Sunday, April 3, 2011

Early portrait of Yeshua (Jesus) in Jordan metal book find? But whose face is it?

(This is an opinion article with regard to recent discoveries in Biblical Archaeology, ONLY)

The news broke today that a reputed "first portrait" of Yeshua the Christ may have been found. New information has been released with regard to the not-so-recent discovery of 20 to 70 metal books that are illustrated with Jewish and Christan symbology. A new photograph of one of the books in question appears to illustrate a messiah type figure. Many are speculating that this portrait could be the earliest depiction of Jesus Christ.

Now the arduous journey begins to prove the find either authentic or fake. The photograph below shows a 3d portrait of what many are calling the earliest depiction of Jesus, if the find is authentic. It certainly appears that this may be the case. But its not what you think.

A post made in the early days of this website outlined the early church's use of pagan symbology in the late 2nd, 3rd and 4th centuries. (You can read that post HERE)

As you can see in the photograph to the left it does not appear that this messianic portrait was of a bearded man, though it has been confirmed that some of the plates indeed depict a "bearded" messianic figure.

Notice the style of the nose in this portrait, that is a beautiful "Roman" nose and brow. Not to mention the hair.

Some are saying the protrusions coming out of the head may depict the "crown of thorns". It may very well be depicting that but we must remember it was a common practice to use "Roman or Greek" symbolism or deities in place of Yeshua the Christ, in the late 3rd century, no proof exists that this was used in the first century.

This may be an example of that style, or may be a fake. It may actually, in a twisted way, prove the authenticity of the find as the style may certainly date to the period of early Christianity but not 1st century Israel.

As you can see above there is a striking similarity to the Roman deity sol invictus, a deity commonly used as an early face of Christ, and the "messianic" figure apparently represented on the small metal plates. The protrusion some claim represent the Crown of Thorns may depict the sun beams of sol invictus and his Greek counterpart helios. This was common place in the 4rd and 5th centuries. There is no proof of any depiction of Christ before the early 3rd century and then he was presented as a young Roman in Roman attire.

But don't think it was only the heathen gentiles using the symbolism of their pagan brothers and sisters in the sanctuary.

Tiberius Synagogue mosaic zodiac – the inner circle - Sol Invictus.

Filmmaker, and certainly not my favorite, Simcha Jacobovici featured this "zodiac" (or one like it) located in the Tiberius Synagogue in one of his episodes of The Naked Archaeologist, he also claimed the zodiac to contain "encrypted" messages in the slots of the zodiac. The letters are turned backwards in some cases.

I cannot recall Jacobovici 's specific decryption but it shows a symmetry between the find in a cave in a Jordan military zone and the supposed reality of "1st" century Christianity, according to Jacobovici, which one must take with a huge grain of salt. It may have been common for the Jewish Christians of that time period to hide within the pagan religion. It makes sense; the guards see a depiction of their god on the floor and they move on, no questions. For practical reasons but I cannot imagine James the Just, Brother of the Lord and leader of the early Church, using pagan imagery.

Just keep your faith in Yeshua and GOD'S WORD, everything else will work its way out in the end.

1 comment:

  1. It looks more like a Lion to me than a human face. 2c Shalom