The BBC is reporting that a Bedouin has found in a cave in Jordan more than 70 books that may be Christian writing from the first century. According to the report, the books may be almost 2,000 years old.
Preliminary study of the writings indicates that the content of the books may provide information about the death and resurrection of Christ.
The director of the Jordan’s Department of Antiquities said the books were written by Christian disciples a few years immediately after Christ’s crucifixion.
Below is an excerpt from the article in which Philip David gives his interpretation of the finding:
Philip Davies, Emeritus Professor of Old Testament Studies at Sheffield University, says the most powerful evidence for a Christian origin lies in plates cast into a picture map of the holy city of Jerusalem.
“As soon as I saw that, I was dumbstruck. That struck me as so obviously a Christian image,” he says.
“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 the cross that is the most telling feature, in the shape of a capital T, as the crosses used by Romans for crucifixion were.
“It is a Christian crucifixion taking place outside the city walls,” says Mr. Davies.
This finding is a very important archaeological discovery because if the books are from the early days of Christianity, then these documents may indeed provide vital information about how the early Christians understood the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
Professor of Old Testament
Northern Baptist Seminary