That bastion of quality journalism, the Daily Mail, has a gushing article about the infamous lead codices. Positioned beside images of starlets falling out of their bikinis, and ranking considerably below the real hot news of the Victoria’s Secret fashion show, the Mail gives us the inside information on Jesus. It has now been scientifically proven that the dinky books made from lead are genuine, dating from 2000 years ago. It seems that they include the very book with seven seals that Jesus was accustomed to carrying around and that is featured in the Book of Revelation. Indeed, it is possible that Jesus made the books himself because he was a skilled metal worker. The books have now been decoded revealing the secrets of Christianity including the lost Episode 2 of the expulsion of the money changers from the temple.  This shows that Jesus aimed to reinstate the true temple worship from the days of Solomon based on the “divine feminine”. And he certainly was not going to let any Gentiles into his church!

A careful read of the article shows that the real content is a new analysis of the lead carried out by the University of Surrey. The scientists conclude that based on radioactivity, the codices must be at least 100 years old.  Also, the atomic structure shows oxidisation and decay which demonstrates that the lead is probably ancient and at least several hundreds of years old. The key statement is this:

‘This provides very strong evidence that the objects are of great age, consistent with the studies of the text and designs that suggest an age of around 2000 years’.

In other words, the dating of two thousand years old actually comes from an analysis of the text and images. The scientific work is not inconsistent with this dating but seems to give a very wide range of potential dates although this range is narrowed considerably by another statement – ‘Further crystallisation analysis indicates that the codex is likely to be between 1800-2000 years old.’  It is not clear from the Daily Mail article whether this crystallisation analysis has been carried by the University of Surrey or by some other potentially less reputable source.

So who has made the studies of the text and designs that provides the dating? The article claims that ‘experts’ have dated the codices to within a few years of Jesus’ ministry, which is remarkably precise.  These must be formidable experts indeed! So it is shame that the article does not actually tell us who they are. It was certainly not the Dead Sea Scrolls expert Hugh Schonfield, who the article says was nominated for the Nobel peace prize, because he died in 1988. Nor would it appear to be Philip Davies from Sheffield University who is reputed to have remarked to colleagues that he thought the codices were genuine. No, it seems that the very names of these experts have to be kept secret. Perhaps they are in hiding from the Evil Evangelicals who will stop at nothing in their attempts to discredit the codices.

Or perhaps the ‘experts’ are the very couple David and Jennifer Elkington who have been peddling the tablets around since  2011. Except that it cannot be them because they have no relevant expertise at all.

The whole episode is remarkably reminiscent of the ‘Gospel of Jesus’ Wife’. That was ‘proved’ to be genuine by scientific tests but turned out to be a crude forgery. In that case, an ancient blank scrap of papyrus had been written on by the forgers.   It is possible that the lead in the codices is indeed old having been taken from something like a lead coffin, and reused to make the codices. The references to Hugh Schonfield may prove to be relevant. The codices would seem to conform to his view of Christianity with a dash of added feminism. If they were forged, then perhaps his works were the inspiration for the forgers, whoever they may be.