Lead books or lead balloons?

In the past 24 hours I have received a couple of Emails about the “new” “ancient” lead codices. The best photos I have seen are in the Mail Online here. The account from Yahoo News is here. Put a few words in Yahoo or Google and you will have numerous links.

First Impressions. My first impression, based on the limited information, is that this may be another of those spectacular claims with no substance. I was busy with appointments earlier today and was delighted when I had time to check the blogs to see that Todd Bolen had written a good summary of information at the Bible Places Blog here. There is no reason for me to try to rehash this material. I urge you to take a look at Todd’s summary. He says, “Personally I am inclined to believe that this find is genuine.” My first inclination leans the other way. I know it is not much of a argument, but this report lacks the “ring of truth.” I remember that F. F. Bruce said that second thoughts are best. With more information my thoughts may change. Let’s be patient.

The Sealed Book in Revelation. There is no reason at this point to  link these lead books with the sealed book of Revelation 5-7. Revelation is an apocalyptic book of symbols. Other ancient sealed books have been found in modern times. Examples: some of the Elephantine papyri, a papyrus document from Wadi Daliyeh near Jericho had seven seals still in place (Jenkins, Studies in the Book of Revelation, 18).

Jim Davila has posted numerous notes about the lead codices at Paleojudaica over the past few weeks. Follow all of Todd Bolen’s links and you will know about as much as can be known for the moment.

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