Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Talpiot Tomb Updates

The official website for “The Jesus Discovery” is now up. And down (bandwidth limit exceeded). An interview with the authors is here, when the site is back up.

The Jesus Discovery book by James Tabor has skyrocketed to #1 in all of its categories at Amazon and an overall rank of #174.

More than a dozen photos from the press conference are online. (HT: Joseph Lauer). Apparently James Charlesworth, lead academic consultant to the team, skipped the show.

In a comment on Eric Meyers’ post, Tabor advances the view that Jesus’ body was first buried at the Holy Sepulcher site and then moved to the Talpiot tomb.

Robert Cargill suggests that the “fish” is a tomb nephesh and he claims (in the comments) that two photos supplied by the authors have been doctored or of different “fish.”  (I’m not convinced.)

Antonio Lombatti provides an image of another fish inscribed on an ossuary.

James Tabor confirms Gordon Franz’s observation that everyone has the fish turned the wrong way. If so, why were all of the photos released as horizontal shots?

Jodi Magness is chagrined to see archaeology “hijacked in the service of non-scientific interests.” In a comment, Tabor disagrees that such is the case and he writes of the fish etching that “at least half a dozen art historians have agreed with the Jonah interpretation.” Stephen Goranson notes that none of them have been quoted and he wonders if “signed non-disclosure agreements help scholarship.”

Michael Heiser explains why the process of using the “clueless archaeo-media” is rejected by scholars as a pursuit for cash and not for accuracy. “It’s the methodological equivalent to using mainstream media connections to announce a cure for cancer without clinical trials, or presenting one’s off-the-radar conspiratorial theory (the academic word would be avant garde) about Zionism instead of getting critical feedback from field experts first. But that’s boring and doesn’t generate sales.”

James Davila is pleased with the scholarly response to the announcement and that the media appears to be heeding it (unlike in times past).

Summaries of responses are also provided by Tom Verenna, Mark Goodacre and Stephen Smuts.

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