Sunday, July 13, 2008

Gabriel Apocalypse

The "Gabriel Apocalypse" written on a stone tablet, has been known for some time. Line 80 has been recently reexamined: "It was written awkwardly with two letters unclear," Prof. Knohl said. Using other examples from that period, he deciphered the word "haye", which meant "you will live". The complete sentence read: "In three days you will live, I, Gabriel, command you."

As Prof Michael White says, the notion of resurrection is known from Second Temple Judaism but the notion of "three days" is new.
Knohl said that, together with other references in the script to a "suffering messiah", this was a clear reference to the return to life after three days, later depicted in the New Testament with Jesus' resurrection.

"This is evidence that the idea of a suffering messiah, put to death and coming back to life after three days was known to at least a group of Jews," Knohl told the gathering of scholars at the Israel Museum in Jerusalem.

So far, there's no definitive translation and other scholars are expressing caution about Prof Knohl's reading.

"What he suggested is fanciful," Diamant said. Devorah Diamant, a professor at Haifa University, said the script was not sufficient proof of Knohl's theory because some passages he referred to could be connected to other figures from the Bible and not necessarily the messiah.

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