I love opinionated non-PC people. This blog is to vent my opinions on life, the universe and everything. Which is 42 which in gematria is "My Heart" (LBY) according to Rabbi Abulafia. The Divine Heart is the centre of everything.

Monday, August 22, 2011

More on the Jewish Christian Lead Codices


The Jordan Times reports that preliminary tests on the Jewish Christian lead codices that I wrote about in an earlier blog seem to be authentic. There was a major campaign to discredit their authenticity but it would seem that the last word on these discoveries has not been spoken yet.

In an article in the Jordan Times by Taylor Luck (originally appearing in June) was posted on the Jordan Times website on August 21 2011 it states: "Preliminary lab results indicate that a collection of metal books unearthed in northern Jordan may indeed represent the earliest Christian texts ever discovered, according to experts.

According to the Department of Antiquities (DoA), initial carbon tests to determine the authenticity of lead-sealed metal books billed as the greatest find in biblical archaeology since the Dead Sea scrolls have been “encouraging”.

“We really believe that we have evidence from this analysis to prove that these materials are authentic,” DoA Director Ziad Saad told The Jordan Times.

The tests, carried out at the Royal Scientific Society labs, indicate that the texts may date back to the early first century AD, at a time when Christians took refuge from persecution on the east bank of the Jordan River.

The codices, which were retrieved by Jordanian security services from the black market last month, are believed to be part of a greater cache of 70 lead-sealed books allegedly uncovered in Jordan and smuggled across the River Jordan into Israel.

The majority of the texts are currently in the possession of Hassan Saeda, an Israeli bedouin farmer who claims that the books, which may tell of the last days of Jesus Christ, were uncovered by his shepherd grandfather some 90 years ago.

Jordanian authorities, however, believe the codices were unearthed four years ago in a cave near the northern village of Sarhan and are property of the Hashemite Kingdom.

The texts made international headlines in March when Jordanian authorities and British author David Elkington announced their existence in a bid to prevent Saeda from selling the cache to a private collector and to launch a campaign to repatriate the books.

Efforts to repatriate the texts from Israel are pending the final results of the carbon dating, currently being carried out at the University of New Mexico, the Getty Conservation Institute and Sheffield University."

The Date Palm from the Codices
Those who seem to have an agenda to claim that these codices are fake mainly use the argument that some of the images are similar to other images that we have in museums. For example they show a date palm from the codices and then one from a Jordanian museum. However the date palm is an extremely important symbol in Jewish mysticism and so fits with theories that the codices are connected to Simeon bar Yochai and with a mystical form of either Judaism or Jewish Christianity. How many ways does one expect a date palm to be represented and if it is similar to an ancient one on a coin in a museum surely that just goes to demonstrate it may come from the same time period as well. The stars on this image are also similar to ones on coins from the reign of Augustus which doesn't mean they are fakes or forgeries but that they come from a time period close to the reign of Augustus. This Star appeared in the reign of Augustus Ceasar and heralded the coming of the Messiah as a Star out of Jacob. Rabbi Akiba and many other Jews associated this Star(Kokhba)with Bar Kosiba who became known as the Messiah bar Kokhba. The Jewish Christian of course associated this star with the Star of Bethlehem that heralded the Messiah Yeshua (Jesus)and used it on the codices to proclaim the true Messiah.
Date Palm on a coin in a museum from the time of Bar Kokhba.

Also that the face of Jesus on the codices is similar to images of Apollo fits with the fact that most of the earliest Roman and Greek images of Jesus show him as a clean shaven Apollo-like youth (usually with red hair) very similar to some of the images of Apollo. This is to demonstrate that Jesus (or the Messiah/Tzadik) is the true Sun of Righteousness and the Apollo legends are a pagan preparation for this true Divine Sun. An apollo-like image of Jesus as the good shepherd

Those who are trying to prove that the codices are fakes refer to a copper codex that mentions Abgar also known as Eision and dismiss it as a fake because on a tomb in Jordan is also found the name Abgar also known as Eision son of Monoathos. However the legend of King Abgar a suffering King of Edessa connected with the burial cloths and a letter of Jesus would seem to demonstrate that these codices were connected to the secrets of a Jewish Christian group of mystics. They then conclude that because one of the lead codices has a palm tree similar to this copper (bronze) codex with the name Abgar on it- that this makes the lead one a fake. For myself I do not think they have proved that the bronze/copper codex is a fake but it would seem that this group of Jewish Christian mystics are connected to the Jewish Christian Abgar Dynasty of Edessa. We know that the Kings of this dynasty used the name of Abgar or Manu with another name such as King Abgar XI Fahrat son of Ma'nu. The Monoathos mentioned above may be King Manu VI Athos bar Abgar of Edessa. The name Eision may be the Syriac Ezad. It would seem that the Abgar Royal family went into Exile to Madaba around 91 AD until 109 AD where Abgar Eision (Ezad)'s son Selaman (Solomon)died in 108 AD. Abgar VII bar Ezad was King of Edessa from 109 AD until 116 AD. That this Greek phrase is mirrored would allude to the mirror image found of the image of Jesus on the cloths associated with Jesus. The palms allude to the Righteous man (Tzadik/ Tam) as a date palm and the date palm is associated with the Tree of Life and the Menorah.

