Several new pieces of data have been brought to the attention of the listserv. One was sent along by David Meadows. Here (Google translated, since I don’t know Chinese) a blog analyzes the similarities of the Madaba inscription and compares it to the script on the tablet Thonemann looked at.
Dan McClellan takes it a step further and compares the script from that inscription to those Elkington recently has passed around and the inscription from the Madaba tombstone and he has determined that they are indeed by the same hand (and clearly, they are). Here are some of his comparisons along with those from the Chinese blog:
He also compares the (backwards) yod here (from the lead tablets and the one sent to Thonemann now universally accepted as modern):
And these from the inscription on the tombstone (notice its direction; and Dan also links to a discussion here at Aramaic Designs):
It seems the “paleo-Hebrew” script from the codices was also lifted from the tombstone inscription on display in Jordan. There are other letters that clearly share a relationship as well, which I will discuss a bit later. I am hoping to have a photograph of the Madaba inscription itself up shortly. Stay tuned.
In addition to these, James E. Deitrick compares the so-called (sensationalized) ‘image of Jesus’ face on one of the tablets to the Mona Lisa of Galilee mosaic.
He does an excellent job comparing the facial features on the cast impression with those of the mosaic. His case is strong, though I am still not certain it is not from a coin. It is definitely worth pursuing either way.
And one final bit of news, Jim West shares with us another example of why these images and iconography are indeed modern. Robert Deutsch posted that the image of the chariot and rider in the Thonemann-analyzed tablet (part of the same corpus) was lifted from a modern fake sold to tourists. Here are the images (click to enlarge).
I had originally thought it was from an ancient chariot on the back of a Tetradrachm (see here) but I now have to admit the fake is a much better analog.
Philip Davies responded yesterday to some comments by Thonemann about the codices. He reinforces what I’ve known all along, but others have previously fought me on; he writes “I do love a good story and there is one here – not about early Christians, though.” Anyone who feels he is arguing for their ‘genuineness’ is just not listening (or reading, what have you). I would argue that this is precisely what the media is guilty of, and we need to be careful that we don’t fall into similar traps.
And perhaps that last comment segues nicely into the tone of a comment I posted yesterday; I think it should be required reading for everyone who is interested in the codices from a lay perspective (so click the link above).
Jim Davila take’s stock:
The Greek is lifted nonsensically from an inscription published in 1958. The forger couldn’t tell the difference between the Greek letters alpha and lambda. The Hebrew script is taken from the same inscription. The Hebrew text is in “code,” i.e., is gibberish. The “Jesus” face is taken from a well-known mosaic. The charioteer is taken from a fake coin. The crocodile has a suspicious resemblance to a plastic toy.
That’s all for this roundup. More as the information keeps coming in.
- March 31, 2011: Conspiracy Theorists, Legitimate Scholarship, and Lead Tablets
- April 3, 2011: New Roundup on Lead Codices and Additional Information
Filed under: Ancient Near East, Archaeology, Belief, Biblioblogging, Blog Memes, Classical History, Early Christianity, Life, Minimalism, Scholarship, Society Tagged: | ancient coins, christianity, curse tablets, Dan McClellan, David Elkington, David Meadows, Dilettante, James E. Deitrick, James McGrath, jesus, Jesus tablets, Jordan, Judaism, lead tablets, messianic tablets, MOna Lisa of Galilee, Paul Elkington, pseudo-archaeology, pseudo-christianity, pseudo-scholarship, Robert Feather