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Re: Jesus Family Tombs?? (fwd)
Apparently the ossuary was "discovered" in the museum basement by E.L.
Sukenik in 1926. It has long been known to archaeologists and has been
anthologized several times, most recently in Fitzmyer & Harrington's _Manual
of Palestinian Aramaic Texts_. Sukenik himself was the first to assert that
any connection to the family of Jesus of Nazareth was misconceived in view of
the commonness of the names involved. I don't think Sukenik can be accused of
having been a Christian apologist.
Further to the question of the chances of a random co-occurrence of these
names: I'm not aware of any other "Yeshua bar Yehosef"'s among the Aramaic
ossuaries, but there are at least 2 separate "Yehuda bar Yehohanan"'s among
the small (30-40) corpus of Aramaic ossuaries. I imagine that the more famous
name would not be any less common.
Finally: It does not appear that the "Jesus ossuary" was found with any other
inscribed material. Early reports of other ossuaries bearing the names of
Mary, etc., were apparently mistaken.
Aramaic Lexicon Project
Hebrew Union College