Lead manuscripts in Jordan

Lead manuscripts in Jordan – could be the greatest discovery in the history of Christianity

A total of 70 lead books, about 2,000 years old, were found in a cave in Jordan. Experts analyzing them say the documents, some of the oldest Christian writings, could be a major discovery in the history of Christianity, writes the international press.

“We are analyzing a very important and significant discovery, perhaps the most important discovery in the history of archaeology,” said al-Ziad Saad, director of the Jordanian Department of Antiquities. He explained to the BBC that the texts may have been made by some of the early Christians in the decades immediately following Jesus’ crucifixion.

David Elkington, head of a British team of researchers said: “It is amazing that we have these objects that could have been touched by the first saints of the Church,” writes the Daily Express.

Each of the 70 cards has between 5 and 15 “pages” (lead and copper plates), linked by lead rings and have the size of a credit card.

The texts are written in ancient Hebrew. A first analysis of the metal shows that some books date back to the first century after Christ.

If further research confirmed their authenticity, the writings would represent the greatest discovery after the Dead Sea Scrolls found in 1947.
Disputes have already arisen around these writings. It seems that they were discovered in a cave in Jordan by a Jordanian Bedouin. emAcum, Jordanian authorities claim them after they were taken to Israel between 2005 and 2007.
The brochures are currently in the hands of a Bedouin trucker named Hassan Saida, who lives in the village of Shibli-um Al-Ghanam in Israel. He refused to sell them, but agreed to send two of them to England and Switzerland for analysis.

Lead manuscripts in Jordan

If the researches confirm their authenticity, the writings would represent the greatest discovery after the Dead Sea Scrolls found in 1947

A portrait, possibly of Jesus Christ, was found on one of the 70 lead books.
The image, which is not easily distinguishable, depicts a man with long hair, wearing a crown of thorns on his head, writes the Daily Mail.

Historians are trying to determine if this is really the portrait of Jesus Christ. If their suspicions come true, the image could be the first portrait of the Savior.

They investigate whether the image was created during jesus’ lifetime by those who knew him. Historians believe that the manuscripts discovered in Jordan were created by the descendants of Jesus a few decades after the crucifixion.

The most convincing proof that the manuscripts are Christian is a page that seems to show a map of the holy city of Jerusalem.

On one of the books it seems to say “The Savior of Israel”, in ancient Hebrew.

Andrei Gaitanaru, a researcher at the Center for Medieval Studies of the University of Bucharest, discussed online the impact of the Dead Sea Scrolls or the Apocryphal Gospels on Christian traditions.

Here are some of Andrei Gaitanaru’s answers:

* If we talk about the recently discovered manuscripts, we cannot talk – almost at all – about its content. It is supposed to belong to a Christian community from the early decades of Christianity, those that eventually witnessed the Crucifixion of Christ. The presupposition is justified by the identification of Christian symbols, such as the Cross and what appears to appear to be the tomb of Christ, placed outside Jerusalem.

* Even if these texts, like the first ones discovered at the Dead Sea, are authentic, the phenomenon of their appearance cannot affect in any way the history of Christianity nor its dogma established by

The Apostolic Canon, the Ecumenical Councils and the exegetical tradition of the treaties of the Holy Fathers of the Church.

* Such editorial appearances can bring relevant auxiliary information about what the Christian community looks like in the first centuries and about how Christian spirituality was discursively shaped. As you have noticed, deviations from the Christian norm were present in the early Christian communities. The Pauline Epistles speak clearly and loudly of a Christian community in the process of formation and which often deviated from what appeared as the norm of Christianity. Christianity is – along with the other two Abrahamic monotheisms – a normative religion. Let’s not forget that, before the schism of 1054, Christianity was Orthodox, with other words being articulated around a right faith and a right practice.


* It is assumed that these plaques would not have played any liturgical role, given their extremely small size and the related difficulty of being read in such a context. It is assumed that it was intended for a private consultation.

* The recent manuscripts have not even got to be fully opened. As is known, already, some of them are sealed in lead straps. At the moment we can’t even talk about a translation of a larger part of them.


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