Jordan Out to Take Back Ancient Christian Texts
Metal books could be extremely important—or forgeries
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 30, 2011 2:32 PM CDT
The actual codices don't look anything like this.   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – A team of archaeologists believes that a Bedouin farmer in Israel is in possession of some of the most important Christian texts ever discovered—and the government of Jordan is out to reclaim them. Farmer Hassan Saeda has in his possession about 70 books made of lead and copper that British archaeologist David Elkington says date back to the time of Christ, and are even referenced in the Book of Revelation, the Telegraph reports.

Jordan says Saeda got the books from a Bedouin smuggler who found them in a cave in Jordan, and it wants them back. “They will really match, and perhaps be more significant than the Dead Sea Scrolls,” said a Jordanian antiquities official. There’s just two problems. First, Saeda swears the tomes have been in his family for generations. Second, Israeli archaeologists scoff at the discovery altogether, saying Saeda surfaces “every few years” trying to sell the books.