'Christian' mummies

The Bibliographical Test Updated
Though I've planned for quite a while to address the so-called Christian Mummies of Egypt, I can no longer trace the images online. The two points I had intended to make were:

  1. Mummification was banned by Christianity, because the rites associated with the Book of the Dead are different.
  2. None of the mummies had anything specifically Christian spelled out - the mummies bear the usual abbreviations/symbols misappropriated later by Christianity (and which I interpret as Chrestian).
 A scholarly view:
According to the latest archaeological research in Egyptian necropoleis, mummification continued to be practiced in Egypt in Christian circles as late as 600 CE. The traditional method went through some adaptations. It is not clear exactly what the process was, but it is known that blocks of natron were used in non-traditional ways, and that there is no trace of evisceration. The corpses were not bandaged, but they were wrapped in several shrouds. Sometimes layers of salt were placed under or between the shrouds, and the bodies were often dressed in their everyday clothes. The process of transformation into this newt ype of mummification was not abrupt, but it developed gradually in the course of the first centuries of Christianity.The same can be said about other manifestations of funerary practice. In shared burial grounds, the tombs of pagans and Christians differed little from each other, and especially in the case of funerary offerings, some tombs present an amalgam of pagan and Christian beliefs.
Here we may mention the offering of amulets, and lamps, or the use of the ‘ankh’, a symbol which was soon adapted as the sign of the cross by the Christians.
(Egyptian burial practices in Late Antiquity:the case of Christian mummy labels by Sofía Torallas Tovar CCHS-CSIC, Madrid)
But now, the issue is forced upon us, by this announcement:
Mummy Mask May Reveal Oldest Known Gospel
by Owen Jarus, Live Science Contributor   |   January 18, 2015 
A text that may be the oldest copy of a gospel known to exist — a fragment of the Gospel of Mark that was written during the first century, before the year 90 — is set to be published...
This first-century gospel fragment was written on a sheet of papyrus that was later reused to create a mask that was worn by a mummy...
Evans says that the text was dated through a combination of carbon-14 dating, studying the handwriting on the fragment and studying the other documents found along with the gospel. These considerations led the researchers to conclude that the fragment was written before the year 90.
If this date is correct, then my suggestion of Bardaisan as source Q would be wrong. Instead, it would suggest how the usually mis-termed Christology of Philo produced a 'messiah' closer to his time than I knew previously. That may be, only he would be Chrest rather than Christ, though both are in parody.
Bar Kokhba silver Shekel/tetradrachm. Obverse: the Jewish Temple facade with the rising star, surrounded by "Shimon". Reverse: A lulav and etrog, the text reads: "to the freedom of Jerusalem". Circa 132–136 CE
(A final note on a putative 1st-century divine messiah written up in gospel form: as these stories use the chronicles of Josephus for verisimilitude and he died ca 100, is it not rather unlikely how he - or one of the other historians - did not provide a detailed history of both this divine man and his movement through to the end of that period? Or object to the satires known as the gospels? Remember, the Roman army, as well as both the Roman elite and Herodian monarchy - and thus the entire literati in the Roman world - knew what had actually happened in Judea even without Josephus to remind them, so the gospels-as-history could not have fooled the educated. If Josephus had read them, I imagine he might have choked to death. Anyway, the only Jewish messiah in recorded history had yet to be so named: Simon ben Kosiba.)

However, before anyone jumps to a premature conclusion, let's have full disclosure of what is being found.

From the fragments I've seen, there is still no mention of Jesus Christ, Christianity, or Christians - just the usual abbreviations which I interpret as Chrestian.

As for the dating, expect every attempt to get them into the 1st century - that's what the Christian apologists do and by any means.

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