The Nazareth Inscription

Just thought that this might be interesting

THE NAZARETH INSCRIPTION TRANSLATION

1. EDICT OF CAESAR

2. It is my decision graves and tombs—whoever has made

3. them for the religious observances of parents, or children, or household

4. members—that these remain undisturbed forever. But if anyone legally

5. charges that another person has destroyed, or has in any manner extracted

6. those who have been buried, or has moved with wicked intent those who

7. have been buried to other places, committing a crime against them, or has

8. moved sepulcher-sealing stones, against such a person I order that a

9. judicial tribunal be created, just as concerning the gods in

10. human religious observances, even more so will it be obligatory to treat

11. with honor those who have been entombed. You are absolutely not to

12. allow anyone to move . But if

13. , I wish that to suffer capital punishment under

14. the title of tomb-breaker.

NOTES AND COMMENTARY ON MY TRANSLATION

While the Greek word “decree,” “diatagma,” used in line one of the Nazareth Inscription may suggest to modern readers some sort of imperial legal process, the fact of the matter is that the Nazareth Inscription is almost certainly a rump or abridged version of an imperial rescript. As will be seen below, a rescript was a letter of response sent by the emperor to some sort of an imperial official. It was not uncommon for imperial rescripts to be treated as legal decrees. See Charlesworth, Documents Illustrating the Reigns of Claudius and Nero, p. 14 where the Emperor Claudius himself calls one of his rescripts on Jewish rights “touto mou to diatagma” or “this decree of mine.” As will be seen below, there is an imperial rescript of the Emperor Claudius which fits the pattern of the Nazareth Inscription very well. The rescript process will also be discussed in detail below. (here)

You Might Also Like

Leave a Reply, Please!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.