contain "a number of images and textual allusions to the Messiah, as well as some possible references to the crucifixion and resurrection."
In the upper square of one of the book covers, a seven-branch menorah is displayed. Elkington states the presence of the menorah would be interpreted by early Christians as indicating Jesus. Since the menorah was placed in the holy place in the Temple, it spoke of the presence of God. Since Jesus brought the presence of God on earth, the menorah on the manuscript cover, says Elkington, points to Jesus.
The Validity of the Codices
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.Davies is way too assured when he states, "it is a Christian crucifixion taking place outside the city walls." One cannot forget that Jesus was not the only one crucified by the Romans.
Crucifixion was a regular method of execution of Jewish rebels against the Romans rule in the early centuries. A casual examination of the New Testament reveals the two thieves that were crucified next to Jesus at a location outside the city walls that was probably used to execute Jewish Zealots.
When Davies says, "what has to be the tomb [of Jesus}, he needs to rear back before making such bold pronouncements until further evidence is brought forth. We cannot forget the forgeries of other so-called Christian relics such as the ossuary that was said to contain the bones of James, the half brother of Jesus.
ome of the codices were sealed, prompting yet more breathless speculation that they could include the sealed book, shown only to the Messiah, mentioned in the Book of Revelation."
This view is fallacious for several reasons:
First, the sealed book mentioned in the futuristic vision in Revelation 5:1 refers to a heavenly (not earthly) scene taking place before the throne of God, and only the Lamb of God, Jesus was able to open the book (vs. 6). So these codices could not be the book that could only be opened by Jesus.
Second, further reading of Revelation 5 shows the sealed book contains the seven seals of judgment to fall upon the earth during the period of the tribulation on the earth prior to the return of Jesus (Revelation 6).
Third, if the sealed book can only be shown to the Messiah, why are we even discussing this archaeological find? All the experts would need to open the sealed books would be a pair of wire cutters and the mystery is solved. Fortunately, the mystery is already solved since we are already told what is contained in the sealed book in the Book of Revelation.
Whether or not the codices are authentic remains to be seen. For sure, their discovery is exciting and could contain a link to the early Jewish followers of Jesus. If anything, these codices, assuming they are not forgeries, can provide many unanswered questions concerning the beliefs of the early Jewish followers in Yeshua in the first century. If the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus are contained in these manuscripts that would put to rest the liberal Christian view that the resurrection of Jesus was a doctrine fabricated by Gentile Christians in later centuries.
I would be the first one to celebrate the validation of the widespread faith in Jesus as Israel's Messiah among first century Jews. However, for now the jury is still out on confirming the authenticity of this important archaeological discovery.