This blog is maintained on behalf of the Amy Foundation for the purpose of tracking the best Christian journalism we find on the Web. Our posts regularly identify those news articles or opinions in the mainstream media that represent good faith-based writing and example them for other Christian journalists.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Qualifying Article in the NY Times

Here is a qualifying article in the New York Times from July 6, 2008, entitled “Ancient Tablet Ignites Debate on Messiah and Resurrection,” written by Ethan Bronner. The story explains how the discovery of a 36 inch tablet is challenging traditional views that the messianic story came from outside Judaism.

Bronner writes:
JERUSALEM — A three-foot-tall tablet with 87 lines of Hebrew that scholars believe dates from the decades just before the birth of Jesus is causing a quiet stir in biblical and archaeological circles, especially because it may speak of a messiah who will rise from the dead after three days.

If such a messianic description really is there, it will contribute to a developing re-evaluation of both popular and scholarly views of Jesus, since it suggests that the story of his death and resurrection was not unique but part of a recognized Jewish tradition at the time.
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I have to admit, I started reading the story to see if it would qualify for the Amy Writing Awards, but the quality of writing and the subject compelled me to read it twice before remembering why I was reading the story.

Then I found it, at the tail end of the piece, I found a paragraph referencing the Book of Daniel and quoting chapter 8, verse 25 (NIV):
To whom is the archangel speaking? The next line says “Sar hasarin,” or prince of princes. Since the Book of Daniel, one of the primary sources for the Gabriel text, speaks of Gabriel and of “a prince of princes,” Mr. Knohl contends that the stone’s writings are about the death of a leader of the Jews who will be resurrected in three days.
I was so encouraged to find the article qualified because it appealed to me as a reader and a believer. How important the discovery of the tablet is to uniting the Jewish and Christian faiths, time will tell, but without this article, readers wouldn't have the opportunity to contemplate the promising answer.


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