According to the Old and New Testaments, Jesus, the central figure in the Christian teachings, was born in 4AD and was crucified on the orders of Roman prefect Pontius Pilate at the age of 33, sometime around 37 AD, before being resurrected three days later. However, it has now emerged that one discovery from 2020 could have served as an inspiration to the iconic Biblical story.
It is notably the Gabriel Stone, found near the Dead Sea - a tablet with 87 lines of Hebrew text that was found to contain several prophecies written in the first-person, including one that appears to be about the resurrection.
To shed light on the timing and certain details of the event, biblical investigator Simcha Jacobovici took a chance and travelled to the stone's location during Amazon Prime's "Decoding the Ancients" series, as noted by the Daily Star.
As the narrator puts it, "Simcha has now unravelled many of the stone's secrets" adding that peculiarities like the style of handwriting, the archaeology, as well as "the way the stone appeared on the antiquities market" all point to Perea as the stone's place of origin.
Simcha reportedly deciphered what had been written on the stone dating back to the BC era, with an inscription reportedly telling the story of a local rebel named Simon, who was deemed a Messiah by his peers.
"The controversy centres around a word inscribed on the stone, that is meaningless to anyone except a biblical scholar, "according to the series.
The word is "domin" which means "dung," but Biblical scholar Israel Knohl remarks that biblical references to "domin" may also stand for "rotting flesh."
The thing is that Simon of Perea was a former slave of Herod the Great who rebelled and was killed by the Romans between 4BC and 14AD, with the latter decapitating him and pushing into a gully in Perea as a sign of utmost disdain.
"At the time of Jesus, the story on the stone seemed to fit Simon and no one else," Knohl continues implying that Simon was Jesus' prototype.
Knohi translated line 80 of the inscription as "in three days, live, I Gabriel command you" - a sort of instruction to Simon of Perea, to resurrect in three days, just as Jesus supposedly did.
"So, actually, out of the gravest crisis, a new idea comes, the idea that the death of the Messiah was an essential part of the process of salvation, "the scholar said, arguing the story could have been known to Jesus, who employed the idea in his "his messianic activity."
Whatever the case, the faint inscription - whether it indeed contains the resurrection prophesy featuring the word "live" or not - doesn't stop raising questions in the scientific community.