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2012 Debate - Religion
By Fiona Macrae
Last updated at 11:35 AM on 30th March 2011
Could this be the biggest find since the Dead
Sea Scrolls? Seventy metal books found in
cave in Jordan could change our view of
Biblical history
By Fiona Macrae
Last updated at 11:35 AM on 30th March 2011
My secret meeting with David Elkington
Colin Andrews and David Elkington at the meeting in March 2010.

"I met with British Archeologist David Elkington who heads the British
research team investigating the find during early M
arch 2010 and was
sworn to secrecy about this discovery and the huge implications that could
follow. There is still much more going on behind the scenes than has so far
been disclosed. David and his wife, whom I also met had been given armed
protection which was the result of both of them being
shot at during this
investigation and also receiving more death threats. Someone it seems
does not want the information on these tablets released.

Are these lead tablets discovered in a remote cave in Jordan the secret
writings about the last years of Jesus?

Much of the writing is in code, but experts like David have deciphered
images, symbols and a few words and the texts could be 2,000 years old

This may well be a discovery which will play a major part in the 2012
religious turmoil. Keep your eye on this ball".

Davids new book is about to be published:
The Lead Codices.

Colin Andrews - Posted March 30, 2011
For scholars of faith and history, it is a treasure trove too precious for price.

This ancient collection of 70 tiny books, their lead pages bound with wire, could unlock some of the
secrets of the earliest days of Christianity.

Academics are divided as to their authenticity but say that if verified, they could prove as pivotal as
the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls in 1947.

On pages not much bigger than a credit card, are images, symbols and words that appear to refer to
the Messiah and, possibly even, to the Crucifixion and Resurrection.

Adding to the intrigue, many of the books are sealed, prompting academics to speculate they are
actually the lost collection of codices mentioned in the Bible’s Book Of Revelation.

The books were discovered five years ago in a cave in a remote part of Jordan to which Christian
refugees are known to have fled after the fall of Jerusalem in 70AD. Important documents from the
same period have previously been found there.

Initial metallurgical tests indicate that some of the books could date from the first century AD.
Lines of inquiry: The metal tablets could change our understanding of the Bible.
Copyright: David Elkington
Revelation: Experts speculate that the tablets could be the lost collection of codices referred to in the
Bible's Book Of Revelation.
Copyright: David Elkington.
This estimate is based on the form of corrosion which has taken place, which experts believe would be
impossible to achieve artificially.

If the dating is verified, the books would be among the earliest Christian documents, predating the
writings of St Paul.

The prospect that they could contain contemporary accounts of the final years of Jesus’s life has
excited scholars – although their enthusiasm is tempered by the fact that experts have previously been
fooled by sophisticated fakes.

David Elkington, a British scholar of ancient religious history and archeology, and one of the few to
have examined the books, says they could be ‘the major discovery of Christian history’.

‘It is a breathtaking thought that we have held these objects that might have been held by the early
saints of the Church,’ he said.

But the mysteries between their ancient pages are not the books’ only riddle. Today, their whereabouts
are also something of a mystery. After their discovery by a Jordanian Bedouin, the hoard was
subsequently acquired by an Israeli Bedouin, who is said to have illegally smuggled them across the
border into Israel, where they remain.

However, the Jordanian Government is now working at the highest levels to repatriate and safeguard
the collection. Philip Davies, emeritus professor of biblical studies at Sheffield University, said there was
powerful evidence that the books have a Christian origin in plates cast into a picture map of the holy
city of Jerusalem.
Hidden meaning: Scrolls, tablets and other artifacts, including an incense bowl, were also found at the
same site as the tablets.
Copyright: David Elkington.
‘As soon as I saw that, I was dumbstruck,’ he said. ‘That struck me as so obviously a Christian image.
There is a cross in the foreground, and behind it is what has to be the tomb [of Jesus], a small building
with an opening, and behind that the walls of the city.

‘There are walls depicted on other pages of these books too and they almost certainly refer to
Jerusalem. It is a Christian crucifixion taking place outside the city walls.’

