In a recently published book, entitled The Jesus Discovery: the New Archaeological Find That Reveals the Birth of Christianity, the authors tell of a discovery that is supposedly the earliest archaeological evidence of Christianity. According to the authors, James Tabor and Simcha Jacobovici, the images depicted on the ossuaries, or bone boxes, (shown above) are scenes from Biblical stories, such as Jonah and the Whale and Christ raising people from the dead. There are also inscriptions on the ossuaries that say “Jesus, Son of Joseph” and more. According to Tabor and Jacobovici, these ossuaries contain the bones of Jesus and His family, including His children. There is also a cross carved into one of the ossuaries and, supposedly, an inscription that states, “Divine Jehovah, raise up, raise up." However, these “facts” are disputed by Christians, scholars, and archaeologists alike, who claim that the assumptions made by Tabor and Jacobovici are not only invalidated, but also completely fabricated for fame and profit. Scholars state that the names depicted on the ossuaries were extremely common in that time, and that the bones probably belonged to a common Jewish family.
The article about The Jesus Discovery reminds me of our most recent class, in which we had a discussion about our ability, as fallen, sinful humans, to know about and understand God. God has given us the ability to see who He is through Natural and Special Revelation. Natural Revelation is defined as the way in which the Lord has revealed Himself in nature, or His creation. Through creation, He reveals His existence, power, wrath, and character. However, due to our fallen nature, our ability to see God through Natural Revelation has been blurred. Therefore, Special Revelation is required for us to see God clearly. Special Revelation is God’s way of assisting us in seeing who He is, through the Bible and His Son, Jesus Christ. These two gifts to humanity give us an aid in seeing God’s Natural Revelation clearly.
The way in which The Jesus Discovery relates to Natural and Special Revelation is in its clear attempt to define God on man’s own terms. The authors of this book are not the first to attempt this. People, non-Christian and Christian, are constantly searching for “proof” or “non-proof” of God’s existence. In doing this, man is disregarding the gifts that God has given to us, in which He has already proven His existence and His power. Only through seeking the Lord on His terms will we find Him. Just like everything else we seek to do without the help of the Almighty, we will not succeed in proving that He is real without His involvement. The Lord created us to be dependent on Him, and we will not find contentment, success, or answers if we try to achieve anything with our own strength.