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约旦洞穴中发现的70本金属古书

(2011-04-03 12:30:08)
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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

这会是《死海古卷》出土之后最重大的考古发现吗?在约旦洞穴中发现的70本金属古书,或许会帮助我们对圣经历史的认知。

By Fiona Macrae  菲奥娜·麦克雷


 

 

 

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.

 

 

Lines of inquiry: The metal tablets could change our understanding of the Bible

Lines of inquiry: The metal tablets could change our understanding of the Bible

 

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.

在这些不比信用卡大多少的小册子上绘满了图画、符号和文字,似乎是在描述耶稣基督被钉死于十字架上和复活的事件。

 

更令人惊讶的是,有很多的书都是被密封起来的,这让一些学者认为它们很可能就是遗失的圣经《启示录》中所提及的书典。

 

这些是5年前从约旦偏远郊区的一个洞穴中被发现的,那里曾经是公元70年耶路撒冷沦陷时基督教难民逃难的地方,之前有很多同一时期的重要典籍也是在那里被发现的。

 

初步的金属测试显示,一些书的年代约在公元1世纪产生的。

 

 

One of 70 ring-bound books (codices) made of lead and copper
One of 70 ring-bound books (codices) made of lead and copper

Revelation: Experts speculate that the tablets could be the lost collection of codices referred to in the Bible's Book Of Revelation

 

Hidden meaning: Scrolls, tablets and other artifacts, including an incense bowl, were also found at the same site as the tablets

Hidden meaning: Scrolls, tablets and other artifacts, including an incense bowl, were also found at the same site as the tablets

SHEPHERD'S DISCOVERY THAT UNEARTHED A TREASURE TROVE

 

 

The remote desert caves in Israel which yielded The Dead Sea Scrolls


The Dead Sea Scrolls, counted among the most important archaeological finds of the modern era, were discovered in a cave (pictured) by a Bedouin shepherd in the West Bank.


 

The scrolls consist of 30,000 separate fragments making up 900 manuscripts of biblical texts and religious writings from the time of Jesus.


 

The fragile parchment and papyrus fragments have been the subject of intense study for more than half a century by an international team of scholars who are still trying to understand the significance of some 30 per cent of the texts which are not included in the Bible or any other previously known religious writings.


 

The scrolls include the earliest known copy of the Ten Commandments, an almost complete Book of Isaiah and many of the Psalms.


 

Some of the texts were damaged by well-intentioned restoration attempts since the 1950s that included the use of Sellotape, rice paper and perspex glue.


 

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.

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

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

 

X marks the spot: The cave in Jordan where the artifacts were discovered

X marks the spot: The cave in Jordan where the artifacts were discovered

 

Dr Margaret Barker, a former president of the Society for Old Testament Study, confirmed that a sealed book is mentioned in the Bible

Dr Margaret Barker, a former president of the Society for Old Testament Study, confirmed that a sealed book is mentioned in the Bible

‘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.’

 

旧约研究协会前任总裁玛格丽特·巴克博士确认在《圣经》中有提到过一部被封存的书典。

 

她说到:“当我第一眼见到它时,我惊呆了,那是很明显的基督教图像,一下令我大脑空白了。在前面有一个十字架,后面则肯定是(耶稣的)墓穴,墓穴有一个开口。

 

“在书的其它一些书页上也有城墙,它们绝对是指耶路撒冷。这是发生在城外的基督教耶稣受难。”

 

引导发掘工作的英国团队害怕当前以色列的“管理者”可能会将一些书卖到黑市上,或者更糟——毁掉它们。

 

但持有这些书的人否认这一情况,声称它们已经在他的家中保管了100年了。

 

旧约研究会前任总裁玛格丽特·巴克博士说:“《启示录》中说有一个被封的书典只被弥赛亚打开过。

 

“那个时期的其它典籍里也记载被封住的智慧之书和秘密传统之书被耶稣传给了他最亲近的学生。这就是此次发现的重要背景。”

 

Groundbreaking find: A section of the Dead Sea Scrolls, which were discovered in 1947

Groundbreaking find: A section of the Dead Sea Scrolls, which were unearthed in 1947

 

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.



Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-1371290/70-metal-books-Jordan-cave-change-view-Biblical-history.html#ixzz1IQmdGKJk  原文地址

 

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