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Sunday, March 04, 2007

Statistics & the Alleged Jesus Tomb

Thanks to Robin Lee Hatcher for the heads-up on Randy Ingermanson's
Statistics And The Jesus Family Tomb.

"Today is when the Discovery Channel will air the documentary by James Cameron and company about the so-called Jesus tomb. I am not a scientist or an archeologist. While I have my opinions, I'm not qualified to speak with authority on some of the hypotheses put forward by those who want to claim that Jesus Christ of Nazareth was in that Jerusalem tomb. However, author Randy Ingermanson, a physicist, has read the book and prepared a thorough analysis. I hope you'll read it and then include a link on your own blog."

Check out his work and see what you think.

Here's an excerpt from the start of the article:

(March 3, 2007) This past week, Simcha Jacobovici and Charles Pellegrino launched a new book titled "The Jesus Family Tomb: The Discovery, the Investigation, and the Evidence That Could Change History." They'll follow it up with a documentary to be shown on the Discovery Channel.

It's a fascinating book. I grabbed it as soon as I could and read it carefully to see what the case is. I'll say right away that I came to like Simcha Jacobovici very much while reading the book. His intellectual curiosity launched this investigation, and he clearly loves a great puzzle. There are folks who want to make Simcha the bad guy here, as if he somehow set out to demolish Christianity by cooking up some evidence. I don't get that impression from reading his story or watching him on video. He's clearly passionate about this story and interested in getting at the truth.

This is a BIG story! A bone-box was found in Jerusalem with the name "Jesus son of Joseph!" Right nearby were nine other bone-boxes. Five of them had names on them, and those names included Mary twice, Joseph, Judah, and Matthew. We know that Jesus had two brothers named Joseph and Judah and his grandfather was named Matthew. Furthermore, two of his disciples were also named Judah and one was named Matthew. Isn't that an awfully big coincidence? What if this Jesus is the REAL Jesus of Nazareth? Why didn't the archaeologists pursue this with a little more interest?

After reading the book carefully, I believe there are some serious problems with the case that the authors have made.


Seven Star Hand said...

Hello Robin and all,

The most interesting aspect of this Jesus Tomb story revolves around the actual names on the bone boxes compared to what is being asserted in the effort to make a profit. Pay special attention to the tortured explanations of how names like Jesus, Mary, Matthew, Joseph, and others were "translated" (interpolated) from inscriptions that actually say otherwise. Most specifically, both Christians and those who are promoting this "Jesus Tomb" discovery and its associated assertions are profiting from the very same long-term process of obfuscation and meticulous misdirection. For anyone, whether Christian leaders and adherents or James Cameron to keep a straight face while claiming that the name Jesus was one of the most common in Second Temple Israel is highly instructive. The name that is commonly translated as Joshua was very common, but the name Jesus is a very unique and narrowly targeted construction of recent centuries that simply cannot have truthfully appeared anywhere in the ancient Near East. Likewise, many are writing that Jesus is instead the english form of Joshua, as if the millions of english speaking Christians and Jews named Joshua have foreign names. Furthermore, does anyone know of any person named Joshua who would seriously assert that the English form of their name is Jesus? These deceptive assertions are beyond absurd.

This long-term charade about a name that simply could not have been written or pronounced in Aramaic, Hebrew, Greek, or even Latin, which is now being touted as one of the more common names from ancient Israel/Judea, serves as an illuminating microcosm for the entire New Testament and the many dubious assertions and activities that have accompanied it and Christianity throughout their entire existence. As Christians rally to "prove" that this archeological find can't be the tomb and bones of the "Jesus" and "Mary" of the New Testament, they too should honestly answer questions about why it is correct to interpolate those names in such a unique way to support the veracity of the most profitable story in history, but not to interpret an archeological discovery. Christians must truthfully answer the question of why it is wrong for the "Jesus Tomb" crew to use Christianity's own methodology to arrive at the names now being asserted as appearing on those bone boxes.

Read More ...

chrisd said...

It's pathetic, isn't it?

elisheva said...

I'm here via the new Christian blogroll....I blogged about this issue as well a few days ago. It did seem to me that if there was something to it they would have said something more back in the 80s when it was first discovered....just something for the ratings heading into the Easter season....