As a disclaimer, I am not posting this to say "Joseph couldn't have known, so it proves him a prophet," nor am I saying the opposite. William Hamblin has a paper on ancient writings on metal and Mike Reed discussed 19th century sources in another paper.
A while back I had a conversation on facebook with someone who asserted that unlike the BoM claims, non of the extant examples of writing on metal are very sizeable. I don't think I've seen this source used before. It comes from a credible, relatively recent eyewitness. This would be the largest metal codice that I know of.
P. ix of Jorunn Jacobsen Buckley's "The Mandaeans: Ancient Texts and Modern People," Oxford University Press, 2002.
their navels, and it also seals graves. Sheikh Abdullah showed us his ring and explained that the four animals depicted on the seal—the lion, the wasp, the scorpion, and the encircling snake—were “the elements of life.”
Then he began to tug at something under his cushion. We helped him pull out a large cloth bag, like the others, but this one was heavy as a rock. It was an archetypal book, The Book of John, made entirely of lead, inscribed with stylus on lead pages bound together like a regular book. No wonder it was heavy. Its edges were frayed and worn. We leafed through it reverently. C. G. Jung might have fantasized about a tome like this. There is probably not its like in the world. Sheikh Abdullah told us that the book was 2,053 years old and written by John the Baptist himself. There and then, it seemed a likely view.
Much cherished by Mandaeans but hardly studied at all by scholars, this conglomerate document, named for the chief Mandaean prophet, occupies an important place in the religion. A leaden copy of this book was shown to me in Ahwaz in 1973, as noted in my preface. The only translation remains Lidzbarski’s from 1915,47 which, in the latter half of the book includes his own Mandaic transcription in stunningly beautiful calligraphy. Like the Ginza and the liturgies—though unlike many other Mandaean texts—John is always in book, that is, codex, form. Its age, in terms of colophonic information, can be assigned to early Islamic times, though John undoubtedly retains much material that is considerably older. Lidzbarski divides the text into thirty-seven tractates and bestows on them titles according to content. Here we find, despite the title of the book, a focus on John the Baptist mainly confined to the lengthy sixth tractate of the book. This deals with John’s miraculous birth and preaching and includes the prophet’s polemical conversations with a defensive Jesus. Most of the sections in this tractate begin with the mysterious formula “Yahia preached in the nights; Yohana in the evenings of the night,” which retains both the Aramaic and the Arabic forms of John’s name.
Edited by volgadon, 30 April 2012 - 05:03 PM.