The British team leading the work on the discovery fears that the present Israeli ‘keeper’ may be
looking to sell some of the books on to the black market, or worse – destroy them.

But the man who holds the books denies the charge and claims they have been in his family for 100
years.

Dr Margaret Barker, a former president of the Society for Old Testament Study, said: ‘The Book of
Revelation tells of a sealed book that was opened only by the Messiah.

‘Other texts from the period tell of sealed books of wisdom and of a secret tradition passed on by Jesus
to his closest disciples. That is the context for this discovery.’
A 16th century painting depicting Jesus's death. The metal books contain pages with images,
symbols and words that appear to refer to the Messiah and, possibly even, to the Crucifixion.
Copyright: Alamy
X marks the spot: The cave in Jordan where the artifacts were discovered.
Copyright: David Elkington.
Professor Davies said: ‘The possibility of a Hebrew-Christian origin is certainly suggested by the
imagery and, if so, these codices are likely to bring dramatic new light to our understanding of a very
significant but so far little understood period of history.’

Mr Elkington, who is leading British efforts to have the books returned to Jordan, said: ‘It is vital that the
collection can be recovered intact and secured in the best possible circumstances, both for the benefit
of its owners and for a potentially fascinated international audience.’

*British scientists have uncovered up to eight million mummified dogs, thought to have been sacrificed
to Anubis, the god of the dead, 2500 years ago after excavating tunnels in the ancient Eygptian city of
Saqqara.


Full story in The Daily Mail (UK)

- - - - - -
More:
Are lead tablets discovered in a remote cave in Jordan the secret
writings about the last years of Jesus?

Much of the writing is in code, but experts have deciphered images, symbols and a few words and the
texts could be 2,000 years old.

Full story
HERE
Dr Margaret Barker, a former
president of the Society for Old
Testament Study, confirmed that a
sealed book is mentioned in the Bible
Groundbreaking find: A section of the Dead Sea Scrolls, which were
unearthed in 1947.
Copyright: AP
Please consider a small donation for future research and this free website.
Are lead tablets discovered
in a remote cave in Jordan
the secret writings about the
last years of Jesus? This
could be a very important
component to the
2012
religious turmoil predicated.
Colin Andrews secret
meeting during early 2010
with the scholar David
Elkington who has seen
them and deciphered them:
"David and his wife, whom I also met had been given armed
protection which was the result of both being
shot at during this
investigation and also receiving death threats. Someone it seems
does not want the information on these tablets released".

Colin Andrews
Posted March 30, 2011

BBC Report HERE
David Elkington is a
British Archaeologist and an
ancient religion scholar who
heads the British research
team investigating the find,
has likewise pronounced
this nothing less than "the
major discovery of Christian
history." Elkington told the
Daily Mail that "it is a
breathtaking thought that
we have held these objects
that might have been held
by the early saints of the
Church."
Biblical scholars who have
examined the codices point to
significant textual evidence
suggesting their early
Christian origin. Philip Davies,
emeritus professor of Old
Testament Studies at
Sheffield University, told
Pigott he was "dumbstruck" at
the sight of plates
representing a picture map of
ancient Jerusalem.
"There is
a cross in the foreground,
and behind it is what has
to be the tomb [of Jesus],
a small building with an
opening, and behind that
the walls of the city,"

Davies explained. "There are
walls depicted on other pages
of these books, too, and they
almost certainly refer to
Jerusalem."
Already touched off a battle
over ownership rights
between Israel and Jordan.
One of the few sentences
translated thus far from the
texts, according to the BBC,
reads, "
I shall walk
uprightly"--a phrase that
also appears in Revelation.
"While it could be simply a
sentiment common in
Judaism," BBC writer
Robert Pigott notes, "it
could here be designed to
refer to the resurrection."
=======================================
Could lead codices prove ‘the major discovery of Christian history’?
Yahoo News
Wed Mar 30, 11:36 am ET
By Chris Lehmann

British archaeologists are seeking to authenticate what could be a landmark discovery in the
documentation of early Christianity: a trove of 70 lead codices that appear to date from the 1st
century CE, which may include key clues to the last days of Jesus' life. As UK Daily Mail reporter Fiona
Macrae writes, some researchers are suggesting this could be the most significant find in Christian
archeology since the Dead Sea scrolls in 1947.

