Today’s Round-Up of Talpiot Tomb Posts

Today’s Round-Up of Talpiot Tomb Posts March 1, 2012

Here are key posts around the blogosphere today related to the Talpiot tombs.

James Tabor posted on his own blog about the names in the tombs, and both there and on the ASOR blog about the imagery of a fish (or something else) on one of the ossuaries.

Mark Goodacre explains that the idea of the resurrection as “sign of Jonah” is a late development reflected in Matthew’s redaction of that tradition.

Bob Cargill follows Antonio Lambotti’s interpretation of the “fish” on the ossuary as more likely an amphora.

Steven Fine commented on the matter at the ASOR blog.

Fox News and Channel 4 in the UK have coverage, the latter featuring an interview with Matthew Kalman.

Claude Mariottini, on the other hand, seems to me to be unnecessarily dismissive. The mere fact that someone claims to have found the remains of Jesus doesn’t make them wrong.

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  • “True or False”:  that seems the most important issue.

    “How do we decide on this issue”: seems to me the perplexing issue.  How will different people decide if they believe interpretations of this issue.
    (1) There are ‘scholars’ on both sides arguing complex issues.  
    (2) There are lots of details and perspectives to absorb before one can begin to feel confident they have all the info for a objective conclusion.
    (3) But each writer has their biases — and usually don’t disclose their biases
    (4) Each of us as readers has our biases

    Yet people will readily take positions and usually read what confirms their desires.

    I have just written about “Foreskin Decisions” which I am using to get at this point in a rather sly way.  The post seems all about “Circumcision” but it is about more.

    Sometimes I feel that understanding how we decide is far more important than deciding.

    James, I think that all your links to various contrary sources goes a long way in helping people realize the complexity of issues.  Thanx.  I read a bit on this tomb issue today — I had not heard about it yet.  But I imagine some Christian will confront me about it as evidence for Jesus someday soon in my local coffee shop which is a Missionary Field for the local Evangelical seminary.  Smile

  • James Tabor

    Thanks for the summary James. Hey, what a difference a day makes, huh. The first six of our colleagues who posted on the ASOR blog all insisted the image I think is Jonah & the big fish is a “tower” or nephesh–a view I find hard to even imagine anyone holding–see some of the comments under Fine’s piece, who first suggested this to our consulting scholars last May.  Now led by Anthony, there is a move to an amphora. Of course Rami Arav and I carefully considered the amphora option, and my essay even has photos of amphora included, the very ones Anthony now publishes. I think I was the first to suggest the amphora as a possibility but in the end, for the reasons I explain in my ASOR piece, found it unconvincing. This image is definitely not an amphora but I predict there will be a move in this direction–since at least it is arguable and not absurd.