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A three-foot tall stone tablet with 87 lines of Hebrew was floating around on the art and antique market for about a decade before religious scholars decided it might be really, really, really important.

Being compared to the Dead Sea Scrolls, it's believed to pre-date the birth of Jesus by a few decades, and while it's a little scuffed up and faded and sort of hard to read, some scholars attest it describes a messiah rising from the dead after three days. Funny, we feel like we've heard that story somewhere...

A Christology scholar at Tel Aviv University explains how the martyrdom-and-resurrection motif existing before Jesus is a kind of a big deal because it means Jesus didn't come up with that all on his own: "What happens in the New Testament was adopted by Jesus and his followers based on an earlier messiah story.... it suggests that the story of his death and resurrection was not unique but part of a recognized Jewish tradition at the time."

The tablet's writing and authenticity are still being deciphered, but in some circles, it has already started to rock the boat.







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