The codices turned up five years ago in a remote cave in eastern Jordan—a region where early
Christian believers may have fled after the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem in 70 CE. The
codices are made up of wirebound individual pages, each roughly the size of a credit card. They
contain a number of images and textual allusions to the Messiah, as well as some possible references
to the crucifixion and resurrection. Some of the codices were sealed, prompting yet more breathless
speculation that they could include the sealed book, shown only to the Messiah, mentioned in the
Book of Revelation. One of the few sentences translated thus far from the texts, according to the
BBC, reads, "I shall walk uprightly"--a phrase that also appears in Revelation. "While it could be simply
a sentiment common in Judaism," BBC writer Robert Pigott notes, "it could here be designed to refer
to the resurrection."

But the field of biblical archaeology is also prey to plenty of hoaxes and enterprising fraudsters, so
investigators are proceeding with due empirical caution. Initial metallurgical research indicates that the
codices are about 2,000 years old--based on the manner of corrosion they have undergone, which,
as Macrae writes, "experts believe would be impossible to achieve artificially."

Beyond the initial dating tests, however, little is confirmed about the codices or what they contain. And
the saga of their discovery has already touched off a battle over ownership rights between Israel and
Jordan. As the BBC's Pigott recounts, the cache surfaced when a Jordanian Bedouin saw a
menorah—the Jewish religious candleabra—exposed in the wake of a flash flood. But the codices
somehow passed into the ownership of an Israeli Bedouin named Hassam Saeda, who claims that
they have been in his family's possession for the past 100 years. The Jordanian government has
pledged to "exert all efforts at every level" to get the potentially priceless relics returned, Pigott
reports.

Meanwhile, biblical scholars who have examined the codices point to significant textual evidence
suggesting their early Christian origin. Philip Davies, emeritus professor of Old Testament Studies at
Sheffield University, told Pigott he was "dumbstruck" at the sight of plates representing a picture map
of ancient Jerusalem. "There is a cross in the foreground, and behind it is what has to be the tomb [of
Jesus], a small building with an opening, and behind that the walls of the city," Davies explained.
"There are walls depicted on other pages of these books, too, and they almost certainly refer to
Jerusalem."

David Elkington, an ancient religion scholar who heads the British research team investigating the
find, has likewise pronounced this nothing less than "the major discovery of Christian history."
Elkington told the Daily Mail that "it is a breathtaking thought that we have held these objects that
might have been held by the early saints of the Church."


Still, other students of early Christian history are urging caution, citing precedents such as the
debunked discovery of an ossuary said to contain Jesus' bones. New Testament scholar Larry
Hurtado observes that since these codices are miniature, they were likely intended for private, rather
than liturgical, use. This would likely place their date of origin closer to the 3rd century CE. But only
further research and full translation of the codices can fully confirm the nature of the find. The larger
lesson here is likely that of Eccliastes 3:1—be patient, since "to everything there is a season."

(David Elkington/Rex Features/Rex USA)
One of the few people to see the collection is
David Elkington, a scholar of ancient
religious archaeology who is heading a
British team trying to get the lead books
safely into a Jordanian museum.

He says they could be “the major discovery
of Christian history”, adding: “It’s a
breathtaking thought that we have held these
objects that might have been held by the
early saints of the Church.”

He believes the most telling evidence for an
early Christian origin lies in the images
decorating the covers of the books and some
of the pages of those which have so far been
opened.

Mr Elkington says the relics feature signs that
early Christians would have interpreted as
indicating Jesus, shown side-by-side with
others they would have regarded as
representing the presence of God.

“It’s talking about the coming of the
messiah,” he says.

“In the upper square [of one of the book
covers] we have the seven-branch menorah,
which Jews were utterly forbidden to
represent because it resided in the holiest
place in the Temple in the presence of God.

“So we have the coming of the messiah to
approach the holy of holies, in other words to
get legitimacy from God.”

