A recent media report (see below) has brought the Jordanian Lead Books back into the news. A group of 70 lead, ring-bound books became news in 2011, although there had been Internet rumous about them as early as 2007. Many scholars have expressed doubt as to their authenticity, or at least urged caution due to the sensationalistic claims were being made about them (i.e., claims that their discovery was of greater significance than that of the Dead Sea scrolls), as well as the lack of information about the lead books that was coming from a single source (authors David and Jennifer Elkington). The latest report presents the findings of tests done on the lead in the codices, showing that they were made of ancient lead (something that was already known from earlier tests that had been done). It also presents the sensationalistic claim that the lead books contain the earliest portrait of Jesus Christ, that "Christ was not starting his own religion, but restoring a thousand-year-old tradition from the time of King David," and that "The God he worshipped was both male and female." As many have pointed out, the fact that the lead used in the books is of ancient origin does not prove their authenticity, as modern forgers are skilled in using ancient materials. Moreover, calls to release the full, unedited findings of the tests and make available all of the photographs of the lead books to critical scholars has gone unheeded by the Elkingtons. Until such time as trained scholars are given access to study the lead books and publish their findings, claims made in the media regarding their authenticity and significance should be viewed with skepticism.
1. The sensationalistic article in the Daily Mail can be read here:
2. A scholarly response can be found here:
3. Read ABR's original Current Events post about the Lead Books here:
4. Some helpful summaries of the Lead Books by Todd Bolen from 2011 are here: