Hassan Saida, resident of Arab village Umm al-Ghanim, owns a cache of booklets with perhaps the earliest rendering of Jesus Christ, UK-based Mail Online reported Sunday. Bible historians claim that the vague portrait of a young man with curly hair bearing the crown of thorns could be the first-ever portrait of Christ.
The portrait is contained among a hoard of at least 70 booklets that were found in a cave in the hills overlooking Lake Kinneret, and contain on them ancient Hebrew script. One booklet, reportedly, bears the words "Savior of Israel."
The booklets were discovered originally in Jordanian town Saham, less than 100 miles from Qumran where the Dead Sea scrolls were found. The Daily Mail reported that according to locals a flash flood revealed the entrance to a long buried cave filled with small niches each containing a different booklet. Unlike the Dead Sea scrolls, these booklets consist of stylized pictures and not text, though some small amount of script in an as-of-yet unidentified Phonecian dialect appears on the codices.
Speculators believe that the booklets were created by an early Messianic sect.