Source -
The Church of Jesus Christ
=====================================

Jordan vows to recover artefacts 'as important as Dead Sea Scrolls'
Jordan has vowed to use all means at its disposal to recover a set of artefacts allegedly
smuggled into Israel that it believes could constitute the most important Christian texts ever
found.

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A reminder about my article posted April 23, 2010:
Our true history and our future is hidden in
secret 'Metal Books'.
By Colin Andrews
April 23 2010.
Select to read HERE
New In Depth Investigation by UK's National Newspaper - The Daily Mail.

IS THIS THE FIRST EVER PORTRAIT OF JESUS? THE
INCREDIBLE STORY OF 70 ANCIENT
BOOKS HIDDEN IN A CAVE FOR NEARLY 2,000 YEARS
By Nick Pryer
Daily Mail
April 3, 2011

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 of one of the recently discovered hoard of up to 70 lead codices – booklets
– found in a cave in the hills overlooking the Sea of Galilee is one reason Bible historians are
clamouring to get their hands on the ancient artefacts.
If genuine, this could be
The tiny booklet, a little smaller than a modern credit card, is sealed on all sides and has a three-
dimensional representation of a human head on both the front and the back. One appears to have a
beard and the other is without. Even the maker’s fingerprint can be seen in the lead impression.
Beneath both figures is a line of as-yet undeciphered text in an ancient Hebrew script.
Astonishingly, one of the booklets appears to bear the words ‘Saviour of Israel’ – one of the few
phrases so far translated.
The owner of the cache is Bedouin trucker Hassan Saida who lives in the Arab village of Umm al-
Ghanim, Shibli. He has refused to sell the booklets but two samples were sent to England and
Switzerland for testing.
A Mail on Sunday investigation has revealed that the artefacts were originally found in a cave in the
village of Saham in Jordan, close to where Israel, Jordan and Syria’s Golan Heights converge – and
within three miles of the Israeli spa and hot springs of Hamat Gader, a religious site for thousands of
years.
According to sources in Saham, they were discovered five years ago after a flash flood scoured away
the dusty mountain soil to reveal what looked like a large capstone. When this was levered aside, a
cave was discovered with a large number of small niches set into the walls. Each of these niches
contained a booklet. There were also other objects, including some metal plates and rolled lead
scrolls.
The area is renowned as an age-old refuge for ancient Jews fleeing the bloody aftermath of a series
of revolts against the Roman empire in the First and early Second Century AD.
The cave is less than 100 miles from Qumran, where the Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered, and
around 60 miles from Masada, scene of the last stand and mass suicide of an extremist Zealot sect in
the face of a Roman Army siege in 72AD – two years after the destruction of the Second Temple in
Jerusalem.

It is also close to caves that have been used as sanctuaries by refugees from the Bar Kokhba revolt,
the third and final Jewish revolt against the Roman Empire in 132AD.
The era is of critical importance to Biblical scholars because it encompasses the political, social and
religious upheavals that led to the split between Judaism and Christianity.
It ended with the triumph of Christianity over its rivals as the dominant new religion first for dissident
Jews and then for Gentiles.

In this context, it is important that while the Dead Sea Scrolls are rolled pieces of parchment or
papyrus containing the earliest-known versions of books of the Hebrew Bible and other texts – the
traditional Jewish format for written work – these lead discoveries are in book, or codex, form which
has long been associated with the rise of Christianity.
The codices seen by The Mail on Sunday range in size from smaller than 3in x 2in to around 10in x
8in. They each contain an average of eight or nine pages and appear to be cast, rather than
inscribed, with images on both sides and bound with lead-ring bindings. Many of them were severely
corroded when they were first discovered, although it has been possible to open them with care.
The codex showing what may be the face of Christ is not thought to have been opened yet. Some
codices show signs of having been buried – although this could simply be the detritus resulting from
lying in a cave for hundreds of years.
Unlike the Dead Sea Scrolls, the lead codices appear to consist of stylised pictures, rather than text,
with a relatively small amount of script that appears to be in a Phoenician language, although the
exact dialect is yet to be identified. At the time these codices were created, the Holy Land was
populated by different sects, including Essenes, Samaritans, Pharisees, Sadducees, Dositheans and
Nazoreans.

