What Christians Need To Know About The Nazareth Inscription

Is the Nazareth Inscription Authentic?  So what is the Nazareth Inscription?  It’s a marble tablet that is inscribed with a prohibition from Caesar against tomb robbing.  The writing dates back to the first half of the 1stcentury A.D. You can see why this would be of interest to Christians.  Could this actually be the Emperor of the Roman Empire responding to the resurrection of Jesus?

We can be confident of the date of the inscription by use of epigraphy.  What is epigraphy? In short, it’s the study of ancient documents or inscriptions. It is both a science and a bit of an art form.  

Language varies in its usage over time.  These differences can be used to narrow down the timeframe in which something was written.  This is something that is extremely difficult to fake.  You would need to have extensive knowledge of both the original language and the intricacies of how it was used at a specific time in history. And the Nazareth Inscription falls into the correct time period if we are trying to tie it to the resurrection.

This tells us with some certainty that the inscription itself was written in the correct timeframe, but what about the tablet itself?  Was it native to the region? 

What about the Stone? 

In early 2020, the marble was tested and shown to be from a quarry on the Greek island of Kos.  This led to speculation that the inscription on the tablet was not a reference to events that took place in Jerusalem.  Many scholars now theorize that the tablet’s inscription had to do with the desecration of the grave of the ruler of Kos. 

While the inscription on the tablet can be tied to the first century, we simply don’t know what event this edict is a reaction to.  Was this edict aimed at a local event, or was it an empire wide order?  While the stone was quarried in Kos, this does not mean that it couldn’t have been moved to Nazareth at some point in its history. 

For more information on the Nazareth inscription, read our full article on the tablet here

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