Early Alphabet

Pretty informative piece from Chris Rollston (an epigrapher) on the early alphabet. This is a favorite subject of mine.  I post it here because from time to time I run across paleobabble about “mystical  meanings” that derive from the shape of the Hebrew alphabet. Hate to disabuse anyone of this (actually, I don’t mind), but the Hebrew alphabet originally looked nothing like it does today (or even as it did in the days of the Qumran scribes).  The alphabet began centuries before the “mystical block script” was ever even imagined). Just because someone can “explain” how kabbalists think doesn’t mean that what kabbalists claim conforms to reality. And when it comes to letter shapes, the *best* that could be said is that the Babylonian (not Jewish) scribes who invented the “block” style of Hebrew letters we know today had some sort of esoteric thoughts in their head about them — but it’s too bad they never wrote those thoughts down.

New Jesus Tomb Video

Click here to view the (lengthy) video “The Jesus Tomb Unmasked.”  My friend Steve Pfann (the epigrapher who evaluated the inscriptions on the ossuaries after all the hoopla) is prominently featured.  It’s quite well done.  Having blogged about my thoughts on the tomb here and here, I recommend this for its content and quality.

When Jesus Tomb Math Doesn’t Count

There’s one thing that practically everyone who has discussed the Jesus Tomb can all agree on: If you don’t have the name “Mariamne” (the alleged Mary Magdalene) in the tomb, the statistical odds have no chance of supporting a Jesus family tomb. It seems that many who are parading the statistical work of Dr. Feuerverger and others (e.g., Kilty and Elliott) have somehow forgotten that that the only close epigraphical examination of the “Mariamne” inscription–the one done by Dr. Stephen Pfann of Jerusalem (a friend of mine)–has not been overturned. In short, his analysis, which Dr. Mark Goodacre of Duke University called “a model of clarity” dooms the statistical defense of a Jesus family tomb. Read Dr. Pfann’s analysis and see for yourself–Mary Magdalene has left the building (in fact, was never there).