In the midst of the excitement about the discovery of the small lead books that date from the earliest days of Christianity, this of note:
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.
Tertullian made exactly the same observation about the shape of what Our Lord was nailed to almost two centuries later:
For this same letter Tau of the Greeks, which is our T, has the appearance of the cross, which he foresaw we should have on our foreheads in the true and catholic Jerusalem… (Adversus Marcionem, III, 22)
The Jehovah’s Witnesses, enamoured as they are with the “torture stake” business, are going to hate this…