There was no common script and considerable intermingling of language and writing systems between
groups. Which means it could take years of detailed scholarship to accurately interpret the codices.
Many of the books are sealed on all sides with metal rings, suggesting they were not intended to be
opened. This could be because they contained holy words which should never be read. For example,
the early Jews fiercely protected the sacred name of God, which was only ever uttered by The High
Priest in the Temple in Jerusalem at Yom Kippur.
The original pronunciation has been lost, but has been transcribed into Roman letters as YHWH –
known as the Tetragrammaton – and is usually translated either as Yahweh or Jehovah. A sealed
book containing sacred information was mentioned in the biblical Book of Revelations.
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.
One plate has been interpreted as a schematic map of Christian Jerusalem showing the Roman
crosses outside the city walls. At the top can be seen a ladder-type shape. This is thought to be a
balustrade mentioned in a biblical description of the Temple in Jerusalem. Below that are three groups
of brickwork, to represent the walls of the city.
A fruiting palm tree suggests the House of David and there are three or four shapes that appear to be
horizontal lines intersected by short vertical lines from below. These are the T-shaped crosses
believed to have been used in biblical times (the familiar crucifix shape is said to date from the 4th
Century). The star shapes in a long line represent the House of Jesse – and then the pattern is
repeated.
This interpretation of the books as proto-Christian artefacts is supported by Margaret Barker, former
president of the Society for Old Testament Study and one of Britain’s leading experts on early
Christianity. The fact that a figure is portrayed would appear to rule out these codices being
connected to mainstream Judaism of the time, where portrayal of lifelike figures was strictly forbidden
because it was considered idolatry.

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.
However another theory, put forward by Robert Feather – an authority on The Dead Sea Scrolls and
author of The Mystery Of The Copper Scroll Of Qumran – is that these books are connected to the
Bar Kokhba Revolt of 132-136AD, the third major rebellion by the Jews of Judea Province and the last
of the Jewish-Roman Wars.
The revolt established an independent state of Israel over parts of Judea for two years before the
Roman army finally crushed it, with the result that all Jews, including the early Christians, were barred
from Jerusalem.

The followers of Simon Bar Kokhba, the commander of the revolt, acclaimed him as a Messiah, a
heroic figure who could restore Israel. Although Jewish Christians hailed Jesus as the Messiah and did
not support Bar Kokhba, they were barred from Jerusalem along with the rest of the Jews. The war
and its aftermath helped differentiate Christianity as a religion distinct from Judaism.

The spiritual leader of the revolt was Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai, who laid the foundations for a
mystical form of Judaism known today as Kabbalah, which is followed by Madonna, Britney Spears
and others. Yochai hid in a cave for 13 years and wrote a secret commentary on the Bible, the Zohar,
which evolved into the teaching of Kabbalah. Feather is convinced that some of the text on
the codices carry the name of Rabbi Bar Yochai.
Feather says that all known codices prior to around 400AD were made of parchment and that cast
lead is unknown. They were clearly designed to exist for ever and never to be opened. The use of
metal as a writing material at this time is well documented – however the text was always inscribed, not
cast.

The books are currently in the possession of Hassan Saida, in Umm al-Ghanim, Shibli, which is at the
foot of Mount Tabor, 18 miles west of the Sea of Galilee.
Saida owns and operates a haulage business consisting of at least nine large flatbed lorries. He is
regarded in his village as a wealthy man. His grandfather settled there more than 50 years ago and
his mother and four brothers still live there.
Saida, who is in his mid-30s and married with five or six children, claims he inherited the booklets from
his grandfather.
However, The Mail on Sunday has learned of claims that they first came to light five years ago when
his Bedouin business partner met a villager in Jordan who said he had some ancient artefacts to sell.
The business partner was apparently shown two very small metal books. He brought them back over
the border to Israel and Saida became entranced by them, coming to believe they had magical
properties and that it was his fate to collect as many as he could.
The arid, mountainous area where they were found is both militarily sensitive and agriculturally poor.
The local people have for generations supplemented their income by hoarding and selling
archeological artefacts found in caves.

