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Archaeology & History

Ancient gold ring found in a shipwreck could depict Jesus

By T.K. Randall
February 7, 2022 · Comment icon 9 comments

The debate over the ring's significance rages onward. Image Credit: CC BY-SA 2.5 Aquaimages
Revealed by the Israel Antiquities Authority back in December, the ring shows a shepherd boy holding a sheep.
Discovered at the site of two Roman-era shipwrecks found off the coast of Israel near the ancient port of Caesarea, the exquisite octagonal gold ring features an impressive blue and green gemstone sporting an image that some archaeologists now believe could be a depiction of Jesus himself.

Known as the "Good Shepherd" ring, it depicts the image of a young boy carrying a sheep (or ram) around his shoulders which, according to the IAA, "is one of the earliest and oldest images used in Christianity for symbolizing Jesus."

"It represents Jesus as humanity's compassionate shepherd, extending his benevolence to his flock of believers and all mankind."

But does the ring really depict Jesus ?
According to some experts, the "Good Shepherd" depiction of Jesus was itself adapted from earlier Greek and Roman art.

"The figure of a shepherd carrying a ram over his shoulders has an ancient pre-Christian precedent in a depiction of Hermes, the gods' messenger and caretaking guide to the underworld," wrote art historian Robin Jensen.

Comparisons have also been drawn between the shepherd and Orpheus, the tragic lyre-playing son of Apollo - so there is clearly room for interpretation over exactly who the ring depicts.

As things stand, it's a debate that is unlikely to be resolved anytime soon.

Source: Yahoo! News | Comments (9)

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Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #1 Posted by jmccr8 2 years ago
David was a shepard when he killed Goliath
Comment icon #2 Posted by eight bits 2 years ago
Candida Moss, the author of the OP article at the Daily Beast, has made several contributions to the history of early Christianity, including a well-received hard look at the matyrdom traditions of the first three centuries. She's always worth reading. Thanks for posting her article.
Comment icon #3 Posted by SHaYap 2 years ago
The initiated were more sophisticated...  ~  
Comment icon #4 Posted by Abramelin 2 years ago
Link with video:
Comment icon #5 Posted by Tom1200 2 years ago
Does that look even a bit like David?  Where's his sling, eh?  Eh?  It's OBVIOUSLY Jeesus 'cos usatoday.jesus-christ sez so. Or maybe it's Abel.  Wasn't he also something to do with sheep?  I could look it up but it's more fun guessing and just as accurate as the original story - pure speculation.
Comment icon #6 Posted by Essan 2 years ago
So, basically, there is no evidence or particular reason to suppose the ring depicts any Christian deity or was ever worn by a Christian.   But it might have.  Next week:  remains of 2,000 year old sandals found in Turkey.  Could they have been worn by an early Christian?!!!!!
Comment icon #7 Posted by Jon the frog 2 years ago
Nice find, well preserved ring and piece of history. There was shepherd all over the place in the middle east and still are... People are pulling a Jesus out of thin air all the time... Saw briefly something like a man, possibly Jesus, when pouring cream in my coffee this morning. Seen a man with a beard in the mirror, most likely Jesus. Seen a stick beside the three outside, probably a shepherd cane, probably Jesus. I can go like that all day long.
Comment icon #8 Posted by HSlim 2 years ago
Burnt toast- Jaysus Ring- Jaysus Clouds- Jaysus Kids with cancer- Jaysus...wait....
Comment icon #9 Posted by Ell 1 year ago
It isn't Christophorus. He would carry a lamb, not a ram.

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