religious & spiritual guests their books and episode on the House of Mystery
The Jordanian Lead Books: An Overview The Jordanian metal artefacts consist principally of lead sheets bound together with wire rings in the form of several dozen book-like artefacts. There are also a few tiny rolled lead and gold lamellae, about half a dozen copper scrolls (individual book-sized sheets rolled up), about half a dozen gold books, a brass or bronze bowl, two copper dishes (one round, one more square-like), a lesser number of copper books and several loose sheets as well. The only institutional collection is housed at the Department of Antiquities of Jordan (DAJ). The private collection of the Israeli Bedouin Mr Hassan Saida became publicly known in 2011. There is another large private collection of Jordanian lead books in Saudi Arabia, romantically (I suspect) traced to a cave just outside Medina. The first version of this particular story put the discovery at some time in very recent years, then after a few years the story changed to a discovery made more than seventy years ago. The story has most recently morphed yet again, this time into a claim that the artefacts are all modern fakes, despite the fact that the same source originally claimed to have personally excavated the artefacts in the cave. The latter claim of fakes could be correct, or it could be an attempt to cover up recent black market activities, or it could reflect the wish to avoid the perception of the latter. I simply have no way of ascertaining the facts in this are Similarly, convenient rumours locate the origins of the gold books in question in the legendary ancient Jewish settlement of Khaybar, which may be just as romantic a story as the one involving the Medina cave. All of these items in Saudi Arabia have design parallels in Jordanian lead books, and the evidence suggests they all originated in Jordan and then made their way to Egypt, various Gulf states, Saudi Arabia, and throughout North Africa and beyond. The artefacts have therefore definitely spread beyond Jordan and Israel. The main question is when this proliferation occurred, was it before or after the 2011 publicity. While unverifiable private claims have been put forth that locate the lead books’ origins in Egypt, Israel and Saudi Arabia, the only verifiable fact relating to the issue of the Saida collection’s provenance is that in 2011 official Jordanian authorities recovered several lead books comparable in all respects to Saida’s artefacts in the northern Jordanian village of Saham alKfarat. This is quite near to Pella, famous as the home of the ancient Nazarenes/Nazoreans and Ebionites according to early church fathers such as Epiphanius and Eusebius, a fact exploited to the full by lead book enthusiasts back in 2011. A seizure also took place in Egypt, but my own investigation leads me to conclude that these artefacts, too, were originally from Jordan (see ch. 10). None of the above is intended to rule out categorically the possibility that the tradition of making lead books existed beyond the confines of Jordan.
On 22 March 2011 David Elkington issued a press release stating that a hoard of ancient books made of lead and copper, together with other artefacts, probably dating from the 1st century AD, had been found in Jordan, and that they might predate the writings of St. Paul and that "leading academics" believed they might be as important as the Dead Sea Scrolls. Elkington also stated that the items were discovered 5 years previously in a cave by a Jordanian Bedouin and smuggled into Israel, where they were at risk of sale on the black market or of destruction. The BBC, the Daily Mail and other media outlets quickly picked up the story.
From a historical perspective, the Bible is shockingly, provably wrong--a point supported by today's best archaeological and historical scholarship but
not well understood by (or communicated to) the public. Yet this emphatically does not mean that the Bible isn't, in some very real measure, true, argues scholar of mysticism Richard Smoley.
Smoley reviews the most authoritative historical evidence to demonstrate that figures such as Moses, Abraham, and Jesus are not only unlikely to have existed, but bear strong composite resemblances to other Near Eastern religious icons. Likewise, the geopolitical and military events of Scripture fail to mesh with the largely settled historical time line and social structures. Smoley meticulously shows how our concepts of the Hebrew and Christian God, including Christ himself, are an assemblage of ideas that were altered, argued over, and edited--until their canonization. This process, to a large degree, gave Western civilization its consensus view of God.
SOMETHING WEIRD MEDIA
ALAN R WARREN-
STEVEN DAVID LAMPLEY