More of the booklets were clandestinely smuggled across the border by drivers working for Saida –
the smaller ones were typically worn openly as charms hanging from chains around the drivers’ necks,
the larger concealed behind car and lorry dashboards.
In order to finance the purchase of booklets from the Jordanians who had initially discovered them,
Saida allegedly went into partnership with a number of other people – including his lawyer from Haifa,
Israel.
Saida’s motives are complex. He constantly studies the booklets, but does not take particularly good
care of them, opening some and coating them in olive oil in order to ‘preserve’ them.
The artefacts have been seen by multi-millionaire collectors of antiquities in both Israel and
Europe – and Saida has been offered tens of millions of pounds for just a few of them, but has
declined to sell any.
When he first obtained the booklets, he had no idea what they were or even if they were
genuine.
He contacted Sotheby’s in London in 2007 in an attempt to find an expert opinion, but the
famous auction house declined to handle them because their provenance was not known.
Soon afterwards, the British author and journalist Nick Fielding was approached by a
Palestinian woman who was concerned that the booklets would be sold on the black market.
Fielding was asked to approach the British Museum, the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge and
other places.
Fielding travelled to Israel and obtained a letter from the Israeli Antiquities Authority saying it
had no objection to their being taken abroad for analysis. It appears the IAA believed the
booklets were forgeries on the basis that nothing like them had been discovered before.
None of the museums wanted to get involved, again because of concerns over provenance.
Fielding was then asked to approach experts to find out what they were and if they were
genuine. David Feather, who is a metallurgist as well as an expert on the Dead Sea Scrolls,
recommended submitting the samples for metal analysis at Oxford University.
The work was carried out by Dr Peter Northover, head of the Materials Science-based
Archaeology Group and a world expert on the analysis of ancient metal materials.
The samples were then sent to the Swiss National Materials Laboratory at Dubendorf,
Switzerland. The results show they were consistent with ancient (Roman) period lead
production and that the metal was smelted from ore that originated in the Mediterranean. Dr
Northover also said that corrosion on the books was unlikely to be modern.
Meanwhile, the politics surrounding the provenance of the books is intensifying. Most
professional scholars are cautious pending further research and point to the ongoing forgery
trial in Israel over the ancient limestone ossuary purporting to have housed the bones of
James, brother of Jesus.
The Israeli archeological establishment has sought to defuse problems of provenance by
casting doubt on the authenticity of the codices, but Jordan says it will ‘exert all efforts at every
level’ to get the relics repatriated.
The debate over whether these booklets are genuine and, if so, whether they represent the
first known artefacts of the early Christian church or the first stirrings of mystical Kabbalah will
undoubtedly rage for years to come.
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.
‘They will really match, and perhaps be more significant than, the Dead Sea Scrolls,’ he says.
‘The initial information is very encouraging and it seems that we are looking at a very important
and significant discovery – maybe the most important discovery in the history of archaeology.’
If he is right, then we really may be gazing at the face of Jesus Christ.

                                        Thanks to Dave Haith and also New Heaven New Earth
UPDATED
April 3, 2011
>>>>>>>>>>
Discovery: The impression on this booklet cover shows what could be
the earliest image of Christ
One lucky owner: Hassan Saida with some of the
artefacts that he says he inherited
Precious: This booklet shows what scholars
believe to be the map of Christian Jerusalem
Wonder: The cave in Jordan where the metal books were
discovered
Masterpiece: Later versions of Christ, including Leonardo Da Vinci's interpretation in his fresco
The Last Supper, give Jesus similar characteristics
Man made or not, a crop circle revealed glyphs that would later be discovered on the metal
books when they were made public two years later
HERE.
This is one of the statuettes which were
discovered close to the codices. Shown with
exclusive permission of lLan Shibli
-
Copyright: lLan Shibli
I received An E-mail after posting this page on my blog site from lLan Shibli, the
co-owner of the codices and was given new details and exclusive permission to
show photographs not seen before. The statue below I was told was discovered
close to the place where the lead books were found.
HERE