Oldest Christian texts discovered?

Margaret Barker is an authority on New Testament history and she has been called upon to help investigate the origins of a collection of relics which could be the earliest example of Christian text. Barker, of Borrowash England, is examining photographs of the "metal books" found in a cave in Jordan. It is thought the artefacts might be almost 2,000 years old, and they could be unique evidence of Christian activity as early as 33AD

There are about 70 of the books, each made of between five and 15 "leaves" about the size of a credit card and bound by lead rings. They were apparently found by a Jordanian Bedouin between 2005 and 2007, when a flash flood exposed two niches inside a cave, and have since been taken to Israel.

Archaeologist David Elkington is heading a British team trying to unravel the mysteries of the books and to get them safely into a Jordanian museum. He contacted Mrs Barker on the advice of the Archbishop of Canterbury. Mr Elkington admits the books have attracted intense interest.

During the course of his research, he said he and his wife had been shot at and received death threats.

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