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JERUSALEM, ISRAEL (New York Times) 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 archeological circles, especially because it may speak of a messiah who will rise from the dead after three days.  The tablet, according to some scholars who have studied it, is a rare example of a stone with ink writings from that era - in essence, a Dead Sea Scroll on stone.
     Much of the text, a vision of the apocalypse transmitted by the angel Gabriel, draws on the Old Testament, especially the prophets Daniel, Zechariah and Haggai.
     Israel Knohl, an iconoclastic professor of Bible studies at Hebrew University in Jerusalem focuses especially on line 80, which begins clearly with the words "L'shloshet yamin," meaning "in three days," and says the word is "hayeh," or "live" in the imperative.
     He says further that such a suffering messiah is very different from the traditional Jewish image of the messiah as a triumphal, powerful descendant of King David.
     "This should shake our basic view of Christianity," he said as he sat in his office of the Shalom Hartman Institute in Jerusalem where he is a senior fellow in addition to being the Yehezkel Kaufman Professor of Biblical Studies at Hebrew University.
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