5th March 2007
I don’t have the energy for an extensive update, but I did want to note a couple significant discussions surrounding the Talpiot tomb.
- First, they have added an article entitled, “Has the Tomb of Jesus Been Discovered?,” by the noted archaeologist Jodi Magness to the February 2007 SBL Forum. I imagine they wanted to get the article online before they were ready with the entire March Forum. Magness rightly criticizes the way this “discovery” was turned into a media circus. I would add that I am not very comfortable with the notion that non-disclosure agreements were used to prevent scholars from discussing this theory in the academy. Since when should Hollywood dictate scholarship? At any rate, I digress. Her article contains a great summary of first century Jewish burial customs and how they relate to the gospel accounts and the hypothesis of the Jesus family tomb. She concludes: “…the identification of the Talpiyot tomb as the tomb of Jesus and his family contradicts the canonical Gospel accounts of the death and burial of Jesus and the earliest Christian traditions about Jesus. This claim is also inconsistent with all of the available information â€” historical and archaeological â€” about how Jews in the time of Jesus buried their dead, and specifically the evidence we have about poor, non-Judean families like that of Jesus. It is a sensationalistic claim without any scientific basis or support.”
- Mark Goodacre did an excellent job live-blogging the documentary over last night (it doesn’t premiere until tomorrow night here in Canada). He also has a brief note on the “The Lost Tomb of Jesus: A Critical Look” program that aired after the documentary.
- Duane Smith also reflects on Magness’s article at Abnormal Interests.
- Ben Witherington also has a post interacting with archaeological perspectives on the Jesus tomb hypothesis, noting that virtually all archaeologists are either repudiating the theory or are at the very least unpersuaded by the findings of the show.
- Kevin Wilson at Blue Cord has some thoughts on the “Critical Look” program and promises some reflections on the documentary in the near future.
- Over at Danny Zacharias‘s Deinde, Bruce Chilton has a guest post on the documentary, as does Craig Evans. Some of Danny’s own observations may be found here.
- Chris Heard has a couple more posts on the tomb, one which takes another look at the statistics.
- Jim West offers his own review of the documentary over at his eponymous and ever-changing blog (it’s always fun to see what theme Jim is using).
- Chris Weimer over at Thoughts on Antiquity has an excellent post on the whole debate that is well worth a read.
- Last, but certainly not least, James Tabor has a number of posts since my last update, all of which are worth noting here:
On a lighter note, check out what Jon Stewart had to say about the whole controversy on The Daily Show.