He was called the King of the Jews and his disciples believed him to be a Messiah.
Just before Passover, the Romans executed him & crucified his followers.
But his name was not Jesus. It was Simon, a self-proclaimed messiah who died four years before Christ was born.
Now, a newly discovered tablet allegedly speaks of this “messiah before Christ” and may even refer to his alleged resurrection ‘after three days’.
For one crusading scholar, Simon’s life – and death – served as a ‘messianic prototype’ that Jesus himself copied. If so, it could threaten Christian doctrine that their belief in a messiah who would rise after three days was somehow unique.
From Jerusalem to Jericho, Qumran to the Dead Sea Scroll research facility, archeologists set out on a quest to investigate the “Gabriel Revelation Stone” and retell the real-life tale of Simon of Perea, the so-called ‘messiah before Christ’…
It’s an archeological riddle that will all turn on the interpretation of a single, barely legible word on the stone. And it’s up to the team that used high resolution spectrography to analyze the Dead Sea Scrolls to find answers.
Link to a National Geographic program website.
Link to Time Magazine article.
Here James Tabor discusses more recent readings of the Gabriel Stone.
And a Huffington Post story about the recent Gabriel Stone exhibit in the Israel Museum and the continuing controversy it stirs.