Re: [asa] Tablet ignites debate on messiah and resurrection

From: David Opderbeck <dopderbeck@gmail.com>
Date: Tue Jul 08 2008 - 13:26:13 EDT

Here is another expert opinion:
http://ralphriver.blogspot.com/2008/07/vision-of-gabriel.html

It seems that, as with the Talpiot Tomb, there's a significant amount of
hyperbole and not a lot of substance to the breathless reports in the
popular press.

On Tue, Jul 8, 2008 at 12:05 PM, Christine Smith <
christine_mb_smith@yahoo.com> wrote:

> Thanks to David O. for posting the (suggested)
> translation...a quick question and comment...see
> below...
>
> In Christ,
> Christine (ASA member)
>
> --- Rich Blinne <rich.blinne@gmail.com> wrote:
>
> > On Tue, Jul 8, 2008 at 7:56 AM, David Opderbeck
> > <dopderbeck@gmail.com>
> > wrote:
> >
> > > Biblical Archeology Review published a
> > transcription of the tablet back in
> > > January
> > (http://bib-arch.org/news/dss-in-stone-news.asp).
> > Some folks on
> > > the "biblical-studies" listserv pointed me to the
> > following lines as the
> > > ones possibly referring to a messiah who dies and
> > rises in three days (lines
> > > 19-21 and 80 -- context for line 80 given here):
> > >
> > >
> > > 19. sanctity(?)\sanctify(?) Israel! In three days
> > you shall know,* *that(?)\for(?)
> > > He said,
> > >
> > > 20. (namely,) yhwh the Lord of Hosts, the Lord of
> > Israel: The evil broke
> > > (down)
> > >
> > > 21. before justice. Ask me and I will tell you
> > what 22this bad 21plant is,
> > >
> > > and
> > >
> > >
> > > 75. Three shepherds went out to?/of? Israel [].
> > >
> > > 76. If there is a priest, if there are sons of
> > saints []
> > >
> > > 77. Who am I(?), I (am?) Gabri'el the (=angel?)
> > []
> > >
> > > 78. You(?) will save them, []
> > >
> > > 79. from before You, the three si[gn]s(?), three
> > [.]
> > >
> > > 80. In three days , I, Gabri'el [?],
> > >
> > > 81. the Prince of Princes, , narrow holes(?)
> > []
> > >
> > > 82. to/for [] and the
> > >
> > > So.... ok, I have zero expertise in interpreting
> > this sort of artifact, but
> > > --- doesn't it seem a wee bit of a stretch to
> > claim this definitely refers
> > > to a tradition of a messiah who will die and rise
> > again in three days?
> > >
> > >
> >
> > There's a newer claim on what line 80 is saying. The
> > NYT reports it this
> > way:
> >
> > The slaying of Simon, or any case of the suffering
> > messiah, is seen as a
> > > necessary step toward national salvation, he says,
> > pointing to lines 19
> > > through 21 of the tablet "In three days you will
> > know that evil will be
> > > defeated by justice" and other lines that speak
> > of blood and slaughter as
> > > pathways to justice.
> > >
> > > To make his case about the importance of the
> > stone, Mr. Knohl focuses
> > > especially on line 80, which begins clearly with
> > the words "L'shloshet
> > > yamin," meaning "in three days." The next word of
> > the line was deemed
> > > partially illegible by Ms. Yardeni and Mr.
> > Elitzur, but Mr. Knohl, who is an
> > > expert on the language of the Bible and Talmud,
> > says the word is "hayeh," or
> > > "live" in the imperative. It has an unusual
> > spelling, but it is one in
> > > keeping with the era.
>
> Unfortunately, a friend in another state borrowed my
> copy of The Resurrection of the Son of God by N. T.
> Wright, but as I recall, when speaking of
> resurrection, there is a very particular word (and
> derivatives thereof) which is used in the
> Bible...something starting with "a" or "n" I
> think--translates to "arise" I think...in any case, I
> don't think that's the word being referenced here. So
> I question (from a very ameteur point of view!)
> whether this version of "live" (if indeed it's right)
> is really referring to resurrection of the dead in a
> strict theological sense, or if its a more general
> term applicable to something else?
>
>
> > >
> > > Two more hard-to-read words come later, and Mr.
> > Knohl said he believed that
> > > he had deciphered them as well, so that the line
> > reads, *"In three days
> > > you shall live, I, Gabriel, command you."*
>
> Even if this is speaking of resurrection here, it is
> different from that which is presented in the NT. In
> the NT, although (in some accounts) there were angels
> present after the resurrection, in no place was it by
> the angel's command that Jesus rose. On the contrary,
> Paul attributes the resurrection to the operation of
> the Holy Spirit (a nod to N.T. Wright again for his
> book on this topic :) )
> > >
> > > To whom is the archangel speaking? The next line
> > says "Sar hasarin," or
> > > prince of princes. Since the Book of Daniel, one
> > of the primary sources for
> > > the Gabriel text, speaks of Gabriel and of "a
> > prince of princes," Mr. Knohl
> > > contends that the stone's writings are about the
> > death of a leader of the
> > > Jews who will be resurrected in three days.
> > >
> > > He says further that such a suffering messiah is
> > very different from the
> > > traditional Jewish image of the messiah as a
> > triumphal, powerful descendant
> > > of King David.
> > >
> > I guess he didn't read Isaiah.
> >
> > > "This should shake our basic view of
> > Christianity," he said as he sat in
> > > his office of the Shalom Hartman Institute in
> > Jerusalem where he is a senior
> > > fellow in addition to being the Yehezkel Kaufman
> > Professor of Biblical
> > > Studies at Hebrew University. "Resurrection after
> > three days becomes a motif
> > > developed before Jesus, which runs contrary to
> > nearly all scholarship. What
> > > happens in the New Testament was adopted by Jesus
> > and his followers based on
> > > an earlier messiah story."
> > >
> > > Ms. Yardeni said she was impressed with the
> > reading and considered it
> > > indeed likely that the key illegible word was
> > "hayeh," or "live." Whether
> > > that means Simon is the messiah under discussion,
> > she is less sure.
> > >
> > > Moshe Bar-Asher, president of the Israeli Academy
> > of Hebrew Language and
> > > emeritus professor of Hebrew and Aramaic at the
> > Hebrew University, said he
> > > spent a long time studying the text and considered
> > it authentic, dating from
> > > no later than the first century B.C. His 25-page
> > paper on the stone will be
> > > published in the coming months.
> > >
> > > Regarding Mr. Knohl's thesis, Mr. Bar-Asher is
> > also respectful but
> > > cautious. "There is one problem," he said. "In
> > crucial places of the text
> > > there is lack of text. *I understand Knohl's
> > tendency to find there keys
> > > to the pre-Christian period, but in two to three
> > crucial lines of text there
> > > are a lot of missing words.*"
> > >
> > No kidding.
> >
> > Rich Blinne
> > Member ASA
> >
>
>
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>

-- 
David W. Opderbeck
Associate Professor of Law
Seton Hall University Law School
Gibbons Institute of Law, Science & Technology
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Received on Tue Jul 8 13:26:48 2008

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