That much of the writing on the codices is a form of paleo-Hebrew fits with this period in the first half of the second century when the Bar Kokhba Jews used paleo-Hebrew and when Rabbi Simeon bar Yochai of Zohar fame flourished. One of Bar Yochai famous saying is "So great is the power of repentance that a man who has been during his lifetime very wicked ["rasha' gamur"], if he repent toward the end, is considered a perfectly righteous man". This perfectly righteous man refers to the term Tam (tum/tom)and on the codices is found the phrase Elek ba Tum (I will walk in uprightness)from Proverbs. The concept of the Tam (the simple righteous man)is found throughout the Zohar and later this became an important concept in Hasidism. They also dismiss much of the Paleo-Hebrew script on the codices because they can't understand them but we know that the mystical traditions were often written cryptically and in code so that only the adepts of this wisdom knew what was referred to.

Thursday, August 04, 2011

Second Helsinki Conference: Jews in the Church

Father Alexander Winogradsky Frenkel
Here is the latest press release about the Second Helsinki Conference on Jews in the Church. Interestingly one of the speakers was Father Alexander Winogradsky Frenkel an Orthodox priest who says the Orthodox liturgy in Hebrew in Jerusalem for a small flock of Orthodox Hebrew speaking Christians.

"PRESS RELEASE – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – 6 July 2011

Second Helsinki Conference on Jewish Continuity in the Church Affirms the Significance of Jewish Believers in Jesus

The second Helsinki Consultation on Jewish Continuity in the Body of Messiah met in Paris, France June 24-28, 2011. Building on the 2010 Helsinki Statement (see below) Jewish scholars from France, Germany, Israel, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United States, belonging to Catholic, Orthodox, Protestant and Messianic traditions, deepened their relationships and advanced in their discussion of crucial issues concerning the relationship of the Body of Christ to the people of Israel.

The conference was jointly organized by Messianic Jewish Theological Institute (MJTI), the Paris Istina Centre for Ecumenical Studies and the Helsinki Studium Catholicum. The participants issued a statement on “Am Israel – Our People” affirming the increasingly significant presence of Jewish believers in Jesus for both the Church and the Jewish people. The papers presented are due to be published in the journal ISTINA, the academic journal of the Dominican study centre in Paris where the conference took place. A similar event is planned for 2012.

Dr. Mark Kinzer, author of Postmissionary Messianic Judaism, Senior Scholar and President Emeritus of MJTI, said “The identity of the Christian Church is inseparable from that of the Jewish People, and the identity of the Jewish People is inseparable from the person of its crucified and risen Messiah, Yeshua of Nazareth. It follows that the Jewish people and the Christian Church are so intimately bound together that it is impossible to adequately understand one without also understanding the other. We have met to deepen our own understandings of these realities, and to encourage our people and our churches to reflect further on their mutual interdependence.”

Father Antoine Lévy, OP, Director of the Helsinki Studium Catholicum, called forgreater recognition and encouragement for Jewish believers in Jesus at an ecumenical level. "Like the interaction between men and women, the interaction between Jews and Gentiles pertains to the spiritual dynamism of the whole

Church. It embraces and pervades local congregations and Church organizations. Accordingly, I see no reason to prevent Jews from developing a distinct life of worship within the Universal Church. Wherever they are, whatever their Church affiliation may be, I believe that Messianic Jews should gather and build a home within Am-Israel, a home for themselves as well as for their fellow Jews who would be willing to join."

CONFERENCE STATEMENT

The theme of this year’s consultation was “Am Israel – our People”. As the many papers demonstrated, the identity of the Jewish People is complex, consisting of historical, familial, ethnic, cultural and spiritual components that are all essential and inseparable. The paradoxical nature of Jewish identity challenges us to avoid reductionist interpretation and to explore further the mystery of our people.

As Jewish believers in Jesus, we affirm our identity as part of both the people of Israel and of the Body of Christ. We recognise the pain this affirmation may cause to some of those of our people who do not believe in Yeshua. We are also aware of the misunderstanding that can occur in the Church when we state that we continue to be part of the Jewish people.

Nevertheless, we believe that we are a living witness to the mysterious and invisible bond which persists between the Church and Israel. Our dual membership brings us into a unique relationship with one another, and also entails weighty responsibilities and formidable challenges. Our two communities have been separated but belong together. We bear witness to the tragedy of their division and herald the hope of their future reconciliation.

We are exploring how this unique relationship to one another as Jewish believers in Jesus might take visible form as a wider fellowship dedicated to the service of the Jewish people and the body of Messiah.

Speakers from Europe, Russia, Israel and the United States included Father David Neuhaus, SJ, Patriarchal Vicar General for Hebrew speaking Catholics, and Boris Balter, Researcher in Physics at the Russian Academy of Sciences and member ofthe Judeo-Christian circle "Bridge of Friendship". Conference papers were given in English, FRENCH and Russian...


