The Jordan Codices

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The Jordan Codices

Post by Jason » Thu Dec 01, 2016 11:22 am

Apparently, this is the first historical reference to Jesus and the apostles. I'm just now hearing about it, even though the lead tablets were found in 2008. Thoughts? ... ted/#page1

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Re: The Jordan Codices

Post by steve » Thu Dec 01, 2016 11:40 am

The "first historical reference to Jesus"? Most scholars would find such a first reference in the epistles of Paul, or, possibly, of James—probably no more than 20 years after the ascension of Christ. The canonical Gospels are also quite early, with three of them almost certainly written less than 40 years after the crucifixion. No one has demonstrated that these codices are more ancient than these biblical records.

It is hard to know what is meant by the words "genuine" and "fake," as used by the supporters and detractors of the Jordan Codices. Does "genuine" mean "genuinely ancient"? If so, then the claim tells us as much as what we already know about the Nag Hamadi finds, including several gnostic "gospels." They are also genuinely "ancient" and mention Jesus and His apostles.

However, they tell us nothing trustworthy about Jesus, or His teachings. The gnostic gospels are "fakes" insofar as they claim to be authored by certain early disciples, who were actually long-dead at the time of their writing. Nonetheless, they are "genuinely old."

The article says the codices are dated as being "about 2,000 years" old. The same is true of the gnostic "gospels"—not quite 2,000 years, but about 2,000 years old. So what? Old things are not all of equal value in knowing the truth about Jesus. There are ancient heretical writings as well as ancient reliable writings. Who wrote these codices? If they contradict the canonical Gospels, then they were not produced by the early church, which Christ founded.

The article exults (no doubt) in reporting that the codices teach that Jesus believed in an androgynous god. The problem is, we are given no direct quotations from the documents to let us evaluate if this is actually taught there, or if this is a paraphrase reflecting one possible meaning of some vague statements in the text. Until a translation of the work in English appears, most of us will have no way of evaluating the value of the find. Insofar as these codices may contradict the apostolic records in the canonical Gospels, they are of no value in documenting anything about Jesus or His teachings—other than the bare fact that the authors believed in His existence.

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Re: The Jordan Codices

Post by Singalphile » Thu Dec 01, 2016 1:26 pm

I agree that the article is pretty vague and unhelpful.

In this case, based on wikipedia, the codices are thought by some experts to be modern forgeries (at least in part), as in, made within the last couple centuries. Who are the "Christian evangelicals" (as opposed to the "scholars") who are declaring them to be "fake". I don't know.

From my brief and completely inexpert review, I would guess that some or even all of the material is ancient, but the text and images themselves are mostly modern forgeries. Hopefully not, though. Any really first century text about Jesus would be really interesting, I think, whether true or false.

Hey ... I just noticed that it's snowing in this forum! :)
... that all may honor the Son just as they honor the Father. John 5:23

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