The Resurrection Before Jesus

11 07 2008

By Derek Beres

According to a recent New York Times article, “Ancient Tablet Ignites Debate on Messiah and Resurrection,” a stone tablet discovered roughly a decade ago is now under scrutiny by the academic religious community. It appears that the 87 lines of Hebrew embedded on this stone discuss the idea of bodily resurrection after three days – years before the historical birth date of Jesus. If this is true, it raises the possibility that the resurrection could be a metaphor for the redemption of the entire community of Israel, not only one human being. The case, as you can imagine, is being fiercely debated.

The most serious question the debate poses is this: Why did it take this tablet to make people – scholars no less – realize that? I’m used to the jargon of academia; it has been part of my studies for fifteen years. In fact, I even like some of it. Treating religion as history, and not as “fact,” is an important pursuit in an age that can be defined in so many ways by the term “blind faith.” But the problem with a debate like this is how poorly metaphors, much less mythologies, are understood in certain academic circles, as well as by the general population.

Hence our religious interpreters encourage the public to be more intrigued by conspiracy theories, a la The Da Vinci Code, than by understanding the mythological and metaphorical significance of these ancient stories. When you present analogies as living, breathing humans, you actually take away their humanness. Instead of personified ideas, you are left with the ideas of particular persons. This defeats the purpose of the prophecies, which is to educate and empower every individual with the lessons of religion. We spend more time wondering about what particular historical figures might have done when alive than doing what we need to do ourselves. There is a good reason “primitive” societies employed animals and imaginary figments as their gods: those figures couldn’t be mistaken as human, so humans would not make the mistake of separating themselves from the rest of the world.

Read the full article on Reality Sandwich




One response

29 01 2009

Just a little over 200 years ago, a document was penned that would be the basis and foundation of a new nation. It was written by the greatest minds of the time. Today it is the center of debate and angered disagreement. If we can’t decide what a 200 year old document written in “English” means, how can anyone come to a definitive conclusion as to what anything written 2000 years ago means?

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