HELSINKI STATEMENT

Helsinki Consultation on Jewish Continuity in the Body of Messiah

June 14-15, 2010

Jewish believers in Yeshua (Jesus) from England, Finland, France, Germany, Israel, Russia, and the United States met in Helsinki, Finland, on June 14-15, 2010. As scholars belonging to Catholic, Orthodox, Lutheran, and Messianic communities, they began a conversation on Jewish continuity in the Body of Jesus the Messiah. They issued the following statement:

We thank God for bringing us as Jews to the knowledge of Jesus the Messiah, and we express a debt of gratitude to those from the Nations who have transmitted the knowledge of Christ from generation to generation. While we seek to speak on behalf of those who share our Jewish identity and faith in Christ, we have no official mandate from our respective communities. In what follows we are expressing our own deeply held convictions.

At this unprecedented event, we have experienced the depth of our bond, and at the same time we have wrestled with the diversity of our ingrained theological and cultural constructs. In spite of church divisions, we have come together as Jews who believe in Jesus. We hope that sharing the fruit of our common efforts will benefit our brothers and sisters in Christ. We do not aim to issue a definitive statement, but to initiate an ongoing process of discussion.

There are many Jewish people in the body of Christ. We believe that this reality reflects God’s intention that Israel and the Nations live as mutual blessings to one another. In fact, the Church in its essence is the communion of Jews and those from the Nations called to faith in Christ.

In light of this truth, we think that the life of Jews in the body of Christ has theological significance for that body as a whole. Their presence serves as a constant reminder to the body that its existence is rooted in the ongoing story of the people of Israel. This story resounds throughout the celebration of the liturgical life of the community. We believe that this story finds its center in Israel’s Messiah. We believe that Jews within the body are a living bond between the Church and the people of Israel. Accordingly, we would like to explore concrete ways in which Jewish people may live out their distinctive calling in the body of Christ.

Finally, we wish to express to our Jewish brothers and sisters who do not share our faith in Jesus the Messiah that we consider ourselves to be part of the Jewish people and are committed to its welfare.

STATEMENT ENDS---

CONFERENCE PARTICIPANTS AND PAPERS PRESENTED

Boris Balter, Orthodox (Moscow), Researcher in Physics at the Russian Academy of Sciences -"The problem of being Jewish: self-identification within ‘bilateral ecclesiology’.”

Dr. Jacques Doukhan, Adventist (Berrien Springs, USA), Professor.of Hebrew and Old Testament Exegesis, Director of the Institute of Jewish-Christian studies at the St Andrews Adventist Theological Seminar. “Jews and Christians: an identity in tension - inquiring about the relevance of Messianic prophecies”

Dr. Richard Harvey, Messianic (London), Director of Training at All Nations Christian College, author of “Mapping Messianic Jewish Theology” - "Ha´am- Israel as our People – The Ethnic, Ecclesial, Evangelical and Eschatological Significance of Jewish Believers in Yeshua ".

Dr. Mark Kinzer, Messianic (Ann Arbor, USA), President of Messianic Jewish Theological Institute, author of “Postmissionary Messianic Judaism” - "Messianic Jewish Community: Standing and Serving as a Priestly Remant".

Fr. Jérôme Lefert, OSB, Catholic (France/Israel), Monk at the Benedictine monastery “Notre-Dame d´Espérance”, “A few words about belonging and generating / Side-effects”.

Fr. Antoine Levy, OP, Catholic (Helsinki), Director of the "Studium Catholicum", adjunct-professor at Helsinki University Faculty of Theology, "Am- Israel as the founding principle of a Messianic ecclesiology”.

Lisa Loden, Messianic (Israel), Head of Development Program at the Nazareth Evangelical Theological Seminary, “New Covenant Jews: Rooted in Am Israel”.

Fr. David Neuhaus, SJ, Catholic (Jerusalem), Patriarchal Vicar General for Hebrew speaking Catholics in Israel - "A Catholic Jew reflects on his Jewish identity".

Svetlana Panitsh, Orthodox (Moscow), translator, literary critic. “Jewish Continuity in the Church; some reflections on the three-fold call.”

Rabbi Vladimir Pikman, Messianic (Berlin), Vice-President of the International Messianic Jewish Alliance, Executive Director of “Beit Sar Shalom” ministry - "Being ‘Jewish’ in the Hebrew Bible and Beyond".

Rabbin Emmanuel Rodriguez, Messianic (Paris), Director of the “Centre Messianique de Paris”, “One God, two ways”

Jennifer Rosner, Messianic (Los Angeles), Instructor at Azusa Pacific University - "‘Torah and Election: The People of Israel and Halachic Life”.

Dominic Rubin, Orthodox (Moscow), Professor at the “St. Philaret Institute”, author of “Holy Russia, Sacred Israel: Jewish-Christian Encounters in Russian Religious Thought”.

Fr. Alexander Winogradsky Frenkel , Orthodox (Jerusalem), Parish priest, Greek- Orrthodox Patriarchate of Jerusalem, “The meaning of Hebrew as a language of the liturgy."