Monday, January 14, 2008

New Scholarly Scrutiny for Jesus Tomb

Well, well, Jesus is under the scholarly spotlight again.
Biblical archaeologists converge this week in Jerusalem to examine Jewish burial (and reburial) practices in the Second Temple era, to weigh Jewish belief in the afterlife, and pointedly to evaluate the controversial Talpiot "Jesus Family tomb" within this academic context. Scripture and evidence will be pored over by all. Will this yield more heat or just dust?

Ossuaries are usually quite a dry academic subject, but conclusions about these ten bone boxes became a world-wide bone of contention last February when statistical analysis by non-specialists appeared to contradict the New Testament account of resurrection and years of Christian tradition. Why Jesus of Nazareth would be reburied in Jerusalem, not near his family home in Galilee, still is a puzzle, no bones about it. Devout believers cried heresy when scientists question the Bible's account. It's no cruci-fiction, most Christians insist, and suggest that Hollywood hyped a hypothesis to goose its box office and bestseller lists. It's not the money but the fame.

The big brouhaha that arose after last year's claims by Titanic producer James Cameron (a Mason?), the self-dubbed Naked Archaeologist Simcha Jacobovici (an Orthodox Jew), and potboiler author Charles Pellagrino that Jesus of Nazareth lived well past age 33, wed the former prostitute and latter-day Christian leader Mary Magdalene and sired a son named Yehudah may be set off again by this conference. It shines a light on Masonic plots, some suggest. Amos Kloner wrote about the 1980 salvage of a vandalized Talpiot tomb by the Israeli archaeologist Yosef Gath, who was alerted by complaints that boys were kicking ancient skulls in the East Talpiot construction site. Kloner shrugged off the cluster of famous names inscribed on half a dozen of the ossuaries, and took no special care to preserve bone matter, so some may feel obliged to salvage his academic reputation; James Tabor, a Christian scholar from North Carolina who has been touting the Talpiot tomb association with Jesus Christ since archaeologist Joe Zias questioned the Israeli archaeological establishment's dismissal of its importance back in 1996.
Whatever the outcome, the Third Princeton Symposium on Judaism and Christian Origins, funded in part by the communications tycoon George Blumenthal, will be worth watching. Izzy Bee will be there, recording all the thorny fallout. Israelity bites.

5 comments:

christina said...

Again, this dubious tomb is in the news. Yawn

mochafueled said...

Why do you have to degrade an otherwise interesting story with reference to Masonic involvement or connections by some. Implying a nefarious link to the Masons (not a cult or religion) is beneath your story and subject.

I am new to Israel myself and looking forward to reading more.

Anonymous said...

How many families have the same names? their dna evidence is still not evidence enough, also--Even if it was the "indicated" family, there is still no solid evidence that jesus did not resurrect. Any project intended to defraud Jesus-always has the opposite effect anyway--More people start reading the Bible-to "find out for themselves"----Then it all comes together for them--the inobscurable light of Jesus shines on them-and you have one more believer in Jesus-Inevitable. Thanks for the free advertising....and God Bless.(He blesses everyone, of course.)

magdalena said...

Kloner, the scientist who examined the bones in the original boxes back in Jerusalem 25 years ago, said that they showed no signs of crucifixion. Only one skeleton has ever been found that showed the torture signs- and it was not inside this Talpiot tomb, he said. (Criminals were not often entombed--just tossed in a paupers grave)
HIstorically Jesus was crucified, so if this is the resting place, well, his bones would have shown it. (They got ditched along the way, so hard to say conclude anything now.)

What a lot of speculation

Anders Branderud said...

Reg. the Talpiot Tomb,
I reccomend the following research:

www.netzarim.co.il;
Click at “History Museum” (left menu);
Click at “Mashiakh.” (top menu);
Scroll down to Talpiot Tomb Complex;
Click at “Burning Issues Surrounding Talpiot Tomb Complex”

Anders Branderud