Recently an archaeological discovery has made headlines which is igniting debate in scholarly Christian circles. A stone tablet that pre-dates Jesus Christ was found which contains prophecies of a Messiah who will die and ressurrect three days later. More can be read here.
Israel Knohl, a professor of Biblical studies at Hebrew University in Jerusalem, says of the tablet:
“Resurrection after three days becomes a motif developed before Jesus, which runs contrary to nearly all scholarship. What happens in the New Testament was adopted by Jesus and his followers based on an earlier messiah story.”
Why is this important to Latter-Day Saints? This potentially could serve as another bit of evidence vindicating Joseph Smith. Critics of the Church often complain that many prophecies in the Book of Mormon, written before Christ, contain too much accurate detail about Christ and his ministry. Now we have uncovered archaeological evidence that such detail is indeed possible, and was part of a pre-Jesus Jewish tradition. The Book of Mormon reads:
2 Ne. 25: 13
13 Behold, they will crucify him; and after he is laid in a sepulchre for the space of three days he shall rise from the dead, with healing in his wings; and all those who shall believe on his name shall be saved in the kingdom of God. Wherefore, my soul delighteth to prophesy concerning him, for I have seen his day, and my heart doth magnify his holy name.
Hel. 14: 20
20 But behold, as I said unto you concerning another sign, a sign of his death, behold, in that day that he shall suffer death the sun shall be darkened and refuse to give his light unto you; and also the moon and the stars; and there shall be no light upon the face of this land, even from the time that he shall suffer death, for the space of three days, to the time that he shall rise again from the dead.
Critics are forced to once again admit that Joseph was extremely lucky.