Richard Bauckham on the Flimsy Evidence for Talpiot B as the Tomb of Joseph of Arimathea

I hope you all read the short but clear-headed guest post on Mark Goodacre’s NT Blog by guest blogger Richard Bauckham. Professor Bauckham does a nice job of succinctly demonstrating the tenuous nature of what seems to be the only data point approximating evidence for this identification.

Frankly, I’m getting bored with this topic, but will dutifully post updates (from either side) on the issue. Is there not *one* piece of unassailable evidence in favor of what Jacobovici and Tabor are arguing? Anything that doesn’t simultaneously invite two or three other interpretive options that, when considered, offer a wider body of evidence and greater explanatory power than the originally suggested thesis? It’s not an unreasonable request.

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  • Debra

    Greetings Dr. Mike Heiser~
    Since you’re admittedly suffering “boredom” w/ the Talpiot business, I’d like to suggest that you consider pursuing a new adventure in Paleobabble-land. It’s called “Research Reveals Ancient Struggle Over Holy Land Supremacy”. This new [to public] “evidence” centers on the Samaritan controversy. Here’s the web addy: http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/0,1518,827144-2,00.html My hope is that you find a reason to kick those boredom blues.
    In His service,
    Debra

    • MSH

      I’ll check it out to see if it’s truly Paleobabble material (or political).

  • Debra

    From my perspective, the timeliness of the article does suggest some sort of political connect. Coupled with this is the archaeological [i.e. Dead Sea Scrolls] aspect…that may or may not simply be a vehicle with which to highlight and further exploit that political agenda. Either way, thanks for your reply and for taking some time to check it out.

    • MSH

      agreed; and it seemed politically slanted (as opposed to merely wacky).

  • benkeshet

    b”h

    Mike I was just curious if you know of any estimations of the approximate time it would require to take down, prepare and transport a body from near the city gate to the Talpiyot location. My principle mode of transportation in Jerusalem is by foot, and Mark 15:42-47 seems to me to indicate that there was very little time to transport a body that distance before sundown. Granted there were servant workers who bore the body, still, going down and up hills with a body is not a casual stroll.

    Best.

    • MSH

      I wouldn’t hazard a guess.

  • benkeshet

    b”h

    I just looked around for a topographical map and from what I can see the Talpiyot tomb is ~ 3 km = 2 miles [by straight-line] from the Old City, and the terrain is not smooth at all, as seen in the image:

    http://desmond.imageshack.us/Himg837/scaled.php?server=837&filename=44278914.png&res=landing

    or here

    http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/837/44278914.png/

    Jerusalem was full of Passover pilgrims so travel would be somewhat impeded. Looks questionable to me if it is in any way possible to entertain a rushed burial at this distance.