Biblical scholars believe fragments discovered in 2012 in a cave at Horvat Susita near the Sea of Galilee are parts of the Gospel of Timothy, written around 40 C.E. shortly after Jesus' death and resurrection.
If true, these fragments would constitute the oldest Christian writings in existence. The Epistles of St. Paul date from 50 C.E. while The Gospel of Mark is usually dated around 70 C.E.
Unlike the canonical Gospels, all written in Greek, the Gospel of Timothy was written in Aramaic, the language that Jesus and his disciples spoke. Scholars at Cambridge, Notre Dame and The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville have each translated single fragments.
"This is astounding discovery," said Dr. Nigel Periwinkle, a lecturer in New Testament Studies at Cambridge University. It indicates an historical basis for the miracle of the loaves and the fishes." The Cambridge team released their translation of the fragment from the Gospel of Timothy that specifically mention this event:
The Loaves and the Fishes
Food 22 Decor 12 Service 18 Cost 23
"They never run out of food" at this all-you-can-eat bistro despite serving "up to four thousand a day." Despite the "limited menu" it remains "the best deal in Galilee. Connoisseurs flock to "L&F" when the catch of the day is Tilapia or Musht. "Fried Musht is a must," Wags proclaim. But when the menu features only sardines, "it's trafe for the Goyim."
This group, lead by Dr. Sean McCarthy, a professor of philosophy, argues that Timothy, though not a disciple, occupied an important position that can be best translated as "Restaurant advisor to the Son of Man." The fragment that Dr. McCarthy translated reveals that Timothy may also have advised Jesus on catering as well as restaurants:
Central Cana Catering
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"Great for weddings and bar mitzvahs," but initially avoid the wine. "Everyone serves the good wine first, and then the inferior wine after the guests have become drunk. But Cana serves the good wine when the run out of plonk." Some however, complain that find even the last wine served is "watery."
Southern Baptist Theological Seminary
The most important and controversial fragment concerns the Last Supper. The scholars at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary believe that Timothy was a scribe named Tim Zagat or Zaget, who may have recorded conversation at the last supper.
The Last Supper
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"The bread is unleavened but not the conversation" at this Jerusalem favorite. So crowded and popular that, "If your group is thirteen, someone has to stand." Fans laud the "transubstantiated fare, " but critics find the wine "bloody" and the bread "tastes like wafers." "Forget the food and enjoy the décor," advise patrons who laud the fresco murals.