Todd Bolen brought a sensational article by Nick Pryer to my attention:
“The image is eerily familiar: a bearded young man with flowing curly hair. After lying for nearly 2,000 years hidden in a cave in the Holy Land, the fine detail is difficult to determine. But in a certain light it is not difficult to interpret the marks around the figure’s brow as a crown of thorns. The extraordinary picture of one of the recently discovered hoard of up to 70 lead codices – booklets – found in a cave in the hills overlooking the Sea of Galilee is one reason Bible historians are clamouring to get their hands on the ancient artefacts. If genuine, this could be the first-ever portrait of Jesus Christ, possibly even created in the lifetime of those who knew him.“
Here’s a crop of the image:
The first thing I thought of when I saw this picture, was the common image of Helios on coins of Rhodes I’ve been studying for several years in preparation for my LMLK vol. 2 book since it’s related to LMLK 2-winged icons. Here are some samples that you can compare for yourself:
Those are rays of light, not a crown of thorns! Helios did not die for our sins!
Robert Deutsch posted a completely independent message on ANE-2 earlier today thoroughly deflating this fraudulent artifact, which he appropriately described as a “chimera”.
This week I learned that 3 days before I posted the above photos, William J. Hamblin had already posted similar photos on his blog. Personally I think the first of my photos is closer to the one used on the lead plate, but the big-picture point is that several people detected this forgery independently. And I should clarify that even though Robert Deutsch related the lead-plate image to that of Alexander the Great’s coins, these Helios coins used those earlier images of Alexander to represent their false god, Helios. So now you know why he’s been named “the Great”–he’s been associated with false gods & the real One!