The scholarly world is aflutter over the latest discovery of a 3-foot tall tablet being called “Gabriel’s Revelation,” “Hazon Gabriel,” or the “Vision of Gabriel.” It contains 87 lines of Hebrew text written in ink on stone, and has been dated to the first century BCE. The tablet was found near the Dead Sea in Jordan around 2000, and has been associated with the Qumran community who produced the Dead Sea Scrolls. For this reason, it has been called a “Dead Sea scroll in stone.” An exciting discovery, indeed.
The discussion has been primarily about a certain line of the text which tells of a messiah dying and resurrecting in three days (line 80). Many scholars are pointing to this as evidence of a resurrection theology in existence in Judaism before the coming of Jesus Christ, therefore raising questions of the conception among some that a messianic 3-day resurrection was a uniquely novel Christian principle. This is not news to Latter-day Saints, who already firmly believe that Christianity has been known and practiced since Adam (see Moses 5:6–8).
But I want to look at this text from a different angle than that which is making the headlines. Since this text has been categorized as an apocalyptic text, the Greek apokálypsis meaning “lifting of the veil” or end of days, delivered from the angel Gabriel, it is likely that we should find temple imagery here too. And we are not left wanting. [Read more…]