An ancient tablet found in the West Bank (the one in Israel, not Minneapolis) and dating to 100BC mentions a messiah dying and being resurrected after 3 days. Was the central tenant of Christianity a popular Jewish tradition at the time? Of course it was, why even ask. If you don’t think so, you’ve been asleep at the wheel, ,my friend. Dying and rising gods are a dime a dozen. But, I digress.
The text is known as Gabriel’s Revelation and even though much of it is damaged, the telltale text is there. Israel Knohl, an iconoclastic professor of Bible studies at Hebrew University in Jerusalem, translated the words as:
“In three days you shall live, I, Gabriel, command you.”
Very Interesting, indeed. But, you may ask, what about the atonement aspect of Christianity? The book of 2nd Maccabees, believed to have been written in Egypt in 124 BC, mentions the concept of atonement in chapter 12.
Therefore he made atonement for the dead, that they might be delivered from their sin (2 Maccabees 12:43-45)
Conceptually, all the pieces of the Jesus story would have been around a centuray before the traditional birth of the Christian savior god. Does this deny the divinity of Jesus, no. But, it does mean he’s a copy cat.