Just in Time for Easter Cash Flow: The Tomb of Jesus’ Disciples

$imcha Jacobovici has busy. And amazingly, Easter is just around the corner (again). Oh, the irony.

The man who brought us the error-plagued Jesus family tomb, then the nails from the cross, now claims that he has found a tomb which held the remains of at least some of the disciples of Jesus. Granted, the article at the link is just a preliminary news leak to garner interest for an upcoming press conference where the world will get to see what $imcha has discovered.  Still, this announcement isn’t encouraging. Here’s what we learn that supports the new discovery, at least in part:

  • This cave is nearby the alleged Jesus family tomb (I read in another article that the site is considered pre-70 AD; by whom I don’t know).
  • There is a Jonah and the whale symbol in it (a “Christian symbol” the article notes)
  • An inscription with the word “God” in Greek, the Tetragrammaton (the four-consonant sacred name of God: YHWH), and the word “arise” or “resurrected” in Hebrew
  • Apparently the Tetragrammaton is on an ossuary, something that (according to the article) has never been found on an ossuary. That would suggest a Christian, not a Jewish, burial

My first question was whether the site bears any name of a disciple. If not, why conclude it is connected with them? The feeling I get is that the only “evidence” for this is its proximity to the alleged Jesus family tomb, in which case we have a nice illustration of drawing a conclusion based on something one presumes to be true.  But even if the Jesus family tomb was really that of Jesus (which I do not believe, for reasons noted by many scholars since its announcement), do we have anything else in this new site other than walking distance to link it to the disciples?  If that is the basis of the argument, this is a disappointment. It’s not like the disciples were the only Christians before 70 AD who died and were buried. But in $imcha-land, that sort of thinking seems possible. I just have to think he has more than this. Otherwise, it’s just plain embarrassing. In fact, if this is all he has, I’m going to award him this blog’s second Ph.D. in Non Sequitur Thinking.  I hope there is more, since the alternative would mean James Tabor, a genuine scholar, will have sullied his reputation by association with someone establishing a track record that seems fundamentally bent only toward publicity and self-aggrandizement. That would be a shame.

 

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Even Scholars Do PaleoBabble

Readers may find April DeConick’s series on how the Jesus Seminar is “bankrupt” of interest (her word). April, a professor at Rice University, is by no means a defender of traditional orthodoxy with respect to Christianity. She views the Gnostic material and theology much too positively for that.  Below are the links to her now four-part series on why she thinks the Jesus created by the Jesus Seminar is suspect. I agree with a number of her observations, though we’d go in different directions on replacing that Jesus with something better.  She is hardly alone in her criticisms, especially of method.  Since the Jesus Seminar is passed off by less-than-astute popular religion media (every year it seems to make the covers of TIME, Newsweek, et.al. around Easter), her criticisms are worth reading.

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