jewish sect, perhaps closely allied to the early Christian church and that these images represent Christ himself."
Astonishingly, one of the booklets appears to bear the words, 'Saviour of Israel' – one of the few phrases so far translated.
The director of Jordan’s Department of Antiquities, Ziad al-Saad, has few doubts. He believes they may indeed have been made by followers of Jesus in the few decades immediately following his crucifixion.
A number of experts have examined the writings, including Margaret Barker, a former president of the Society for Old testament Study with a renowned knowledge of early Christian studies.
'If they are a forgery, what are they are forgery of?' she said.' Most fakes are drawn from existing material, but there is nothing like this that I have seen.'
Philip Davies, emeritus professor of biblical studies at Sheffield University is convinced the codices are genuine after studying one.
He has told colleagues privately that he believes the find is unlikely to have been forged, say the Sunday Times. More here with pictures. Also, there is more on the discovery of all of the books here.
But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, [even] to them that believe on his name: John 1:12Thank you Lord, that we too can know you personally through your Word, and your Holy Spirit that you have given to all those who believe in you!
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