Nazareth Stone

General Information

The Nazareth Inscription is a 24" x 15" marble tablet with a 14-line "Edict of Caesar" proscribing capital punishment for tomb-breakers, allegedly acquired by the Frohner Collection in 1878 from Nazareth.

The following translation from the Greek-based Nazareth Inscription is by Clyde E. Billington:

  1. EDICT OF CAESAR
  2. It is my decision [concerning] graves and tombs--whoever has made
  3. them for the religious observances of parents, or children, or household
  4. members--that these remain undistrubed forever. But if anyone legally
  5. charges that another person has destroyed, or has in any manner extracted
  6. those who have been buried, or has moved with wicked intent those who
  7. have been buried to other places, committing a crime against them, or has
  8. moved sepulcher-sealing stones, against such a person, I order that a
  9. judicial tribunal be created, just as [is done] concerning the gods in
  10. human religious observances, even more so will it be obligatory to treat
  11. with honor those who have been entombed. You are absolutely not to
  12. allow anyone to move [those who have been entombed]. But if
  13. [someone does], I wish that [violator] to suffer capital punishment under
  14. the title of tomb-breaker.

Since its original publication in 1930 by M. Franz Cumont, no scholar has published evidence to disprove its authenticity.

Clyde Billington of Northwestern College has dated it to A.D. 41 and interpreted it as evidence for the historicity of Christians preaching the resurrection of Jesus within a decade of His crucifixion.

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