You have to wonder sometimes what the headline writers at the news network Web sites are thinking.
Take in this gem from FoxNews.com today:
Um, yeah, the "notion of [a] suffering" Messiah comes from Hebrew prophecy itself (see Isaiah 53), according to historic Christian teaching, which holds that Jesus Christ fulfilled the numerous prophecies about the Messiah from the Old Testament, starting from Genesis 3:15 (the protoevangelion) and extending all the way through the books of "the Law and the Prophets" (Acts 28:23).
It's hardly an earth-shattering notion that Jesus Christ was prophesied in the Old Testament, and even journalists who don't believe in Jesus as Messiah should surely have a functional knowledge of this basic, nay central, claim of orthodox Christianity.
The teaser headline in question takes readers to a Times of London story about the discovery of a tablet that supposedly shows that death-burial-resurrection messianic narrative was commonplace in Roman-occupied Palestine at the time of Christ.
The Times story breathlessly claims that a "radical new interpretation" calls into question the death and resurrection of Christ, but then concedes that, yes, "[t]he ink is badly faded on much of the tablet," called by its owner "Gabriel's Vision of Revelation."
Even so, the Times concludes with a quote by the man making inflated claims about the "revelation":
Professor Knohl contends that the tablet proves that messianic followers possessed the paradigm of their leader rising from the grave before Jesus was born.
He said that the text "could be the missing link between Judaism and Christianity in so far as it roots the Christian belief in the resurrection of the Messiah in Jewish tradition."
Since the historic teaching of Christianity has always point back to the Old Testament's prophecies of the Messiah as confirmation of the validity of its claims, there's really no missing link that has been found, but that seems to escape the notice of the mainstream media.
Curiously enough the story shows us the media are not a bunch of faithless cynics, at least when it comes to archaeological finds that -- they hope and pray (?) -- shake the faith of orthodox Christians.
Related blog post: Time Mag Latches Onto 'Controversial Relic' to Question Christian Orthodoxy.