From the New York Times:
JERUSALEM — A three-foot-tall tablet with 87 lines of Hebrew that scholars believe dates from the decades just before the birth of Jesus is causing a quiet stir in biblical and archaeological circles, especially because it may speak of a messiah who will rise from the dead after three days.
If such a messianic description really is there, it will contribute to a developing re-evaluation of both popular and scholarly views of Jesus, since it suggests that the story of his death and resurrection was not unique but part of a recognized Jewish tradition at the time.
Now, I’m not a Biblical Scholar, but as a “theologian” I can say… woo hoo? It seems that the Times just doesn’t get it when it comes to Christianity. God died, not a sole human. This was scandalous then as it is now. Likewise, it was equally, if not more, scandalous that in the resurrection, Jesus did not exact revenge.
It is important to note that what this article legitimately brings up is the existence of a stone that counters other historical discoveries. This is quite specific, important, and something to be dealt with. However, even if one can establish a long tradition of Messiahs dying, it doesn’t explain a great deal about the Jesus story. I expect that the majority of the scholars in the article understand this, but I’m not surprised with the tone of the article. Its right up there with the rigorous journalism of the history channel.
Theologians aren’t being thick headed or stubborn. Theres just a lot more too Christianity than it is given credit for.
Edit: Oh and anyone looking for a longer treatment, I see now that D. W. Congdon has a post on this as well, a longer one at that.