Earliest Reference to Christ Found: Discovery News

Earliest Reference to Christ Found: Discovery News.

I am sure that we will soon see another documentary from those great folks who brought us the ‘Tomb of Jesus’. Seems that the one thing that the Discovery Channel has not yet discovered is decency.

A team of scientists led by renowned French marine archaeologist Franck Goddio recently announced that they have found a bowl, dating to between the late 2nd century B.C. and the early 1st century A.D., that, according to an expert epigrapher, could be engraved with the world’s first known reference to Christ.

If the word “Christ” refers to the Biblical Jesus Christ, as is speculated, then the discovery may provide evidence that Christianity and paganism at times intertwined in the ancient world.

The full engraving on the bowl reads, “DIA CHRSTOU O GOISTAIS,” which has been interpreted by French epigrapher and professor emeritus Andre Bernand as meaning either, “by Christ the magician” or “the magician by Christ.”

“It could very well be a reference to Jesus Christ, in that he was once the primary exponent of white magic,” Goddio, co-founder of the Oxford Center of Maritime Archaeology, said.

Here is the main problem – THIS IS NOT THE EARLIEST REFERENCE TO JESUS CHRIST. The Earliest reference is found in the Gospels. This is not a reference to Jesus Christ, not of the bible. Well, I guess I put the Discovery Channel up there with FoxNews now, on the do not watch list.

Joel L. Watts
Joel L. Watts holds a Masters of Arts from United Theological Seminary with a focus in literary and rhetorical criticism of the New Testament. He is currently a Ph.D. student at the University of the Free State, analyzing Paul’s model of atonement in Galatians. He is the author of Mimetic Criticism of the Gospel of Mark: Introduction and Commentary (Wipf and Stock, 2013), a co-editor and contributor to From Fear to Faith: Stories of Hitting Spiritual Walls (Energion, 2013), and Praying in God's Theater, Meditations on the Book of Revelation (Wipf and Stock, 2014).

16 thoughts on “Earliest Reference to Christ Found: Discovery News

  1. Technically, the earliest reference to Christ would be in the epistles–probably 1 Thessalonians–which were written before the gospels.

    But your point is valid, nonetheless. I doubt the bowl is a reference to the biblical Christ.

  2. In the book The Jesus Family Tomb, even the archaeologist Shimon Gibson says page 19, “I’m still not convinced we have a tomb connected with the family of Jesus..” As he also says the names are to common to make any factual evidence.

    Indeed this is just another pop book on the idea of Jesus and Mary Magdalene, etc.

    Also there are other scholars who believe that Galatians was written earlier than 1 Thess.? But even so, St. Paul’s Letters were the first to write of Christ. Again in the technical and historical sense.

    Fr. Robert

  3. PS…Again, the bowel proves nothing, we can ask what Christ? There were many, from the true Christ…to the many Gnostic and anti-Christ’s! And the true Christ is and was no magician!


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