In other words as was stated above, the Nazareth Inscription fits very well within a Jewish family tomb context, but it does not fit at all within a gentile Greek or Roman context.The Greek phrase “doloi poneroi” in line 6, “with wicked intent,” is almost certainly the equivalent of the Latin “cuius dolo malo,” which is found in later Roman law [see Justinian’s 47.12.3]. 2, renders this same Greek phrase as “with malice aforethought.” Brown’s translation is far better than Zulueta’s, but still does not give the full sense of what is being said.The Nazareth Inscription took the scholarly world by storm because, as will be seen, it could be read as an imperial decree against the Apostles stealing Christ’s body from His tomb and faking His resurrection.
judicial tribunal be created, just as [is done] concerning the gods in 10. allow anyone to move [those who have been entombed]. [someone does], I wish that [violator] to suffer capital punishment under 14. NOTES AND COMMENTARY ON MY TRANSLATION While the Greek word “decree,” “diatagma,” used in line one[i] of the Nazareth Inscription may suggest to modern readers some sort of imperial legal process, the fact of the matter is that the Nazareth Inscription is almost certainly a rump or abridged version of an imperial rescript.
human religious observances, even more so will it be obligatory to treat 11. As will be seen below, a rescript was a letter of response sent by the emperor to some sort of an imperial official.
Fifth, there is no reference to cemeteries, in which almost all Greco-Roman burials were made.
And six, “sepulcher-sealing stones”—see my discussion of line 8 below—were not used for inhumation burials by gentiles in the Roman Empire.
Gentile burials in the early Roman Empire, for both bodies and urns, were in individual graves in cemeteries, and not in family tombs.
Only a few of the very wealthy were buried in mausoleum-style tombs, and even these mausoleum-style tombs were for individuals, and not for family burials.
The Nazareth Inscription is a Greek inscription on a marble tablet measuring approximately 24 inches by 15 inches.
The exact time and place of its discovery is not known.
There are no known examples of family tombs, like those in Second Temple Israel, to be found among the other ethnic groups in the Roman Empire.
This fact strongly suggests that the Nazareth Inscription was written for Jews and Jewish Christians and not for pagan gentiles.
This decree also does not mention bodies or funeral urns being dug up out of the ground.