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Lead Codices – Trial and Error (Mostly just error…)

Lead Codices – Trial and Error (Mostly just error…)

We are witnessing an historic event. Everyone should stand and take notice, and learn from it. Much like the emails we get with all sorts of false information in them that can be easily checked by Snopes, Biblical archeology is fraught with fantastic, unique, and utterly false “discoveries.” I invariably receive emails and am asked questions in my college class about the latest recent discovery and am asked my opinion on it. My opinion, usually without even looking into it very far is “RUBBISH!”

I understand where people are getting this from. Take the latest “discovery” of the lead codices that are making all kinds of fantastic claims of Biblical significance. Sources as noteworthy as the BBC, CNN, and many many others have made all kinds of fantastic claims about the books.

I have read in the past week, and this is no joke, that:

“One of the books is sealed sparking discussion on whether this might be the sealed book talked about in Revelation.”

“This is likely the most significant discovery in Biblical archeology since the Dead Sea Scrolls.”

and this morning in my email, a friend sent me the link that, and again, I quote the headline here,

“Oldest Portrait of Christ Found.”

The only reason I don’t provide links to these sources is that it is just embarrassing for them. I mean, we are talking news sources that have pretty decent reputations. It makes you wonder if any of the rest of the news they report has any truth in it.

It isn’t like it is hard to check these sources. Specialty bloggers were posting within hours of the images being released. Even me, with my very limited knowledge of Greek, instantly doubted the story based off the first image I saw. I’ve seen a couple of reports saying that the “early Christian imagery” is stunning. The problem is, the first “Christian imagery” they showed happened to fall into my specialty: Ancient coins. The “Portrait” of Christ comes from a coin of Alexander the Great.

Well, why take my word for it, read Robert Deutsch’s comments, a man not unfamiliar with forgery claims himself, here http://zwingliusredivivus.wordpress.com/2011/04/05/a-follow-up-by-robert-deutsch-on-the-lead-codices/. I don’t have a good picture of the exact coins that these come from, but below I do show a similar coin.

That post confirms my immediate feelings on this claim, and I thought it was fitting that I post a little something here about it, since it is so connected to coins. I will note too, that in addition to Robert Deutsch’s comments, there have been people that have noticed that some of the Greek inscriptions were copied from a partial inscription that has been on display in a museum for 50 years, meaning that these forgeries were done in the last 50 years.

This brings to mind similar claims, most recently that some scientists discovered Noah’s Ark. I remember seeing pictures come across the web and laughing. Keep sending them to me guys, I love looking into this stuff, but don’t get too excited until these things are confirmed by specialists.

Both the Palm and the Star are from coins

Both the Palm and the Star are from coins

Jewish Coin with Star or Wheel

Jewish Coin similar to the star pictured on the plates.