Metal Plates in Dire Straits

From the latest updates I’ve seen, things aren’t looking good for our Jordanian lead plates. As more scholars gain access to photos of the plates and are beginning to be able to evaluate the inscriptions and images, there are some who are quite certain that they are forgeries.  I think it will still be some time before we can know that conclusively, but that is the growing suspicion.

Bryce Haymond has put together a great summary of some of the most recent findings and opinions, organized into evidence supporting their authenticity vs. evidence of forgery.  There seems to be more evidence for them being forgeries. Please see his post at here:

Daniel McClellin has the content of an email that was sent by Peter Thonemann at Oxford to David Elkington (the archaeologist who is leading the investigation into the plates) in which Thonemann demonstrates how the (one) bronze tablet that he was shown was apparently made rather recently by someone who did not know Greek, as there are errors in the writing that suggest to Thonemann that the writer didn’t even know the Greek alphabet. Furthermore, the writings don’t make sense as they stand and appear to have been copied from known Greek inscriptions. You can read the full email at Daniel’s site:

Rice University Professor April DeConick gives her opinion (not positive) on the plates:

It’s beginning to look like the plates, despite all the fun hype, may be too good to be true.

UPDATE: Jim Davila, at PaleoJudaica, has further information on and discussion of the Thonemann email. See here:

As Professor Davila notes, the Deseret News now has a good article up about the plates as well:

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  1. By Jordan Metal Plates | Hamblin of Jerusalem on April 1, 2011 at 11:04 am

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